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If: A Mind-Bending New Way of 
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David J. Smith
A Mind-Bending New Way
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This Child, Every Child: A 
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This Child Every Child
David J. Smith
A Picture Book About
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If the World Were a Village SECOND EDITION
If the World Were a Village

David J. Smith

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If America Were a Village
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David J. Smith
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Click here to see all the hotlinks from Previous Years:

2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999 - 1998 - 1997 - 1996

Note: links (over 500) are not maintained and may not work.

Hotlinks For 2006 By Date

1 to 8 January, 2006

Gallery of Map Projections

These are mostly just outline maps in PDF format, and the documentation is a little limited, but if you're looking for a specific projection, or wonder about an easy way to compare two projections, you will probably find what you want here.

8 to 15 January, 2006

Airline Route Maps

A very interesting site. Airline In-Flight magazines usually have maps to show the airline's various routes; here's a collection of many of these maps. They range from the factual, clear, and straightforward to the strangely folksy and imponderable. You may do better for a particular airline's routes to go to that airline's web site, but for general comparisons, and fun with route maps, this is a good place to visit.

15 to 22 January, 2006

U.S. Geocoder

Very simple; enter any US address into their small interface, and the program uses US Census Bureau TIGER/Line data to find the latitude and longitude of that US address -- for free. You can also download their web-services API and program your own website to do geocoding.

22 to 29 January, 2006


A number of geographic tools, using Google Maps and various databases. "Place Finder" uses a database of 5.5 million records to produce a map showing the location you enter; "Location Finder" gives Lat/Long for any place you select in the Google Map interface. Others include "Time Zone and Local Time Finder", "Height Finder", "Sunrise/Sunset Time Finder" and "Distance Finder", which calculates the straight-line distance between two points using a Google Maps interface.

29 January to 5 February, 2006

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

From the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, a rich and interesting site full of information and links about Alaska Native knowledge systems and "ways of knowing". Deeply embedded are some wonderful maps, for example this one, which is a clickable map of Tlingit Tribes, Clans, and Clan Houses.

5 to 12 February, 2006

Utah Atlas of Panoramic Images

Dr. William Bowen at Cal State Northridge has a new project; it is "photorealistic mathematical simulations" of the Utah landscape, created from satellite imagery by computer calculations". Very vivid, and a fascinating look at a complex landscape.

12 to 19 February, 2006

The Year in Geography

Ben Keene, the editor of Oxford University Press's Atlas Program, takes a look at some of the geographical changes in the world during 2005. This page is found in the OUP blog, which is itself worth exploring deeply.

19 to 26 February, 2006

Canada Election Map, 2006

On the Canadian Cartographic Association's Blog, one user complained that there were plenty of maps of the US elections, but none of the recent Canadian elections. Another user took up the challenge and produced a couple of maps, showing the winning parties and the percentage of the vote the winners garnered. For comparison sake, there's a similar map for the 2004 election. The political landscape appears to be changing in Canada.

26 February to 5 March, 2006

Olivo Barbieri's Model World

Metropolis Magazine examines modern life through design; this link on their website takes you to images created by Olivo Barbieri -- aerial images of populated cities that look unreal because they are so detailed and so clean and appear to be models. He achieves the distinctive look by photographing from a helicopter using a tilt-shift lens. Worth spending some time here, and thinking about his passion and his mission.

5 to 12 March, 2006

Humane Borders

Between Oct. 1, 1999 and Sept. 30, 2004, more than 650 migrants died in the deserts of southern Arizona. Humane Borders provides maps showing water stations, U.S. Border Patrol emergency beacons, and the locations of migrant deaths, in the hope of reducing the number of deaths. They say they offer only humanitarian assistance to those in need, and are not encouraging illegal immigration but just trying to reduce the death toll of those who do try to migrate. In any case, the maps are fascinating.

12 to 19 March, 2006


From the United Nations University. This interactive map shows the impact of human society on the ecosystems of the world. Select a region, select a data set (population, agriculture, climate, economy, etc.) or select a prepared thematic map (biomes, human impact, land cover, etc.). Very powerful views of human impact on the Earth.

