News

Lunar maps let you explore the moon like never before

A new pair of lunar maps lets you explore the moon without bothering to get off Earth first.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently posted online two moon maps -- a photo mosaic and a topographic map -- that were constructed using images and data captured by NASA's long-running Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft.

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The Great Subway Map War of 1978, revisited

For those too young to remember, the Great Subway Map War of 1978 pitted two schools of New York mapmaking nerds against each other in a heated debate in the Great Hall of Manhattan’s Cooper Union. In one corner were supporters of Italian graphic designer Massimo Vignelli’s modernist, diagrammatic map of New York City’s transit system. In the other, those who preferred John Tauranac and his Subway Map Committee’s more geographic version. Insults were traded. Colors were debated. (Was Central Park green enough? Was the East River blue enough? Since when was the East River blue?) Massimo, whose 1972 map thrilled design enthusiasts but mostly confused the public, said Tauranac's map made him want to "puke," and later thanked the moderator for helping him suppress “homicidal urges” toward his cartographical foes.

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Poke Around This Interactive NYC Death Map

It's important to know how many people have died in your house, but it's equally important to know how many people have died outside your house, or on your favorite street corner, or in the place you normally park your bike. Finally, we have a death map to illustrate how many homicides occurred on the park bench where you normally eat your lunch.

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Mapping 100 Years of Earthquakes, in 3-D

Since 1900, there have been more than 10,000 “strong” earthquakes—with magnitudes of 6 or greater—around the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But what exactly does that look like?

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Declassified Spy Maps Show Melting Arctic Ice

As global temperatures rise, Arctic ice is steadily shrinking, opening up new shipping lanes, potential oil fields and border conflicts. Now, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency—the government organization that creates maps for the American military and intelligence agencies—has declassified a series of maps that show exactly how melting icebergs are directly affecting global politics.

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These Maps Reveal How Little We Know About our own Galaxy

It is surprisingly easy to forget how vast our universe truly is. Since we are able to glimpse light from stars that are an astonishing distance away, it’s easy to assume that we have a pretty firm grasp on the cosmos. True, we may need to use telescopes in order to peer across the expanse and truly see distant objects; however, the mere fact that we can see this far is reassuring.

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The Man Who Erased Islands From Our Maps

When ocean surveyor Captain Sir Frederick Evans became the new chief hydrographer to the Royal Navy in the 1870s, he was tasked with charting the Pacific Ocean, which for more than 400 years had been filling up with "phantom islands," reports Intelligent Life magazine.

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Gorgeous Literary Maps Follow the Footsteps of Your Favorite Characters

Whether you’re tracing a young boy’s journey along the Mississippi River in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or traveling through time and space in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, it’s easy to get lost in your favorite books—both metaphorically and literally. There are so many destinations in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days that it’s hard to keep track of exactly where Phileas Fogg has gone. That is, unless you have a map.

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How The Internet's Most Prolific Map Designer Creates His Viral Worlds

Where once they were done under the quill of cartographers, maps today are made by satellite. But Slovakian designer Martin Vargic's maps are different. Although they herald back to the glory days of map making in an era of romanticism and enlightenment, Vargic's exquisitely detailed maps deals with purely imaginary worlds: ones in which landmasses are made up of tectonic plates of literature, or what the Internet would look like as a planet.

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300 Maps of Everything You Can Think Of

Three hundred maps are presented in the new book Map: Exploring the World (Phaidon, $60), and nearly all qualify as works of art. But look closer and you’ll see even more. Spanning thousands of years and selected by a team of curators and collectors, these maps serve as both historical records and cultural snapshots, communicating complex ideas about geography, politics, science, and more in a single image—be it an eighth-century chart of the stars or a 1930s guide to the stars’ Hollywood homes.

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America’s Wealth Map

As politicians, pundits and popes are fond of reminding us, there is a large disparity in the distribution of wealth in the United States. What they don’t mention is that there is also a geographic one. There 12.3 million households in that earn more than $150,000 a year– about three times the median household income in America. These households, which represent approximately the top 10 percent of earners, are heavily concentrated around the coasts and a few major landlocked cities.

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Some of Chicago's oldest maps discovered

A 180-year-old map of Chicago, drawn for a New York real estate investor when this city was a small western outpost of 350 people, was found last winter in a box in a north suburban estate sale and turned out to be a previously unknown document, possibly the oldest surviving map of the fledgling city.

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8 Stunning Maps That Changed Cartography

YOU PROBABLY THINK you know what a map is. And chances are, you’re not totally wrong. Yes, maps are visual representations of how to get from A to B, but if you ask John Hessler, they’re more complex than that. “Trying to define what a map is is pretty difficult,” says Hessler. And he would know.

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