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. Mapping the World
By Heart
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If: A Mind-Bending New Way of 
Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
David J. Smith
A Mind-Bending New Way
Of Looking at Big
Ideas and Numbers

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This Child, Every Child: A 
Book for Children About the Rights of Children
This Child Every Child
David J. Smith
A Picture Book About
The Rights of Children
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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
If America Were a Village
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 2008 By Date

30 December, 2007 to 6 January, 2008

The US Census Bureau

The US Census Bureau is the archive of all the data from hundreds of years of census-taking. To begin with, the top page offers a US and World Population Clock -- refresh the page and watch the data change. Then dig in to the site -- search by zip code, by town, by state, or by the whole US, using all kinds of variables. You can see historical data, and also read projections up to 2050. There's also a special Section for Teachers with teaching materials, reference brochures and reports, and a special web site called "State Facts for Students".

6 to 13 January, 2008

The Perry-Castaneda Library at Univ of Texas

The great map library. This is the place to go for that map you can't find elsewhere -- cities, countries, regions, modern and historical. An amazing resource, well organized and easy to use, and with links to other map archives as well.

13 to 20 January, 2008

Growth of a Nation

This brilliant 10-minute presentation illustrates the growth of the United States from the original 13 colonies to the 50 states of today. Make sure sound is on; you can play, pause, rewind. If you roll your mouse over states you can see their names, or click on individual states for more details. Click Rivers for their names. You can also play with the timeline by dragging the pointer to look at different periods more closely, or to expand the timeline decade by decade. An expanded version is for sale for classroom use.

20 to 27 January, 2008

Who Has The Oil

From the archives of The Atlantic Monthly, this simple cartogram that helps viewers contemplate and come to grips with the world's oil reserves, and in which hands they are found.

27 January to 3 February, 2008


Software professional Naveen Gabrani has started a nice geography website with information about different aspects of the world; it is definitely a work in progress, as only 10 countries are featured in the "countries" section, but there is a lot of other useful information, and an expectation of more to come.

3 to 10 February, 2008

Bible/Map Interface

A really interesting google maps mashup; select a version of the Bible (ESV or King James), then select a book and a chapter, and after a few moments, you get a map of the locations mentioned in that chapter. They suggest you begin by selecting Joshua 12, which has dozens of locations, just to see the power of this tool. You don't have to know anything about the Bible; it's a great tool for learning about the geography of the Eastern Mediterranean.

10 to 17 February, 2008

The Truth About Google Earth

A funny little video about Google Earth from Francois Grandjacques; a Parisian discovers one unexpected truth about Google Earth. Posted in

17 to 24 February, 2008

Our Dumb World

The Onion's new Atlas, "Our Dumb World", contains distorted stories and exaggerations about countries of the world; some of the distortions are funny because of the grains of truth they contain. The Atlas has now been posted on The Onion website, using a google mashup, and so you can explore the world through The Onion's eyes.

24 February to 2 March, 2008

Debunking Myths about the "third world"

In this lecture (it will take you 20 minutes to watch it on youtube, but you'll be glad you did), Hans Roslong, professor at Karolinsks Institute of Stockholm, gives an AMAZING presentation about how the world has changed in the last 40 years.

2 to 9 March, 2008

The Night Sky In The World

This Italian site tracks satellite monitoring of the artificial brightness of the night sky -- and therefore the visibility of the stars -- around the world. Though definitely Eurocentric, you can get to US maps as well. Also very powerful are the images of Earth Lights at night around the world, because of what these images tell the viewer about populations, about population density, and -- perhaps less intuitively -- about those places where people live with no lights, or minimal lights, at night.

9 to 16 March, 2008

FedEx Geography Ad

I'm not sure this is as funny as it's supposed to be, since it seems to say "it's ok to be geographically ignorant, because FedEx isn't", but at the same time, it says a lot about the present state of geography knowledge among adults. And it is pretty funny.

16 to 23 March, 2008

Lufthansa Virtual Pilot Game

The object of this game, found on the Lufthansa corporate site, is to land the jet in the specified city in Europe. In the first round, you are shown a name, and you have 8 seconds to click on the map, which has country borders and dots for cities. In the second round, no cities are shown, just national borders, and you have only 6 seconds. In the final round, only the European land mass is shown, and you have only 5 seconds. The first round is fun; the other two require speed, good mousing skills, and excellent geographic knowledge.

23 to 30 March, 2008

Bugaboo Daytrips

Bugaboo is a company that manufactures high-tech modern strollers for parents with young children; this site, which they sponsor, has interesting day trips in a variety of cities. Click on the city, read the details of one or more day trips around the city. Right now there are 19 cities, with up to 6 trips in each one. I examined the trips in the cities I know, and they look like interesting, well-thought-out trips.