19 to 26 March, 2006

UNEP/GRID-A Maps and Graphics

An on-going project to collect and catalogue maps and graphics that have been published over the last 15 years on the subject of environment and sustainability. There are over 300 graphics available, and the offerings on this page change daily, though you can search the library and see what the possibilities are. Pass your cursor along "latest graphics" and you get a thumbnail of each one. Very well-organized and user-friendly archive of maps and graphics.

26 March to 2 April, 2006

The Nuclear World

A series of interactive maps. The focus here is on the world and the nuclear weapons and energy production by country. The maps are not very impressive, but they are certainly readable. By contrast, the Nuclear Map of Canada also combines nuclear energy and weaponry, but does so with great style.

2 to 9 April, 2006

Social Explorer

A project of Queens College at City University of New York, and sponsored by the National Science DIgital Library, the New York Times, and others, "Social Explorer" is a Flash mapping tool that explores U. S. census data from 1990 and 2000, and is gradually building its way back to 1790. The interactive map is well laid out and clear but the real power is in the ability to take snapshots of maps that you create, then have them played back in a slideshow. Though this might be of limited use when looking at just one year's census data, it is illuminating when looking at changes over time.

9 to 16 April, 2006

The Changing Shape of Ontario

The political entity we now know as Ontario was originally created in 1791 when it was called Upper Canada. Since that time, in response to population growth and administrative needs, there have been numerous changes to its boundaries, both external and internal. In addition, townships, villages, towns and cities have frequently merged, and counties and districts have re-organized to meet changing needs. The exhibit focuses on the evolution of the province's boundaries and administrative regions as it is depicted through maps. Most of the maps are in jpeg format and are large enough to be easily legible.

16 to 23 April, 2006

American Memory

Panoramic maps were popular in the 19th century in Canada and the United States. The maps were usually of a town or city and drawn at low oblique angles. Most were published independently, not as plates in an atlas or in a descriptive geographical book. Preparation and sale of nineteenth-century panoramas were motivated by civic pride and the desire of the city fathers to encourage commercial growth. Many views were prepared for and endorsed by chambers of commerce and other civic organizations and were used as advertisements of a city's commercial and residential potential. The U.S. Library of Congress's American Memory collection has a number of these panoramic images available for viewing online, most of cities and town in the United States but also some from Canada.

23 to 30 April, 2006

Ski Resort Maps

Commercial artist James Niehues is responsible for a large number of panoramic ski resort maps -- those bird's-eye-view illustrations showing all the runs. A lot of them are available on his web site: there are galleries for eastern U.S., western U.S. and international resorts, as well as regional views and summer resorts. Fun, colorful, and interesting.

30 April to 7 May, 2006

The Cartography of Brazil

From the collection of the National Library of Portugal comes this collection of more than 300 maps of Brazil and South America, dated from 1700 to 1822. The original object was just an inventory of these maps; it's now a fascinating online collection.

7 to 14 May, 2006

Country Population, Density, and Area

The Hive Group, manufacturer of visual interfaces for websites, has posted a tool to help people compare population, area, and density, sortable by country and continent and numerous other aspects. A fascinating javascript application that allows users to specify how countries are grouped, and how they are represented. Very powerful tool for understanding difficult concepts.

14 to 21 May, 2006

Paleogeography and Geologic Evolution of North America

From Dr. Ron Blakely of Northern Arizona Univ., a collection of brilliant maps showing the appearance of North America at different stages over the past half billion years. Light reference lines show present state and provincial borders. Also see his Global Views in different projections.

21 to 28 May, 2006

Linguistics Survey Maps

Ever wondered about all the different regional variations in the U.S. for the names of different things -- long sandwiches with layers of meat, cheese, etc., or the generic word for fizzy drinks? Colleen Mullin has posted a number of maps that try to show the extent of different regional names for different things. One map, sandwiches, plots Bomber, Grinder, Hero, Hoagie, Sub, and "other"; another plots "you", "yous", and "y'all" among others. Each map has a small amount of anaylsis.

