Tag archive for cartography

Even if you’re not a cartographer, when you first see a map there’s almost always a gut feel for whether you like a map or whether you don’t. Critiquing a map is a deeply subjective thing. You may not know why you like a map but you can tell whether the map’s cartography works or […]

Imagine for a moment you’re in the city you live in; you know it like the back of your hand and yet you know there’s shops, businesses or services nearby that you haven’t yet come across. Or maybe you’re in an unfamiliar city and you want to explore and stay away from the same old […]

CartoBot is a small robot who lives in the office in my loft. He accidentally achieved consciousness when his charging cable was accidentally plugged into a Raspberry PI and he started to look for information. His only source was my library of books on maps and so CartoBot became obsessed with them. He now spends […]

Quick, take a look at this map. There’s something wrong with it. It’s a map of the coast of West Africa dating from 1839. Compared with modern maps, a few things have changed. Senegambia was the French controlled Senegal and the British controlled Gambia, Soudan is today’s Sudan and Upper Guinea is part of today’s […]

I like maps. Even if you’ve never read posts on this site, the name “Mostly Maps” should probably be a giveaway. What you may not know is that I don’t really like musicals. Now granted I’ve seen Rent and Spamalot, but that’s because Alison and I were in New York and the former was recommended by one of my best friends and for the latter I’m a massive Python fan. Maps and musicals aren’t something that go together. But that may be about to change.

My morning’s reading today has been dominated by a map image that the UK’s Environment Agency released on December 6th that, to quote the Tweet, shows “the extent of potential flooding of London if the Thames Barrier wasn’t in place“. If you know London at all, it’s certainly an arresting image but like so many times when I encounter a map, I want to interact with it, move it, see whether where I live in London would have been impacted. So I started investigating.

In his book A Zebra Is The Piano Of The Animal Kingdom, Jarod Kintz wrote “when you’re a cartographer, having to make maps sort of comes with the territory”. He’s right. When your business is making maps you should be able to do just that. But what if you’re not a cartographer? What if you had to draw a map of the country you live in? From memory? What would that map look like?

The year 2013 has been a great year for maps and a greater year for maps in the United Kingdom, culminating in events that huddled together under the Maptember banner; OpenStreetMap’s State Of The Map, the AGI’s GeoCommunity and FOSS4G. But there was another event in 2013 that was map related and that was the 50th. anniversary of the British Cartographic Society’s Cartographic Journal.

Despite having a lot of NSFW content, estimated at between 2% to 4% by the site’s founder, Tumblr is also the microblogging site that some maps and cartography aficionados call home. The scope and range of these is simply staggering. But now there’s a new, albeit tenuously, related maps Tumblr in town.

If there’s one thing that stands out more than a map that says “you are here”, it’s a map that says “you are here” and seems to get the map wrong.