Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who Makes Those Great NY Times Maps, Anyway?

If you follow this blog much, you know that I have a fondness for the New York Times, especially when maps are included in their coverage. I've mentioned it here and here and here and here. Now I know who GETS the great job of making all those terrific maps, Matthew Bloch. Here's Bloch's web site,, with loads of those fun, interactive maps he's made as a graphics editor for the Times.

This map/article gives you head's up on where NOT to park in NYC.

Here is an interactive map of Beijing, showing photos, prior to the 2008 Olympics.

And finally, a point I've made before is that the Times rarely gives credit to their mapping expert or that software that the maps were made on...GIS! Take a look at Bloch's 'bloopers' page, his mapping accidents, as he calls them and you can spy a couple of references to ArcGIS software.

This graphic has the description "1917 map of Beijing (after trying to use spline-based georeferencing in ArcGIS)"

And this "U.S. states (Shapefile, opened in ArcGIS)" Ewww!

Thank you, geoparadigm for tweeting this link.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The New Liberal Arts

I came across this new "course catalogue" for the New Liberal Arts. I regularly think that the liberal arts needs an overhaul, a new way of thinking and teaching, and certainly an critical analysis of the curriculum. As it is described by the writers, this manual "began as a blog. That’s the twenty-first-century way of saying it began as a conversation. ... This is the idea, roughly: to collectively identify and explore twenty-first-century ways of doing the liberal arts." I'm for that!

In this booklet, they've compiled some twenty or so course descriptions for the "new" liberal arts. Here is the one I want to report about here, a course simply called Mapping, by Jimmy Stamp.

"Which better explains the landscape: maps or photographs? There’s no longer any reason to choose. The potential now exists to create visceral, photo-integrated maps that are able to successfully communicate the urban conditions such as "fractalization." Applications such as Google Maps increasingly change the way we see, understand, and describe our environment. Cameras with geo-tagging capabilities afford us the opportunity to embed photographs into digital maps, resulting in something that’s more than a record of place; it is a record of time. Moments are mapped and universally accessible; a shared global consciousness arises via shared cartography. The personal becomes public while public space becomes personalized."
Find the whole New Liberal Arts booklet here. Read it. Share it. They want us to.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Historical Maps From Hypercities

This is a terrific historical web mapping site. It's called Hypercities Beta 2 and shows only select cities at this time. For those certain cities they provide georectified maps going back to as far as 1710 for Berlin. I will show you these below. I think the application for teaching and learning and the ease of use in the classroom is clear. The last two screen captures show a feature from 1710 Berlin that is no longer there in today's Berlin. The site uses Firefox or Safari.

Some of the cities featured in Hypercities include Berlin, Lima, London, Los Angeles, New York and more. Below, I've shown Berlin through time.

Berlin today, above

Berlin 1988

Berlin 1978

Berlin 1947

Berlin 1845, showing the railroad system

Berlin 1926

Berlin 1871

Berlin 1805

Berlin 1766

Berlin 1710

Berlin in 1710 with a fortress outlined using a polygon tool (shown circled in green)

And the location of the 1710 fortress overlain on Berlin today.

This web site was another gem found on Twitter. Who needs an RSS feed anymore? Thanks TimHitchcock.Link