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.
4 to 11 January, 2009
Science On a Sphere
An amazing resource from NOAA. From the
website: "Science On a Sphere? is a large visualization system that uses
computers and video projectors to display animated data onto the outside
of a sphere. Said another way, SOS is an animated globe that can show
dynamic, animated images of the atmosphere, oceans, and land of a
planet. NOAA primarily uses SOS as an education and outreach tool to
describe the environmental processes of Earth."
11 to 18 January, 2009
Maps in Movies and
A project at the University of Bologna, mapsinliterature.it has also
developed this fascinating YouTube initiative of maps in Movies and on
TV. Besides Casablanca, movies include three Harry Potters, Mission
Impossible, and Raiders of the Lost Ark and more. Great fun.
18 to 25 January, 2009
World Water Map
UNESCO's "WHYMAP", World-wide Hydrogeological
Mapping and Assessment Programme, recently released its map entitled
"Groundwater Resources of the World". As UNESCO explains: "Due to water
shortage problems on local, regional and even global levels, the
interest in groundwater has increased considerably during the past
decades. In order to support the sustainable management of groundwater
resources, it is necessary to map, model and quantify the stored volume
and average annual replenishment of groundwater, while determining its
25 January to 1 February, 2009
World Health Map
This a a very useful reference site for
worldwide diseases and disease threats. Using feeds from all sorts of
public information sources, this creates a worldwide google map showing
all the locations with disease threats, and a click on any of the flags
gives you details on the particular diseases and threats. As with any
google map mashup, navigation, zooming, etc., are easy and intuitive.
1 to 8 February, 2009
Enter a location -- a town or city, or an
airport code, and hit 'submit' and you get the latitude and longitude of
the location, plus a static map (which also helps make sure that the
geo-coding is for the place you intended). Powerful and fun, friendly,
and possibly very useful.
8 to 15 February, 2009
This map, from the European Commission and the
World Bank, tries to give a graphic representation of how closely linked
formerly remote parts of the world have become. Different colors
represent travel time from any given point in the world to the nearest
city of 50,000 or more. It turns out that only 10% of the land area of
the Earth is remote enough so that more than 48 hours is required to get
to the nearest city. Fascinating. Downloadable.
15 to 22 February, 2009
of the US States With Their Mottos
A wonderful visit to the 50 United States' state
mottos. The artist, Emily Wick, specializes in linoleum prints, and the
link here leads you to a series of pages of these prints -- first, the
entire US, then, by clicking next, each of the 50 states in alphabetical
order. Explore the site a little, too.
22 February to 1 March, 2009
Abstract of the United States
The Statistical Abstract of the United States
is the authoritative compendium of demographic data, the "national data
book", created and supported by the U.S. Census Bureau. This site
allows searches, and also provides links to "tables of interest". Well
worth a visit and a bookmark.
1 to 8 March, 2009
WHO Programmes and
The World Health Organization provides hundreds
of programs and projects around the world related to specific health
issues, travel, and more. This page allows the user to review these
programs quickly and easily.
8 to 15 March, 2009
2012 Interactive Olympics Map
The 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in
Vancouver are still a year away, but even so, the organizers of London's
2012 Summer Games have put their interactive map online. There are all
sorts of ways to explore, to read news, follow a blog, read about
venues, look at photos and slideshows. Vancouver's website is also
comprehensive and interesting. There are many subcategories and lots of
information. You can check it out here.
15 to 22 March, 2009
Gallup Organization State-of-the-States Series
An interactive and useful look at comparisons
between US states based on 4 factors -- political party affiliation,
religiosity, consumer confidence, and job-market conditions. Briefly:
Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia are
most Democratic, 65% of Americans say religion is an important part of
their daily lives, and most Americans have little confidence in the
present economy. But explore and compare and see how much there is to
learn based on only these four factors.
22 to 29 March, 2009
NASA Image of the Day -- Las Vegas Growth
NASA's Earth Observatory has a wonderful series
called Earth Image of the Day. This particular page shows 6 images of
Las Vegas, presenting 25 years of phenomenal growth. But use this page
as a portal into the rest of the Earth Observatory site -- you can
browse by topic, by date, or just follow links to "next image" or
"previous image" and immerse yourself in this mind-boggling collection.
29 March to 5 April , 2009
Scale Model Cities
On this very interesting blog, the creator,
known as Tinselman, has -- among other things -- put together an archive
of scale models of cities around the world. There are 20 images here,
and links to more. As he says "nothing can be more impressive that a
gigantic city, rendered in miniature form. This is why I have gone to
incalculable trouble seeking out these scaled down wonders and bringing
them together in this handy archive. For your tinselistic enjoyment!"
