The History of Cartography, “the Most Ambitious Overview of Map Making Ever Undertaken," Is Free Online
“Cartography was not born full-fledged as a science or even an art,” wrote map historian Lloyd Brown in 1949. “It evolved slowly and painfully from obscure origins.” Many ancient maps made no attempt to reproduce actual geography but served as abstract visual representations of political or theological concepts. Written geography has an ancient pedigree, usually traced back to the Greeks and Phoenicians and the Roman historian Strabo.
Ancient Maps that Changed the World: See World Maps from Ancient Greece, Babylon, Rome, and the Islamic World
One of the greatest challenges for writers and greatest joys for readers of fantasy and science fiction is what we call “world building,” the art of creating cities, countries, continents, planets, galaxies, and whole universes to people with warring factions and nomadic truth seekers. Such writing is the natural offspring of the Medieval travelogue, a genre once taken not as fantasy but fact, when sailors, crusaders, pilgrims, merchants, and mercenaries set out to chart, trade for, and convert, and conquer the world, and returned home with outlandish tales of glittering empires and people with faces in their chests or hopping around on a single foot so big they could use it to shade themselves. In the Western tradition, we can trace world mapmaking all the way back to 6th century B.C.E., Pre-Socratic thinker Anaximander, student of Thales, whom Aristotle regarded as the first Greek philosopher.
Here’s How America Uses Its Land
Using surveys, satellite images and categorizations from various government agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the U.S. into six major types of land. The data can’t be pinpointed to a city block—each square on the map represents 250,000 acres of land. But piecing the data together state-by-state can give a general sense of how U.S. land is used. Gathered together, cropland would take up more than a fifth of the 48 contiguous states.
30 Maps might Change Your Perspective click 2x
For many of us, cartography day in geography or history class meant a quick nap. With our eyes open, we’d dream of all the delicious stuff we were gonna eat after school, of music we’d play on the Walkman, of a message we received the other day from that cutie… To bring back our long-lost excitement for hard pieces of data, aka maps, plans, and geographic drawings, we're gonna need to start from the very best of them. Luckily, there’s a whole online community on Reddit dedicated to the most unusual charts of geographic areas that took maps to a whole new level.
Pearl Harbor - World War II
The Japanese plan was simple: Destroy the Pacific Fleet. That way, the Americans would not be able to fight back as Japan’s armed forces spread across the South Pacific. On December 7, after months of planning and practice, the Japanese launched their attack. At about 8 a.m., Japanese planes filled the sky over Pearl Harbor. Bombs and bullets rained onto the vessels moored below. At 8:10, a 1,800-pound bomb smashed through the deck of the battleship USS Arizona and landed in her forward ammunition magazine.
Native cartography: a bold mapmaking project that challenges Western notions of place
Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls
WASP (from left) Frances Green, Margaret Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn leave their B-17, called Pistol Packin' Mama, during ferry training at Lockbourne Army Air Force base in Ohio. They're carrying their parachutes. National Archives hide caption toggle caption National Archives In 1942, the United States was faced with a severe shortage of pilots, and leaders gambled on an experimental program to help fill the void: Train women to fly military aircraft so male pilots could be released for combat duty overseas.
Cowboy cartographer - pictorial maps Calif.
Joseph Jacinto Mora knew all the dogs in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. He knew Bess, a friendly brown mutt who hung out at the livery stables. He knew Bobby Durham, a pointy-eared rascal who, as Mora put it, “had a charge [account] and did his own shopping at the butcher’s.” He knew Captain Grizzly, an Irish terrier who went to town with his muzzle on and invariably came back carrying it, having charmed a kind stranger into taking it off. If you spend time with Mora’s map of the town—which was first printed in 1942—you’ll know the town dogs of that era, too. They’re all stacked in a column on the right side, lovingly described and illustrated, and looking as natural as those items you’d be more inclined to expect on a map: streets, land masses, the compass rose.