"The French have a wonderful word—flâneur—for someone who seeks to explore and understand the nature of a city’s landscape, usually by taking spontaneous adventures amidst the ebb and flow of life going on around them. In this week’s theme we invite you to lose yourself reading about the flâneur-esque adventures of Maptia’s streetwise connoisseurs and explore a myriad of cities through their eyes."
"Our stuff often says a lot about us, whether we own a hybrid car or a station wagon, a MacBook Pro or an ancient desktop. Among other things, cell phone brands say something about socio-economics – it takes a lot of money to buy a new iPhone 5 (and even more money to keep up with the latest models that come out faster than plan upgrades do). Consider, then, this map of Washington, D.C., which uses geolocated tweets, and the cell phone metadata attached to them, to illustrate who in town is using iPhones (red dots) and who's using Androids (green dots)."
TODALSIGS is an acronym for remembering the most basic elements of a good map. This interactive briefly explains what each of the letters represents and how it is connected to map-making. If this particular introduction is either too advanced or too basic for your students, simply run an internet search for the term TODALSIGS to find many other lesson plans and resources that might be more applicable to your institution (including this example-rich slideshow).
There’s a South Pacific island positioned midway between Australia and New Caledonia featured on various marine charts, world maps, and has appeared in publications since at least the year 2000. It’s listed as Sandy Island on Google Maps and Google Earth, and yet Australian scientists have just discovered it doesn’t exist.
As part of a 25-day voyage, the group went to the area, only to find a 1,400m (4,620ft) deep section of the Coral Sea. The team collected 197 different rock samples, more than 6800km of marine geophysical data, and mapped over 14,000 square kilometers of the ocean floor. This is just a reminder that a map is only as reliable as the information used to compile that map.
A newly issued Chinese passport featuring a map that lays claim to disputed territory with several neighboring countries is only the latest case of cartographic aggression.
"Maps, like statistics, can lie — or at least tell only one side of the story. As often as not, they can belie the level of actual governmental control or the ethnic and social realities on the ground. And competing views over 'who owns what' invariably fuel nationalistic fervor."
"Fans may not list which team they favor on the census, but millions of them do make their preferences public on Facebook. Using aggregated data provided by the company, we were able to create an unprecedented look at the geography of baseball fandom, going down not only to the county level, as Facebook did in a nationwide map it released a few weeks ago, but also to ZIP codes."
"Here's how the United States looks when it is measured on the county level by the same standards used to rank countries by the UN, the Human Development Index. Five variables are taken into account: life expectancy, income per capita, school enrollment, percentage of high school graduates, and percentage of college graduates."
"[This map's] an unabashedly generalized interactive population density map inspired/stolen from a map by William Bunge entitled Islands of Mankind that I came across on John Krygier‘s blog. I thought Bunge’s map was a novel way to look at population density, and I’ve tried to stay close to the spirit of the original."
There are 8 major English dialect areas in North America, presented on the map. These are shown in blue, each with its number, on the map and in the Dialect Description Chart below, and are also outlined with blue lines on the map. The many subdialects are shown in red on the map and in the chart, and are outlined with red lines on the map. All of these are listed in the margins of the map as well.
This is more for the teachers than the students since this is most certainly not a current pop culture reference. Still, what's better than an interactive map displaying the locations where Johnny Cash has been while listening to him sing "I've Been Everywhere?" (Tech support: Use Google Chrome or Safari to play and ignore the finger).
The mapmakers have amassed some 80 maps for Food: An Atlas, ranging from surplus in Northeast Italy to meat production in Maryland. The goal is to spread information about various food systems so they can be adapted locally.
Social media is enhancing digital cooperation to enable some intriguing grass-roots projects such as this one.
OpenStreetMap recently had it's "State of the Map" conference (Oct. 13-14) in Portland, Oregon. This video was embedded in a great article entitled "The New Cartographers" that summarizes some of the current issues discussed at the conference as well as concerns that confont the project. The project has experienced exponential growth and is a major player in the world of online mapping (think Wikipedia for maps).
Questions to Ponder: What are some advantages (and disadvantages) to an open source mapping data set? What do you imagine is the future for the world largest open-source mapping data?
Tags: mapping, cartography, geospatial, social media.
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