5 to 12 April , 2009
The Planetary Society (motto: "making you a part
of the next age of exploration") has assembled the Mars maps of
Planetary Cartographer Phil Stooke. As the blogger, Emily Ladkawalla,
says, "a lot of this work on (can be found on) unmannedspaceflight.com
but I wanted to highlight it here because it is really exceptionally
cool to see how Mars came more sharply into focus with each orbital
mission." Worth a visit and a serious browse around the site.
12 to 19 April, 2009
The Pros and Cons of Google Maps
From the Online version of the German magazine
Der Spiegel, this article on "How Google Maps Can Save -- and Disrupt --
Lives". Google Maps, they point out, and particularly Google Map
Mshups, can be used to protect people from disasters, and can be
exploited for all kinds of political ends. I like the examples, and the
presentation seems quite thoughtful and rational.
19 to 26 April, 2009
Who's Buying What
Good Magazine has been using data from
Euromonitor International, and other sources, to put together a series
of "State of the Earth" maps; this one is "Who Is Buying What", and
links the top 10 and bottom 10 countries, by expenditures on clothing,
household goods, alcohol and tobacco, recreation, and electronics. Go
to their "State of the Earth" blog, and explore other maps, such as
"Who's Learning What".
26 April to 3 May, 2009
USGS Geography Blog
The USGS maintains this blog to showcase the
highlights of their work -- remote sensing, landform changes,
connections between the land and the people who live on it, and
"relevant science information to inform public decisions". A fascinating
page to visit, or sign up for a feed so you can read postings as they
come to you.
3 to 10 May, 2009
News Country Profiles
As part of their World News website, the BBC
provides these country profiles -- history, politics, and economic
background for countries and territories, plus background on key
institutions. Also included: audio and video from BBC.
10 to 17 May, 2009
NY Times Immigration
On this amazingly revealing interactive map, you
can select a foreign-born group or "all countries" and see how the
chosen group settled across the US during the last 13 census years.
Once you selected a year and group, mousing over any county gives you
the name of the county, and the population -- foreign-born and total --
for the selected year.
17 to 24 May, 2009
Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive
Just a list of stunning and amazing pictures,
with links. These are all the pictures that have been NASA Astronomy
Pictures of the Day, all the way back to June 16, 1995, 14 YEARS of
imagery. Everything of any kind of astronomical interest is here, from
"Possible Mud Volcanoes on Mars" to "Galaxy Group Hickson 44". Visit
and be surprised and fascinated.
24 to 31 May, 2009
"How can we unfold the Earth", says the creator
of this short film Jack Van Wijk. He explains "making a map of the
Earth is a classic problem. Here a new method is show: divide the
surface of the globe in many triangles and unfold it. Ten variations
31 May to 7 June, 2009
The Adversity Index, produced by msnbc and
Moody's, measures the economic health of 381 metro areas and all 50
states. Each area is shown as either in recession, at risk, recovering,
or expanding. Explore changes across time. Roll over a state to see
its particular numbers. Click on a state to see details for its metro
areas. Play it as streaming info from 1995 to the present, or select
any particular month or year. Fascinating.
7 to 14 June, 2009
Awards in Mapping
National Geographic sponsors several different
award programs. The AAG/NGS National Geographic Awards in Mapping were
recently announced, and are worth a look. These include a map showing
Europe's tallest buildings, a map of small-airline air service in rural
Canada, and an interactive map of Accra, Ghana. Other awards and other
maps are also shown on this page.
14 to 21 June, 2009
A fascinating collection of challenging and
imaginative geography quizzes and puzzles. These range from "how many
world countries can you type the names of in 5 minutes (that's 300
seconds to type 195 countries!), to "Fill in the map" quizzes, to "Guess
the city whose skyline is shown". If you go back to "categories", there
is a wide selection of other quizzes. Worth a visit.
21 to 28 June, 2009
Natural Resources Canada has a database called
MIRAGE (improbably, the acronym stands for "Map Image Rendering dAtabase
for GEoscience"). On the site, there is a new collection of maps and
data about the Arctic. It can be viewed and navigated online in
different sizes, and can also be downloaded. Their top page allows access to
different tools and many different maps.
28 June to 5 July, 2009
Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online
The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) is
referred to as a "vocabulary"; it is a resource presently containing
over 1,100,000 records of names; names may include English, other
languages, historical names, and more. Each record is a place. A quick
search for information can be dizzying -- a unique place (such as "North
Vancouver") yields one hit, with lat/long coordinates, type of place,
and links to at least one source of further information. But a name
that is common may have complicated results: a search for Fairview
yields 380 results. Fun to explore and a useful tool.
