Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wonders of the World (Google Earth Style)

This post is going to be not really about maps but more about using Google Earth to quickly tour some of the world's most interesting and historic locations.

This is how a bird might see the Roman Colosseum. Construction started in 72 A.D. and took 8 years to build (not bad for not having any cranes or bulldozers). It could hold a crowd of 50,000 Romans and was used for sporting events such as gladiatorial competitions and was sometimes flooded and used to recreate sea battles.

Here are the Pyramids of Giza. As many people are aware these Pyramids served as tombs for the mummified remains of Egyptian pharaohs. They were created by thousands of slaves and took close to twenty years to complete the largest which was completed around 2560 B.C.

This is an areal view of Stonehenge. Located in England, the exact time this wonder was built is very uncertain (estimates range from 3000 B.C. to 2000 B.C.).  This adds to the wonder of Stonehenge because everything about is a mystery. No one is quite sure of how it was built, who built it, or what the purpose of it is. Many have speculated about the answers to these questions but the real answers will probably never be known.

This is the Great Wall of China. It was built for the same reason most walls are built, to keep something out. In this case it was nomadic people who were constantly raiding areas of northern China. It was built and destroyed many times. Building started in the 5th century B.C. and continued until the 16th century. It is about 5,500 miles in length.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Baltimore Cartography

This post is going to be mostly pictures because I am having a hard time finding information about these maps. I found a bunch of really interesting historic maps of the City of Baltimore. Some of these maps are almost 200 years old. I live right outside of Baltimore and I really like seeing places I've been to being depicted by someone who was living here a century before I was.
This one is from 1872 and was published by John F. Weishampel Jr.
This is from 1954 and published by The Savings Bank of Baltimore. It is depicting Baltimore as it was a century before the map was published. I recently came across a very similar map of Baltimore County hanging in the Towson Public Library. Here is a link to a higher quality version: http://www.library.jhu.edu/bin/f/h/SavingsBankHistoricalMap1854.jpg Also, here is a link to the Baltimore County map I came across: http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls3irnG3Bn1r2baauo1_r1_400.jpg I took the picture with my phone so the quality isn't great. Sorry.
This is the oldest map of Baltimore I could find even though I'm sure there are ones even older. It is dated as 1792 and just labels Baltimore City as "The Town of Baltimore" and the Harbor is simply labeled as "Basin".
I was unable to find a smaller size but I really enjoyed this map of Baltimore. It is a 1905 map of the Harbor area. The city looks very similar to what it looks like today.
This is a modern map of Baltimore City who those who are unfamiliar with its layout.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Unique Globes

Today I just wanted to do a blog post about globes that look different than your average globe.
Halloween was less than a week ago so here's this pumpkin carved to look like a globe.
This on is carved into an apple. I find that even more impressive than the pumpkin globe simply because it is so much smaller.
I love this one just because I love LEGOs. What child didn't love LEGOs growing up? I can tell you from failed attempts that building a LEGO sphere is hard enough. I cannot imagine how much planning went into building the whole world in LEGOs.
The base is the most interesting aspect of this globe. While the globe itself looks very aesthetically pleasing what drew me to this globe was the base is in the shape of Atlas. Atlas was a Titan in Greek mythology who was forced to hold the Earth up as an act of repentance.
This last globe isn't as unique as some of the others in this post but it has always been my favorite type of globe. I really enjoy how the Earth looks with black oceans. There is nothing more useful or special about this globe it is just a personal preference. What kind of globes do you enjoy?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Upside Down" Maps

Who says North has to be up and South has to be down?
In 1970, a twelve year old Australian drew a map for school with his home, Australia, being at the top of the map. Nine years later, in 1979, Stuart McArthur published his map as "McArthur's Corrective Map of the World". Today this map has sold over a third of a million copies.
Higher quality: http://www.quodlibetica.com/wordpress/wp-content/files_flutter/1285878153McA-23x35-LT.jpg
The "Wizard of New Zealand" produced a "New World Map" that also has his home, New Zealand, at the top of the world. The map uses the Hobo-Dryer Projection which is a cylindrical equal-area projection.
Higher quality: http://flourish.org/upsidedownmap/hobodyer-large.jpg
Finally, for a more history example of upside down cartography we turn to Nicolas Desliens. In 1566, Desliens was living in Dieppe, France which was something of a cartographic hotspot during that period. He decided to map his map with North at the bottom in order to draw attention to his map.