New Leventhal Exhibition: ‘Heaven and Earth: The Blue Maps of China’
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
2h ago
Daqing wannian yitong dili quantu (Suzhou, ca. 1820). Map, Prussian blue ink on xuan paper mounted as folding screen, 112×249 cm. MacLean Collection Map Library, Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center. A new exhibition at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center, Heaven and Earth: The Blue Maps of China, focuses on two extraordinary Chinese maps from the early 19th century printed using Prussian blue pigment. These maps were presented in an extraordinary format, on eight vertical sheets printed in the style of rubbings. Even more strikingly, they were rendered in a rich blue col ..read more
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Canada’s Early Wildfire Season
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
2h ago
European Space Agency Another year, another map from the European Space Agency showing the extent of Canada’s wildfires based on data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite. It’s not nearly as bad as last year’s, but it’s way earlier. The above is a frame from an animated map showing carbon monoxide concentrations earlier this month. “The extremely high concentrations, depicted in dark shades of orange, can be linked to active fires during this time period.” Previously: Two Ways to Visualize Canada’s Wildfires ..read more
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The Aurora Seen from Space
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
2h ago
NASA Earth Observatory (Wanmei Liang)/Suomi NPP—VIIRS A view of the aurora borealis from space, captured by the VIIRS instrument aboard the Suomi NPP satellite at 3:20 am CDT on 11 May 2024. NASA Earth Observatory: The VIIRS day-night band detects nighttime light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as city lights, reflected moonlight, and auroras. In this view, the northern lights appear as a bright white strip across parts of Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan. But auroras ..read more
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A Library of 17th-Century Map Elements, Useful for Fantasy and Game Maps
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
2h ago
David Stark extracted elements from a 1688 map of part of Germany to create a library of tree, hill and town signs that he thought entirely appropriate for use as map assets for a role-playing game. I look at them and see fantasy map design elements. In 2019 I noted the similarities between 16th-century maps and modern fantasy map design. Also, digitally created fantasy maps often feature clone-stamped hill signs; you could do worse than clone-stamp these if you were whipping a fantasy map up. At least there’s more than one kind of hill sign to clone-stamp: there are, in fact, 159 hills and 2 ..read more
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Site Updates and Upgrades
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
4d ago
More than two dozen book listings have just been added to the Map Books of 2024 page. I’ve also been making some long overdue tweaks to the design and functionality of the site, including switching to WordPress’s Gutenberg editor at long last (which has, unsurprisingly, involved some glitches and hiccups). Also, the Tumblr mirror has been retired; see the Subscribe and Follow page for other ways to receive new updates ..read more
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Solar Storms and Precision Agriculture Don’t Mix
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
5d ago
We were warned that this weekend’s solar storm could have an impact on GPS and navigation systems. 404 Media reports that it’s causing outages in the GPS and real-time kinematic (RTK) positioning systems used in many farmers’ tractors, right in the middle of planting. This is a bigger problem than you might think: quite a lot of crops are grown using precision agriculture, “with farmers using increasingly automated tractors to plant crops in perfectly straight lines with uniform spacing. […] If the planting or harvesting is even slightly off, the tractors or harvesters could damage crops or pl ..read more
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G5-Scale Geomagnetic Storm in Progress
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
1w ago
NOAA The Earth is being hit by a solar storm at the moment; NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has observed severe (G5) geomagnetic storm conditions for the first time since 2003. Among other impacts, this may disrupt GPS and other navigation systems. On the other hand this also means aurorae where they’re rarely seen: see SWPC’s aurora dashboard for maps. Previously: NOAA’s Aurora Forecasts ..read more
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Napoleon’s Adriatic Atlas
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
1w ago
From C. F. Beautemps-Beaupré, Reconnoissance hydrographique des ports du Royaume d’Italie situés sur les côtes du Golphe de Venise (1806). NSK. An online exhibition by the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) focuses on an atlas of Adriatic sea ports commissioned by Napoleon after the French Empire’s annexation of Italy in 1805. The Library’s English-language announcement: Commissioned by Napoléon Bonaparte himself and marked by exceptional scientific and artistic value, the 1806 atlas consists of charts and topographical views of the eastern part of Croatia’s Adriatic coastline, w ..read more
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A Very Personal Map Exhibition
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
1w ago
An exhibition of maps from the personal collection of our friend Alejandro Polanca Masa is taking place at the municipal auditorium of his home town of Guardo, Spain. Free admission, runs until September 15. Alejandro writes (link in Spanish): “Quien pase por allí, puede disfrutarlo gratuitamente. Y mola, porque he seleccionado mapas desde el siglo XVIII hasta 1960, todos originales, que se pueden ver y tocar, incluyendo atlas y libros sobre cartografía. ¿Te lo vas a perder ..read more
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Flooding in Rio Grande do Sul
The Map Room | A weblog about maps
by Jonathan Crowe
1w ago
Porto Alegre on 8 May 2024 (Landsat 8/OLI) Devastating floods in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, have killed at least 95 people and displaced 150,000 more. NASA Earth Observatory posted the above Landsat 8 image of downtown Porto Alegre (population: 1.5 million), as well as MODIS images of the overflowing Jacuí River. CNN has before-and-after Maxar imagery of Porto Alegre ..read more
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