5 to 12 July, 2009
Reveals European Shipping Routes
These new maps, recently released by the
European Space Agency, map satellite tracking of shipping routes around
the European coast. This page has enormous detail about the maps
themselves and what they show, and links to more detailed maps and
descriptions. Also worth exploring are the other pages that are linked
from this ESA "Observing the Earth" page.
12 to 19 July, 2009
NASA Earth Observatory World of Change
The NASA Earth Observatory team has created a
page of images showing the changes in the Earth over the last decade.
Here you will find "before" and "after" pictures of changes in the
global biosphere, the Antarctic ozone hole, deforestation along the
Amazon, sea ice in the Antarctic and the Arctic, the breathtaking
evaporation of the Aral Sea, and much more.
19 to 26 July, 2009
The Great Circle Mapper
A simple idea, but an incredibly complex
database in the background. Put in any two world airports according to
their 3-letter FAA or IATA code, separate them with a hyphen, and hit
"Display Map" and you see not only a world map showing the great circle
route between the two points, but also the lat/long for both locations,
the initial heading for the trip, and the distance. Under the map,
click on any "location" and read all kinds of details about the airport.
Note that you can put in a long multi-let trip, even round-the-world:
try, for example, a route like SFO-JFK-LHR-SVO-NRT-HNL-SFO (San
Francisco, New York Kennedy, London Heathrow, Moscow Sheremetyevo, Tokyo
Narita, Honolulu International, and back to San Francisco).
26 July to 2 August, 2009
On June 29, NASA and Japan's Ministry of
Economy, Trade and Industry released a new world map. The map is a
compilation of 1.3 million ASTER optical images, and shows absolutely
stunning detail of the Earth's surface. This page, at the JPL/NASA
site, includes 3 close-up views.
2 to 9 August, 2009
Expeditions and Discoveries
Maps, photographs, and published materials from
Harvard-sponsored expeditions from the 19th and 20th centuries, as they
are reflected in the holdings of the museums, archives, and libraries of
Harvard University. Material can be searched by discipline or region or
9 to 16 August, 2009
Daniel Dalet's Outline Maps Archive
Daniel Dalet, of Digne, France, in
Haut-Provence, has posted thousands of outline maps in a variety of
formats at his site called d-maps. There are presently 4000 maps, each
in 6 different formats -- GIF, PDF, CDR, SVG, AI, and WMF. They are
free, and can be reproduced, even commercially, with only a few
conditions. This is a splendid resource.
16 to 23 August, 2009
Amadeus and UrbanRail have combined to bring
this site to the web -- Subway Maps of the world. At present, there are
141 maps, showing the subway systems of 70 European cities, 33 in the
Americas, 2 each in Australia and Africa, and 34 in Asia. Each one can
be opened in Word or Acrobat, or you can click on other icons to see
images from the different systems or to read about the city.
23 to 30 August, 2009
i-Hacked Interesting Google Maps
Dozens of sites archive funny or interesting or
weird google map locations; this is one that I enjoy browsing. To see
more such sites, search google maps for "interesting google maps" by clicking here.
30 August to 6 September, 2009
A Compendium of Beautiful
A collection of photos of some of the most
astonishingly beautiful libraries in the world. "Shocked into a library
induced euphoria, Curious Expeditions has attempted to gather together
the world's most beautiful libraries... We hope you enjoy them as much
as we do." The Curious Expeditions site gives as it's slogan
"travelling and exhuming the extraordinary past", and is definitely
worth a long and thoughtful browse.
6 to 13 September, 2009
Great Circle Mapper
Specify a couple of locations using airport
codes or lat/long, and the website returns the distance, direction, and
all kinds of other information. You can put in several codes at once to
see just how many miles that round-the-world flight will earn you.
Amazing source of information about navigation and flight planning.
13 to 20 September, 2009
Your City by Richard Florida
Richard Florida doesn't believe in telecommuting
as a replacement for the hard decision about where to live; he believes
that place is "not only important, but more important than ever". As he
puts it, "the world isn't flat, it's spiky... place exerts powerful
influence over our jobs and careers, and our ability to lead happy and
fulfilled lives." This site has 24 maps to help the decision about
where to live -- where singles are, where creative people can be found,
where income is highest, etc. Several of the maps include Canadian
cities and people.
20 to 27 September, 2009
Wall Street Journal Interactive Unemployment Map
An informative little interactive map, with US
unemployment rates, state-by-state, from December of 2007 to the latest
month for which data is available. Users can also compare up to 5
individual states on a graph.
27 September to 4 October, 2009
International Rapid Transit
Christian Lampel in Vienna maintains this
collection of links to metropolitan subway systems and to other
collections of links; there are some very useful resources here, and it
continues to grow.