30 March to 6 April, 2008


A powerful and dramatic method for viewing scenes in incredible detail, with unbelievably high-resolution photos. From their website: "GigaPan is the newest development of the Global Connection Project, which aims to help us meet our neighbors across the globe, and learn about our planet itself. GigaPan will help bring distant communities and peoples together through images that have so much detail that they are, themselves, the objects of exploration, discovery and wonder. We believe that enabling people to explore, experience, and share each other's worlds can be a transforming experience. Our mission is to make all aspects of the GigaPan experience accessible and affordable to the broadest possible community."

6 to 13 April, 2008

U.S. Atlas of Renewable Resources

The National Renewable Energy Lab is developing this dandy little web application that can give you distribution of wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal resources across the U.S., searchable by lat/long or by zip code.

13 to 20 April, 2008

Interactive World Map

A fun, interactive Physical Map of the World; the map uses Zoomify to allow users to scan, zoom in, examine details more closely, etc. The same creator, Tom Patterson of the U.S. National Park Service, has created a similar map of the conterminous U.S. states

20 to 27 April, 2008

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Interactive Atlas

A student project at the University of Wisconsin; this interactive map/atlas gives users an introduction to the ANWR, and then offers the opportunity to explore several categories, including Wildlife, landcover, people, and geography. Fascinating, perhaps best suited to younger explorers, since one of the options is to click on a "sound" symbol and hear the sound of different ANWR animals. This site was the 2007 winner of the North American Cartographic Information Society competition.

27 April to 4 May, 2008

The World Freedom Atlas

A project from course work at the University of Wisconsin, the World Freedom Atlas uses over 300 variables concerned with human rights, democracy, and good governance, and presents them in what they call a geovisualization tool. It covers a 16-year range, starting in 1990.

4 to 11 May, 2008

Shaded Relief

This site is designed for practicing cartographers, but there is a lot of material here for teachers, students, and any other interested visitors. The theoretical underpinning is that the presentation of topography can be clear, intuitive, and even attractive. Also see

11 to 18 May, 2008

New Jersey State Atlas

John J. Reiser is an employee of the State of New Jersey, and decided that he wanted to play with Google Maps and Mapserver and see whether he could make the public data accessible and easy to use online. The result is powerful and fascinating.

18 to 25 May, 2008

Map of US Per-Capita CO2 Emissions

Purdue scientists have released to a view of American carbon emissions that shows the release of carbon dioxide in an area, divided by the number of people who live in that area. You can see a low-res version online, or download a very hig-res version. There is an interesting discussion of what the map means.

25 May to 1 June, 2008

Why are online maps so often wrong?

An interesting discussion of why maps found online may not be correct; it's not necessarily laziness or bad cartography, but various systems to make the final maps more correct may lead to the errors we've all seen -- houses on the wrong side of the road, houses or stores located incorrectly on a street, and so on. This may help readers understand how to be a better-informed consumer of online maps.

1 to 8 June, 2008

Map Projections

Paul B. Anderson, a member of the International Cartographic Association's Commission on Map Projections, maintains this remarkable collection of 324 different map projections, sorted by type. There is also a very thoughtful collection of reference articles.

8 to 15 June, 2008

All Streets

Ben Fry has taken 26 million individual segments of the US map, showing only roads, and put them together. In his words: "No other features (such as outlines or geographic features) have been added to this image, however they emerge as roads avoid mountains, and sparse areas convey low population. This began as an example I created for a student in the fall of 2006, and I just recently got a chance to document it properly." A remarkable and fun and informative piece of work.

15 to 22 June, 2008

Cities at Night: The View From Space

A NASA archive of views of Earth's cities taken from space by astronauts. "By day, cities viewed from space can blend into the countryside, or appear as gray smudges, depending on the style of development and size of the urban area. At night however, city lights present the space observer spectacular evidence of our existence, our distribution, and our ability to change our environment." Also included on this page is a link to the NASA/NOAA "World Map of Nighttime Earth".

22 to 29 June, 2008

24 Hours On Planet Earth

A London-based site focused on a unique and quite interesting way to help eliminate plastic, and plastic bags in particular, from the landscape. The aim is to collect nominations for the most moving music on Earth, and assemble a CD, the proceeds from which would be used to create a charitable trust to pay localities for the plastic rubbish they collect and turn over to the folks at "24 Hours", who will undertake to remove, reuse, or recycle.

29 June to 6 July, 2008

2008 Statistical Abstract of the US

The authority on US statistics -- social, political, economic. This site allows you to browse sections and download tables you're interested in -- everything from Electricity Generation by Sectors to Students who Reported Carrying a Weapon to School. You can also open databooks for States, Counties, Cities and more, and read sections of historical tables. An amazing resource.