28 May to 4 June, 2006

Milestones in the History of Cartogaphy

"An illustrated chronology of innovations" by Michael Friendly and Daniel Denis at York University in Toronto; maps begin at 6200 B. C. and run to 2000. Included are links to images and descriptive text. There are links to both well-known and not so well-known data visualization examples. The written descriptions / historical narrative is also available in a pdf format, complete with active links to the images being discussed.

4 to 11 June, 2006

On-Line Aeronautical Charts

Select an airport, VOR, or fix, and you are shown that airport on a currect aeronautical chart; you can drag the map to scroll around the area, zoom way out or way in using a slider, double-click on a new location to re-center. You can use IATA/FAA or ICAO codes (KSBA or SBA for Santa Barbara, for example); you can use all the FAA variants -- 2-letter-2-number (IA01 for Ridge, Iowa), 1-letter-2-number (M31 shows Arnold, TN), etc. Mainland US airports only.

11 to 18 June, 2006

Between Friends

In an effort to let Americans know how much we mean to them and how much they mean to us, the Canadian embassy in the Washington, D. C. has built a website to "give American citizens a better sense of Canada's role in North American and Global Security. But the site is also about friendship; the embassy has published two 30 x 22.75 inch maps showing the inter-relationship of the two countries. It is available in two separate pdfs - one showing Canada (4.18 MB), the other showing the United States (6.39 MB). Both maps are filled with little snippets of information (Canada was the Peach State's largest trading parnter in 2004 or "Over half of the oil and gas produced in Alberta is exported to the U.S.), attractive and worth a read.

18 to 25 June, 2006

Views Of The Earth

Christoph Hormann, a German mapmaker, has taken satellite images of various interesting parts of the world and reprocessed them. The results are breathtaking -- you view a feature from a height, on a cloudless day, with the Earth's curvature and other factors visible. Very beautiful, worth spending a lot of time exploring.

25 June to 2 July, 2006

National Atlas Reference and Outline Maps

The National Atlas has prepared reference and outline maps of the United States that you can print or use online. The reference maps display general reference features such as boundaries, cities, capitals, major highways, rivers and lakes, and terrain. Outline maps showing county boundaries, state boundaries, capitals, or other basic features are also available. Maps without labels are included for students and teachers of American geography. The maps are in color, but will also print or copy well in black and white. A great resource.

2 to 9 July, 2006

Old London Maps

A brilliant collection of maps and views of London from the 16th to the 19th century. There are also hundreds of pages of articles and information about the maps, and about old London. Easy to navigate, and absolutely fascinating.

9 to 16 July, 2006

Folk Songs for the Five Points

Part of New York's Lower East Side Tenement Museum, a Flash map of the "Five Points" area of Manhattan, allows users to access sound files tied to specific locations. The map lets users control which sounds to listen to and the balance and volume of each. Sounds include songs, conversations and every day street noise. The idea is to create your own "folk songs" by remixing and overlaying a range of sounds taken from New Yor's Lower East Side.

16 to 23 July, 2006


A fun little mashup, using the Google Maps API and weather data from NOAA. Enter a US zip code or City and State, and the map moves to the designated place, and shows you a week's forecast. You can also use the map as a Google Map, zooming in, combining the street map with satellite imagery, and so on.

23 to 30 July, 2006

Housing Maps

A really useful mashup of the geography of Google Maps and the "properties for sale/rent" sections of Craig's List. The result is a very useful and friendly map that shows properties all over the U.S., in price ranges and in various categories. You can also filter the results in various ways, to show, for example, only those rental properties in Austin that allow cats and that cost under $1500 per month.

30 July to 6 August, 2006


One of the many, many "News Map" mashups, this one uses the Google Maps API and mashes it up with the Yahoo! News Search API. The resulting application is really quite simple, and fun to buzz around on. If you're a news junkie, this is likely the quickest way to read news, by country. Click on the continent and then click on a country from the Google Map, and recent news stories display in the right hand panel instantly.