4 to 11 October, 2009
Google Public Transit Page
Last week's link to transit sites led me this
week to Google Transit, a collection of transit information for more
than 426 cities. I've tried hard to fool it, but it has found all the
details of complicated trips in cities I happen to know my way around,
including new light-rail lines (such as Vancouver's Canada Line which
only started running 2 weeks ago). A very powerful tool.
11 to 18 October, 2009
The Western Illinois University Library
system has this very interesting page of links to online atlases for
each state. They are not all just atlases of modern or old maps, and
they are very different one from another -- interactive sites, map
viewers and map servers with various data layers, and also online
version of print atlases. Well worth bookmarking.
18 to 25 October, 2009
A Very Old and Odd Book of
This collection of pages from the US
Library of Congress's website presents a book from their collection,
entitled "Geographical Fun: Being humourous outlines of various
countries..." This is a collection of 150-year-old caricatures of
European countries, and very strange they are, indeed. Each country
features one or more characters and a bit of doggerel -- "uncompromising
friend of liberty Thy photograph ennobles Italy", for example. Worth
exploring as historical artifacts; these go way beyond "Italy looks like
a boot". Strange Maps, The Book
Strange Maps is a
marvelous blog, full of -- what else -- strange maps. The link above
will take you to the page at Amazon that presents the book that has been
created from this amazing blog.
1 to 8 November, 2009
"Van Map is a web-based map-system that lets you
have Vancouver at your fingertips". Fun to play with, and very helpful
in understanding the city's structure. The layers available are
extensive, and the map functions well. Maps like this are becoming more
available for many towns and cities; this is a very good example of how
such maps can function. The only hiccup is browser compatibility, which
given the map's dependence on java and activeX control, is
8 to 15 November, 2009
Worldmapper is a collection of cartograms --
world maps where areas or continents or countries are re-sized according
to the particular subject of interest, such as population, movement,
food, housing, and lots more. There are about 700 maps at the present
time, with several animations.
15 to 22 November, 2009
A few months ago, a UK company launched their
"Worldnames Mapping Service". The goal: help people find the origins of
their names, and how far it has spread around the world. Fascinating,
but imperfect. (example: My grandfather came from Lithuania, but when I
put in his surname, there were none shown for Lithuania.) Still, fun to
play with, both for the family history and for the geography lessons
22 to 29 November, 2009
A Googlemaps mashup with a simple concept, and
very interesting results. Select a book of the bible, and a chapter,
and get a map of the region where that chapter occurs. You also get the
text of the chapter, and you can select to read it in either the King
James or English Standard Version. For each map, pointers show you
specific locations, and a click on the pointer presents a little bit
about that particular place.
29 November to 6 December, 2009
Funny Place Names
Squidoo is a "publishing platform" that provides
a place for people to create pages with everything they know about a
topic. This page, Funny Place Names, is a chance to review all those
weird and sometimes slightly rude names that make some towns really
distinctive. There are actually four towns called Podunk in the US; the
town of Quidhampton in Wiltshire means "home of people famous for their
cattle's dung", and there really is a place called Loveladies, in New
Jersey. Warning: Entertaining, but some of these are a little r-rated.
6 to 13 December, 2009
A really fascinating simulation -- CO2
emissions, birth rates, and death rates, all shown on a world map in
simulated real-time. A little starburst means 1 birth, a dark burst
means 1 death, and colors of countries change to show their emissions.
Also, mouse over individual countries, and read their specific birth and
death rates and emissions data. In the lower right, a little table
counts up how many people have been born, how many have died, and how
many tons of emissions have been produced since you opened the page.
13 to 20 December, 2009
The Vote for NYC Mayor
The NY Times has created a really interesting
map showing the votes for Michael Bloomberg and his opponent in 2009 and
in 2005, and comparing the change. These maps look at the vote
block-by-block throughout the 5 boroughs. A very clear and very
intelligent use of a simple map to explore a complex topic. Worth a
20 to 27 December, 2009
Several years ago, Lufthansa created its first Virtual Pilot
game, challenging players to click on the "correct city" in a set amount of time.
Recently they rolled out "Virtual Pilot 2", which not only is a more sophisticated and
interesting online game, with more detailed and colorful maps, but also offers
interesting prizes, including travel on Lufthansa. It does require that you register,
but they request minimal information. You are given 2 hints for each destination and
then have to click as close as possible to the spot that represents the location. You
can play a wine tour, a sightseeing tour, a taste tour, or an artifact tour. There are
also games available on facebook and twitter.
27 December 2009 to 3 January 2010
The United Nations' International Strategy for Disaster
Reduction recently put this interesting "stop disaster" game on the web. The basic idea
is to develop strategies for reducing the number of dead and injured following disasters
triggered by natural events and hazards, such as floods, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
Even if you don't play the game, there are many, many resources, especially for teachers
and parents but not limited to that audience, as well a video clips and all kinds of
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