Archive for the 'Mashups' Category

26
Nov
12

Sandy. No, the other one. The Island.

An intrepid team of Aussie researchers set out to find the prize of explorers for centuries, undiscovered lands. In this case, it was a small-ish island shown on some maps as lying between Australia and New Caledonia. There was some disagreement as to whether the island even existed. You see, some maps showed it, including Google, while others did not, like nautical charts. Which was right? Why were there no records of inhabitants on this island or previous landfalls? Could this be where Amelia Earhart landed? Or where all those missing from the Bermuda Triangle were transported?

Of course not. That’s because the island doesn’t exist. When the ship arrived at the place that was supposed to be an island, all they found was water. About 1400 feet deep of the stuff. When asked, Google merely said that the World is a constantly changing place, so maybe it sunk, or something to that affect.

All we could surmise was that the grant that the Aussies had was specifically to pay for a boat expedition. It would have been too fast to consult satellite imagery or too easy to fly a plane over the area. Had to be a boat. Hope they went fishing too.

Get the real story here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20442487?goback=%2Egde_1494267_member_188928862

24
May
12

5 ways to travel the united states and end up 100 miles (or less) from where you started

This article by Eric Wilder from our Local, National and International Travel Desk.

Have you ever scored tickets to the big game in the city over the weekend and been stuck without a car? Ever wanted to fly back home for the weekend to visit the ‘rents, rather than battle through traffic or miss the train? Ever needed to hop on a quick flight upstate to help your brother move out?

Winged Wonder

Someday I’ll fly away.

Sometimes, catching that 1-hour nonstop flight is no problem. Other times, you may want to bring your collection of USA Lonely Planet Travel Guides to kill time with some joy reading.

We researched 5 ways you can fly to a final destination that is less than 100 miles away and end up seeing much, much more of the country than you bargained for. How did we do it?

We picked a hypothetical travel day at random and went search-happy on various air travel booking websites to find some of the more absurd connections you could make on your next flight!

Live in Manhattan and need to catch a business meeting at your company’s satellite office in Hartford, CT, but don’t own a car and can’t use public transportation to get there? If you need to fly, you could book a flight that departs from NYC, touches down in Orlando and Atlanta, and finally, makes its way over to Hartford.

What if there are no nonstop flights to your destination? Take this one, for example: if you live in Ontario, CA and need to fly into LAX, you could get a flight that has layovers in Dallas and Chicago, en route to your Los Angeles destination. Sure, the Ontario and LAX airports may only be 57.1 miles apart in driving distance, but anything is fair game in air travel.

Trying to get from Daytona Beach to Orlando, FL? If time is a concern, we recommend that you avoid booking the flight with the layover in Atlanta, followed by the layover in Washington, DC, followed by the layover in Detroit. That’s a whopping 14 hour, 45 minute flight itinerary when all is said and done.

“Hurry, only 200 left at this price”.

Madison to Milwaukee, WI? Hope you enjoy Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and Denver International Airport. San Jose to San Francisco, CA? Better plan to pick up lunch in Salt Lake City and take a cat nap in San Diego.

Which of our routes gets you traveling the greatest distance, you ask? The Ontario to Los Angeles itinerary comes in victorious, traversing nearly 4,000 miles of American air. Being that we all enjoy a good map, we of course had to plot these routes. Below is a map that displays the simple straight-line distance of each of these ludicrous flight paths, for your cartographic viewing pleasure. More bang for your buck? More airline miles? More crying babies? Maybe, but one thing is for sure – if you are a crazy cartography geek and travel lover, there is no better way to fly the United States and end 100 miles from where you started.

Eric contributes regularly to Maps.com’s social media output. If you have suggestions, comments or ideas for new articles, or you have some of your own  ridiculous travel itineraries, let us know in the comments. Eric will have plenty of time to read them during his daily commute,  from Santa Barbara to Goleta, by cruise liner, stopping  at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, en route.

Crazy air routes from a to b

Get quickly from A to B. Via F, D, R, S and Y.