6 to 13 August, 2006

World Language Mapping

Dr. Steve Huffman has classified languages into broad categories, and has produced a series of colorful and informative maps; these are very high-definition maps of the world, showing language distribution around the world. The maps are available for review on-line, and also as pdf documents, designed to be printed in large formats.

13 to 20 August, 2006

North Carolina Colony and State Maps

From the State Archives of North Carolina, a large collection of North Carolina Colony and State Maps. For each map, there is a thumbnail, and then a full-size jpg image, and an ExpressView image, which is a .sid file viewable in ArcView with the correct plugin, or using a MrSid viewer, available here.

20 to 27 August, 2006

Barnard's Photographic Atlas of Regions of the Milky Way

This remarkable 1927 collection of images of the Milky Way has been fully digitized and mounted on a Georgia Tech web site. You can browse by region, or search for a specific plate within ranges.

27 August to 3 September, 2006

Merging Internet Map Sites

Idelix has created a web application that takes Live Local, Google Maps, and Yahoo!Maps and merges them on a single map. Enter an address, and you get all three maps of that location, in different layers. With a click, you can switch between maps, while keeping the location; you can also switch to photo imagery. There is also a "magnifying glass" function -- you can move it around the map to enlarge whatever is underneath, or you can turn it off.

3 to 10 September, 2006

Lightning Strikes

Lightning causes thousands of fires and millions of dollars in damage to buildings, communication systems, power lines and electrical systems. A map showing it's distribution across the earth should be of significant interest. That is why NASA has prepared this map of Lightning Strikes around the world. You can also read NASA's primer on Lightning by clicking here

10 to 17 September, 2006

The Journey of Mankind: The Peopling of the World

An animated map that displays the movement of the human race from its beginnings in the heart of Africa 160,000 years ago. From the website:"We are the descendants of a few small groups of tropical Africans who united in the face of adversity, not only to the point of survival but to the development of a sophisticated social interaction and culture expressed through many forms. Based on a synthesis of the mtDNA and Y chromosome evidence with archaeology, climatology and fossil study, Stephen Oppenheimer has tracked the routes and timing of migration, placing it in context with ancient rock art around the world."

17 to 24 September, 2006

ESA Gallery of Satellite Imagery

This is the European Space Agency's collection of satellite imagery; higher resolution images are now available online (previously, available images from ESA were scaled down and of a low resolution). More than 1,000 are currently online. The coverage is quite hit and miss, but there are some wonderful images here. Some of the images are enormous, and even on a robust connection can take a little while to load, but it's definitely worth a visit.

24 September to 1 October, 2006

Fuzzy Gazetteer

A featured page from the European Commission's Joint Research Center's Digital Atlas. The "Fuzzy Gazetteer" allows you to locate a geographic feature without knowing exactly how to spell it. Type in a name, and you get a list of similarly spelled (or misspelled) names, with latitude and longitude. The database is global and has over 7 million names. Each result is linked to a map.

1 to 8 October, 2006

Caught Mapping

From, the Internet Archive, comes this 1940 movie short on how the road maps of the time were made and updated. It runs just under 9 minutes, and can be streamed or downloaded in a variety of formats. It's views of automobiles and highways of 1940 are wonderful, and do stay for the end, where you'll see pictures of the "new, modern Pennsylvania Turnpike", with its original concrete roadbed and virtually no traffic. Valuable as a historical as well as a cartographic document.

8 to 15 October, 2006

The Impossible Map

From the National Film Board of Canada comes this remarkable animation, made in 1947, that tries to show how maps are misleading, no matter what projection may be used. Experiments with a grapefruit illustrate the difficulty of presenting a true picture of the world on a flat surface and it concludes that the globe is the most accurate way of representing the earth. The animation and narration are both remarkably dated for 2006, but they were remarkable in 1947.

15 to 22 October, 2006

London Underground Maps

One of the best-known and most readily identifiable maps, the London Underground map has an extensive history and lots of look-alikes. This site presents a collection of maps from 1889 to the present; even if you don't know London, the differences are fascinating.