6 to 13 July, 2008

The Road to Copenhagen

An interactive website intended for all interested parties -- governments, businesses, members of Parliament, NGO's, and ordinary citizens -- to have input to the development of a statement to be given to the lead negotiators at the 2009 Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. The site is hosted by Margot Wallstrom, EU Vice President, by Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway and now UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, and by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland -- important people, trying to get input on an important and historic document.

13 to 20 July, 2008

American Memory Timeline

A page developed by the US Library of Congress, as part of the American Memory materials. Sets of primary sources on many topics are linked from this page by time period. A very useful and easy-to-use resource.

20 to 27 July, 2008

The Eggcorn Database

For people who love the oddities of the English language, a site devoted to phrases called "Eggcorns", which are words or phrases that are heard incorrectly, and thus spelled as though they were something other than what they actually are. Examples include such things as "Wreckless driving", "mindgrain" headaches, or standing "stalk-still". There are nearly 600 examples in the database.

27 July to 3 August, 2008

Leventhal Map Center

For years, Norman Leventhal has collected antique maps and other resources, and the only people who could see them on display were guests at his Boston Harbor Hotel. A few years ago, he donated the collection to the Boston Public Library, and the BPL now hosts the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center. The online site has been recently updated, with an improved "View Collection" feature, improved teacher resources, current event maps, and some fascinating "virtual tours".

3 to 10 August, 2008

Malaria Atlas Project

The Malaria Atlas Project website has two goals: to enable speedy communication between and among people working on the control of malaria, and to enable viewers to browse the malaria data that has been collected. The Data page includes links to all kinds of maps showing the ranges of malarial risk, and the Links page helps visitors get to other sources of all kinds of disease information. A site worth a visit.

10 to 17 August, 2008

The History of Cartography In A Nutshell

About five years ago Professor Valdimiro Valerio was asked to prepare a short article on the history of cartography for a multimedia presentation by the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza of Florence. He was astounded to learn that his article could only be thirteen lines long, but he nonetheless complied. This *is* a very short history of cartography, but still very comprehensive, and with footnotes and links to illustrations, it's very informative.

17 to 24 August, 2008

The Manahatta Project

From the site: "The aim of the Mannahatta Project is to reconstruct the ecology of Manhattan when Henry Hudson first sailed by in 1609 and compare it to what we know of the island today. The Mannahatta Project will help us to understand, down to the level of one city block, where in Manhattan streams once flowed or where American Chestnuts may have grown, where black bears once marked territories, and where the Lenape fished and hunted. Most history books dispense of the pre-European history of New York in only a few pages. However, with new methods in geographic analysis and the help of a remarkable 18th-century map, we will discover a new aspect of New York culture, the environmental foundation of the city."

24 to 31 August, 2008

GeoBC: BC's Geographic Gateway

The Province of BC has made available online what they call "a window to data and information sources provided by various ministries and agencies". There are interactive maps, including a tutorial, as well as all kinds of geographic information. A variety of search structures have been provided -- finding data, seeing how data is distributed, and more. Categories for browsing include archaeology and culture, fish, wildlife, and plants, forest, grasslands, and wetlands, fresh water and marine, land ownership and land use plans, and more.

31 August to 7 September, 2008


SatBeams is a lovely mashup of Google Maps with data from Earth Satellites and the entities, private and public, that sponsor them, allowing visitors to examine the Earth footprints of each of 226 satellites -- as they say in the "about" page, "everyone can find home on the map, and match its location with (satellite) coverage zones." The site includes news, an extensive FAQ, and useful links.

7 to 14 September, 2008

Toronto Star Map Of The Week Blog

The Toronto Star recently started this blog, "Map of the Week", and it's fascinating, useful, topical, interesting, fun. Maps so far have included historic maps, maps that show "things you can't see on google maps", such as military installations and factories, maps of fatal accidents, urban bees, and much more. Worth bookmarking.

14 to 21 September, 2008

Mapping Globalization

A site worth digging into; very rich, and multi-dimensional information about globalization. From their self-description: "The Mapping Globalization website is intended for everyone interested in globalization. The main goal... is to make empirical work on globalization as widely accessible as possible.... We are especially interested in raw data and in the visualization of such data, including maps and animations".

21 to 28 September, 2008

Center For Studies in Demography and Ecology

The Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at the University of Washington is a regional center that allows access to a wide range of demographic studies; their web site links all kinds of disciplines in interesting ways. At the moment, five "Signature Research Themes" are highlighted: Methods, Family Demography, Population Health, Migrants and Minorities, and Population-Environment Dynamics. The site is very densely packed with useful information.

28 September to 5 October, 2008

Peter Reynolds

A stellar author, illustrator, bookshop owner, and advocate for creativity in children of all ages, Peter Reynolds is the founder of Fablevision, a media company that does lots of original, whimsical, and life-affirming work; he is also owner of The Blue Bunny, a children's bookstore in Dedham, MA. Finally, he invites everyone to share his blog where he describes himself, accurately, as Author/Illustrator and Artful Educator. Spend some time with Peter and his work.