18
May
12

another member of the axis of google-bashers speaks up

With China actively seeking to eliminate Google from its virtual shores, even going to the effort of creating its own version, Iran has turned up the heat on the internet mapping giant this week over its failure to label the Persian Gulf, according to a report from CNN.

National Geographic Bible Lands 1938

1938: National Geographic – The Bible Lands

The Iranians believe that Google is making a political statement by failing to use the Persian Gulf label, which has in recent years been re-titled ‘The Arabian Gulf’ by some believing it is more ‘politically correct’.

The Persian Gulf is coveted by Iranians as a statement of power and ownership over the gulf, and refers back to the nation’s history in the Persian Empire. Proponents of the Arabian Gulf name suggest that as 70% of the Gulf coast is NOT in Iran, that the Arabian Gulf is more appropriate, and that the use of Persia is an anachronism even in Iran, where the population is a mix of Persians, Arabs, Kurds and numerous other ethnic groups.

Iran has raised similar complaints against various institutions for decades. A simple Google search finds correspondence with the Dutch Airline KLM during the mid 1990’s after they referred to the Arabian Gulf in their in-flight magazine. More recently thousands of people protested through Facebook ’causes’ when the US Navy used Arabian Gulf, the Economist magazine was banned when it referred to the waterway as ‘The Gulf’ and reportedly the infamous Louvre gallery in Paris, France found itself in hot water when its guidebooks did the same.

A look at maps going back to the turn of the century in Maps.com’s National Geographic Classic Collection reveals, interestingly that published print maps have always typically used the Persian Gulf label. One edition from 1991 shows both Arabian Gulf and Persian Gulf labels, but was designed to highlight the various disputes and issues of the region at that time.

Referring to the International Hydrographic Organization, sometimes used by Cartographers as the ‘final word’ on water naming conventions (“The Vision of the IHO is to be the authoritative worldwide hydrographic body which actively engages all coastal and interested States to advance maritime safety and efficiency and which supports the protection and sustainable use of the marine environment” ) last updated its materials in 1953 and clearly refers to the water as The Persian Gulf. But for those who use the Times Atlas of the World there is a distinct lack of controversy as they opt to name it ‘The Gulf’ (what next, “The Ocean” and “The Land Mass”??)

National Geographic Middle East In Turmoil 1991

1991: National Geographic – Middle East States in Turmoil

Google is of course an easy, and high profile target when it comes to this type of dispute. For one, any assault on Google, the world’s third biggest superpower behind Apple and Microsoft, is bound to make headlines or at least come out near the top in a Bing search. And for two, any irate consumer who wants to bash the search engine giant can take their pick of lost cities and mislabeled waterways to rant about.

National Geographic Middle East

Today: National Geographic – The Middle East

What they can be accused of is sidestepping the issue a little. If you type ‘Persian Gulf’ into Google Maps, it will take you to the center of the unlabeled body of water with a nice red pin to mark the spot. If you type in Arabian Gulf, it suggests “Arabian Gulf, Kuwait” which when clicked takes you to the same body of water, very close to the coastline of Kuwait. Type in other waterways of lesser profile – Caspian Sea, English Channel, Baltic Sea, Strait of Gibraltar and every one of them is labeled. So maybe Google lost its nerve on this one. (Google maps in fact fails to label the East Sea, AKA The Sea of Japan, depending on whether you are from Korea or Japan – so it has previous form here).  An anonymous Google representative argued that they simply ‘dont have labels’ for every body of water. It can be really frustrating when you run out of labels. Perhaps they could have borrowed the one from “Ditch #1, Osceola AR.”

From our point of view at Maps.com, newly published maps follow the convention set by leading cartographic publishers and organizations like the IHO – and will continue to be ‘The Persian Gulf’ until further notice.