22 to 29 October, 2006

ArcWeb Explorer

A very nice mapping tool from ESRI. It has all the usual features -- change from a road map to satellite imagery, for example -- but there are a couple of interesting features I haven't seen elsewhere. You can map a location by its telephone number; you can locate your computer (scary!); you can also upload your own Excel spreadsheet of coordinates or addresses or telephone numbers, and the tool will locate them all. There is also a "data view"; you can look at U.S. Census Bureau data for any location you've already placed on the map. There is also a good help page.

29 October to 5 November, 2006

The Trainspotters of Google Earth

The Trainspotters of Google Earth is a slideshow from Slate on the phenomenon of Google Earth users finding all sorts of arcane locations and caught images: "As a simulacrum of the Earth, Google Earth provides a safe space for unlimited voyeurism. You have instant access to forbidden or dangerous places. But mostly it's fun to hop around. Freed from physical constraints, the Google Earther perceives the planet as small, manageable, knowable, and interconnected. This bonhomie can be exhilarating."

5 to 12 November, 2006

Zoom Into Maps

A sampling of the Library of Congress's Geography and Map Division's 4/5 million maps -- digitized and available online. These are historical maps from their "American Memory" collections, and well worth spending time exploring. There really is something here for everybody. It's an extensive and impressive sampling.

12 to 19 November, 2006

USGS Earthquake Map

The USGS has an Earthquake Hazards Program that includes this interesting map -- the latest earthquakes in the world, those recorded within the last 7 days. It's not the most user-friendly map, but there is a limited zoom capacity, a color=time code and a size=magnitude code symbol system, and some interesting ways to play with it, including viewing regional maps and animations.

19 to 26 November, 2006

Storybook England

StorybookEngland plots the locations of children's books and stories. When a story is clicked, the locations in the story appear on the map. Clicking on a location leads to more detailed pages, and and hotlinks direct users to tourist pages for the different locations. Fun. Beware -- turn your sound off before opening, unless you're in a location where it won't matter: the site has pleasant but surprisingly loud music.

26 November to 3 December, 2006

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

One of Boston's legendary map collectors, Norman Leventhal, has partnered with the Boston Public Library to create the Map Center, aiming to preserve Leventhal's maps, and provide free public access to the collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases. Many of the maps are online, either individually or as part of online exhibitions. All maps are in Zoomify format; the free viewer is downloadable from

3 to 10 December, 2006

Atlantic Neptune Charts

The Atlantic Neptune is a magnificent four-volume atlas of sea charts and views of the east coast of North America, published during the American Revolutionary War by Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres (1722-1824). It has been scanned and posted online by the UK's National Maritime Museum. The atlas spans from the St. Lawrence River and Nova Scotia, to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.

10 to 17 December, 2006

Map Fold-outs

Carlos Furuti, at Progonos Consulting in Sao Paulo, has created an amazing set of "cut out and assemble" globes, based on nine different polygons, from relatively simple tetrahedron to complex and beautiful Rhombicuboctahedron. Select the fold-out you want to use to create your globe, print it, cut it, fold it, and glue it up to create your own "pseudoglobe" -- not quite a globe, but great fun.

17 to 24 December, 2006

Maps of War

A very interesting collection of moving maps; the creator doesn't give his name or any affiliation, but says he's a history buff and non-political. Maybe so. Featured maps include the Imperial History of the Middle East (5,000 years of history in 90 seconds), the casualties of US Wars and which presidents "led the United States into its deadliest wars", a little animation on CIA Secret Prisons, and more.

24 to 31 December, 2006

London: A Life In Maps

To accompany the British Library's new featured show, "London: A Life in Maps", the library has posted an online gallery called "London: A Life in Google Maps". You can explore London's history and geography across hundreds of years, and across all seven of the show's themes. Very powerful mash-up of google maps and cartographic content.

31 December, 2006 to 6 January, 2007

Acme Mapper

ACME Mapper mashes up Google Maps with TerraServer Data, including the USGS topo map series and Weather Radar, and presents very detailed and fascinating views. Many of the layers are limited to U.S. views -- even Vancouver, B.C. comes up empty when you ask for the Weather Radar layer -- but the domestic U.S. detail is imposing and surprising.


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