5 to 12 October, 2008


InLET is the Internet-Based Loss Estimation Tool, a web-based platform to evaluate the effects of disasters (the default disaster is a southern-California earthquake), and in particular to measure whether IT might be helpful in reducing the impact of disasters on transportation systems. Fascinating scenarios are possible, and the results very interesting.

12 to 19 October, 2008

InterRail Maps of Europe

InterRail is an organization created from the European Railway Union, dedicated to the rail needs of young people. They are the creators of all kinds of European rail passes -- across all of Europe, or one country at a time. Europe's dense railway network has over 40,000 stations; this page will take you to their map of Europe's entire rail network, and a selection of other maps, all in pdf.

19 to 26 October, 2008

Fantasy Cartography

A really fascinating blog, based on maps of places found only in various forms of fiction. Here's what they say about themselves: "It happens all the time. You're reading one of your favorite novels, and you wish you had a good map to use as a reference. Here you will find a collection of maps from various fantasy and science fiction works for your viewing. I might also include other goodies from literature, the Bible (not fiction), or television programs, movies, and video games."

26 October to 2 November, 2008

Free Vector Maps of the World

Download fully editable, royalty-free world maps, in Illustrator or editable-PDF versions. They are only available in two projections, but so what! These are dandy tools.

2 to 9 November, 2008

Maps That Matter

A fascinating and useful blog that seeks to offer views and links to maps that have a significant impact on geographical practice or knowledge, that have enduring value, elegance, and simplicity, and that are original and are cited and copied by others.

9 to 16 November, 2008

World Names

Search for a family name, and view a world map showing the distribution and frequency of the name, and various statistics, such as Top Countries, Top Regions, Top Cities, and Top Forenames. Fascinating to play with.

16 to 23 November, 2008

Find That Place

The link here will take you to the main page of The Times World Atlases. In the Nav Bar at the top, click "Find That Place". This wonderful little mashup allows you to find a place you are interested in, anywhere in the world. Put in a place with a unique name, for example 'Cuttyhunk', and you get the island off the coast of Massachusetts; enter a name which appears many times around the world, and you may be surprised -- 'Lincoln' returns 72 entries, 'Washington' 75 entries, 'Cambridge' 29 entries, and even 'Vancouver' returns 5 entries. Best of all, click on the entry that you want to see more closely, and you get a closeup from the Collinsworld world atlas, showing the entry on a navigable, zoomable page.

23 to 30 November, 2008

The Box -- BBC Tracks a Container

BBC News is following a container around world for a year to tell the story of globalisation and the world economy. A satellite tracking unit is being used to plot the container's route on a live updating map. The box started out with a cargo of Whisky from Scotland, destined for China, but its contents will change from port to port as it moves around the world.

30 November to 7 December, 2008

Electoral College Maps Through History

In addition to 2008, this site has electoral college maps for every presidential election since 1789. Some are very surprising; all are very informative, interesting both for the political stories they tell and also for the geographic stories.

7 to 14 December, 2008

How Globes Are Made

The Chicago History Museum's "Mapping Chicago: The Past and the Possible" exhibition also looks at Replogle Globes, Inc., which has been turning maps into globes in Chicago for over 77 years. Replogle is the world's largest globe manufacturer. This video, not quite 5 minutes long, show how globes are made at Replogle. Note especially at the very end the many different languages shown.

14 to 21 December, 2008

U.S. Navy Time Service Department

The Time Service Department is the Official Source of correct time for the U.S. Department of Defense, for worldwide Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and for U.S. Standard time. The website has all kinds of time-related features, including, of course, the correct time. There are features on GPS, on various systems of time, and even on "Leap Seconds", the extra second that is periodically added to world time to bring it into alignment with the actual transit of the Earth around the Sun. Interesting links include travel directions, the sky this week, and tracking Sun rise and Sun set.

21 to 28 December, 2008

Wandering Educators

Their main page says it all: "A Global Community of Educators, Sharing Travel Experiences". Good photos and stories, links to all kinds of travel services, a huge potential for people working with like-minded people around ideas and issues related to travel.

28 December, 2008 to 4 January, 2009

New York City CityMap

From the New York Times's review by Verlyn Klinkenborg: "At first, NYCityMap feels a little clunky, especially if you're used to navigating in Google Maps. But what's interesting are its hidden dimensions. With a few clicks, you can pull up an unbelievable wealth of information about any address or neighborhood. You can find the nearest greenmarket, the year of construction on almost any building, the record of restaurant inspections in the neighboring blocks, etc. In other words, the surface map is really a map to all the maps hidden within it. It is an extensive municipal guide to New York City, organized geographically."


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