Maps.com World Map

Today: Maps.com – New Century World Map

14
May
12

congratulations mcgraw-hill on your codie award

Maps.com is celebrating with Educational Publisher McGraw-Hill after they scooped a CODiE award for “Best K-12 Course or Learning Management Solution”

Networks: A social studies learning system” is a complete Social Studies resource incorporating print and digital solutions. The system is designed to bring abstract concepts to life through hands-on, interactive activities such as interactive maps and games, graphic organizers and engaging multimedia.

McGraw-Hill Networks US History image

US History – Grades 6-8: McGraw-Hill Networks

The publisher included comprehensive teacher resources, worksheets, training videos, lesson plans and assessment tools.

Over 600 maps were produced for the project by Maps.com Cartographers, while the company’s programming team developed a presentation platform for the digital content that included  timeline animations, voice narration and editing tools for a truly interactive classroom experience.

“The success of this project was the result of a huge effort by the McGraw-Hill team and we congratulate them on this significant recognition.” Revealed Bennett Moe, who coordinated the digital and cartographic elements delivered by Maps.com. “We are proud to have played a key role in such a high profile and challenging project and delivered exactly what was required.”

The CODiE awards are annually presented by the Software and Information Industry Association – the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries. Initial reviews are carried out by tech-savvy educators, with a shortlist of 128 finalists reviewed by a panel of SIIA members.

Maps.com has more than 20 years of experience in the mapping industry and serves a variety of markets including education and news media. They have an in house development team producing  location based applications including online store locators and smart phone apps and ebooks. Maps.com is also home to the world’s biggest map and map related online retail store which receives almost 1 million visitors each month.

11
May
12

apple dropping google in cartographic celebrity divorce?

According to several sources close to Apple, the new IOS6 operating system for iPhone will no longer include Google Maps, and will instead feature an Apple developed mapping service believed to be faster, cleaner and more reliable. It will also proudly boast awe inspiring 3d rendering developed by C3, a spin-off of the Swedish auto and aerospace manufacturer SAAB, which was purchased by Apple in July 2011. C3 specialized in developing 3d rendering from color aerial photography.

Rumors about this change have been circulating ever since the purchase of Placebase, a mapping software developer, was revealed in 2009. Initial evidence of a split was seen earlier this year when iPhoto for the iPad was found to be using Open Street Map instead of Google Maps as in previous versions and the outcome became an inevitability when Apple failed to renew its contract with Google that was due to expire at the end of 2012.

9to5Mac Mockup of 3D rendering comparisons

Whilst nothing has been officially announced it is expected that maps will once again be making the headlines at the forthcoming iOS6 launch. Who knows, maybe they can make some fundamental improvements like including the names of rivers in the new maps and find some of the more recently ‘lost cities’.

13
Apr
12

More Maps in the Kitchen

Hot on the heels of our recent article on ‘Map Skillets’ the Cartophile has another reason to break out his wallet with these super geo-themed chopping boards. Who needs Gordon Ramsey recipes when you can have the best works of Vasco da Gama right there on your counter-top?

Available in the shapes of all 50 States including Hawaii as well as France, Italy, Germany and Australia. No confirmation as to whether a new Poland shaped version is due to be created as a ‘Chopin Board’.

Hawaii Shaped Chopping Board

Where can I get a loaf of bread to fit on this?

Next week: Salad servers shaped like Michigan, and Jello-moulds accurately contoured to the world’s most famous mountain ranges. Probably.

14
Mar
12

Cartography with Pan-ache

If you’ve ever wanted to have your pancakes Pennsylvania shaped, or your eggs over easy and in the shape of Ohio?

These super cast iron skillets come (soon) in the outline shapes of your favorite (48)  states, cost a sizeable number of dollars and weigh even more in pounds. They come with a magnetic wall hanger and can be seasoned (so your food doesn’t stick to them) on request. Buy a whole cluster of states and fit them together, they are fun to collect.

Nonetheless they are the coolest additon to the map geek’s kitchen. Check out FeLion’s website  for more info.

Send us your pictures of your culinary creations especially if you managed to use Michigan. And if you are planning on cooking up a barnstorming breakfast using Delaware, we’re busy that day.

Look Mom - I see Wisconsin in my eggs!




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