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. Mapping the World
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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 2010 By Date

3 to 10 January, 2010

Cool Globe Gallery

From their website: "Local, national and international artists, as well as school children designed the globes using a variety of materials to transform a plain white sphere to create awareness and provoke discussion about a potential solution to global warming. Each globe is five feet in diameter, seven-and-one-half feet tall and weighs 2,300 pounds." Remarkable results, very interesting discussion, good resources.

10 to 17 January, 2010

Maps that change how we see the world

One of the great "green" sites is; full of information to help mainstream the idea of sustainability, the site has an amazing collection of information, tips, ideas, images, events, etc. This page is their collection of "Amazing Maps Changing How We See The World".

17 to 24 January, 2010

Gigapan Cameras and Images

A site for slow browsing and exploring. The Gigapan cameras are designed to capture very high resolution panoramic images, and the results are posted on this website by the user community. There are some breathtaking images, and the detail is astounding -- you can zoom in and zoom in and keep on zooming in. Worth bookmarking, and worth making several visits.

24 to 31 January, 2010

NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day

Every day, NASA publishes an Image of the Day on its Earth Observatory website. You can browse these images going back 10 years (the image for this same week exactly 10 years ago shows radar topography from the space shuttle, with a link to the mission homepage. The image highlighted in this link shows how cold December 2009 was in the Northern Hemisphere, compared to average temperatures. Lots of cold temperatures this winter, all over the northern world.

31 January to 7 February, 2010

Globetrotter Game

In many ways, this game is very similar to the Lufthansa Virtual Pilot game mentioned here previously. Check that one out. In this game, Globetrotter, you are given a city to locate on a world map; your score is based on how close you click to the actual location of the city (a little circle appears to show you), with a little bonus for faster time. Each level asks for one more city, a higher score, and gives you harder maps. An interesting challenge.

7 to 14 February, 2010

Parag Khanna on the future of borders

TED is a small non-profit organization that sponsors an annual conference bringing together people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, and Design. There are other conferences as well, and all sorts of interesting information and ideas on their website. Many of their speakers are available in clips on the website; this one is Parag Khanna, described as a "geopolitical expert", talking about borders and the future of threats, power, and influence in the future. After you've watched this clip, explore the site. There is lots here.

14 to 21 February, 2010

David Rumsey Map Collection Blog

The David Rumsey Map Collection has more than 21,000 maps and map images available online; it is divided into really useful categories, and it would be easy to spend a lot of time just browsing and reading and enjoying the content. But click on 'blog' on the top Navigation Bar, and then within the blog, click on "All Categories" and you'll find even more; one featured section right now has 19th centry maps made by children; eye-opening.

21 to 28 February, 2010


The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is part of the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona in Tucson. They use data files from the NASA Ames archives and create amazing Hi-Res imagery. This week's link takes you to the images from September of 2009, containing more than 1500 images of the Martian surface. Spend time exploring. You'll discover new things with every click.

28 February to 7 March, 2010

UK Data Portal

The Public, beta launch of the long-awaited online point of access to UK "government-held non-personal data". It's purpose is to provide a pathway into the huge collection of government data held by UK governments and agencies. To see the richness of what's here, click on "Data" and then "List all datasets". On the first day the site was online there were 3000 datasets, including road injuries, disease occurence and disease-related deaths, a dataset called "waiting times", and much, much more.

7 to 14 March, 2010


A very cool "moving map" from the UK National Archives. In their words, "This unique resource reveals geo-political change in the 20th century. Move between points on the timeline for a world overview. A particular time or region can be viewed in more detail by choosing the zoom view. Hotspots also appear on the maps - click on these for more information about each region and to download further resources."

14 to 21 March, 2010


Select a map -- USA, North America, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Oceania, or South America. On the map, little yellow dots appear. Mouse over any of those dots, and you see the front page of one of today's newspapers from that city. The image is readable as is, but is also zoomable. Even better, you can show the newspapers in a list instead of a map, or in a "gallery" of front pages, shown alphabetically. Powerful and fun. All daily general-interest newspapers are invited to participate; the only ones shown are those that voluntarily submit their front pages for the newseum.

21 to 28 March, 2010

The Known Universe -- American Museum of Natural History

In 1957, Kees Boeke created "Cosmic View", a series of drawings illustrating what it would be like to travel further and further out into space, keeping our planet in the middle; in 1977, Charles and Ray Eames made this into a video entitled "Powers of Ten", because it moves out from the center ten times further at each step -- 1 meter, then 10 meters, then 100, and so on. On January 20, the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is this amazing movie from The American Museum of Natural History, showing their visualization of what it would be like to zoom out from the Earth, across the known universe, to the limits of our present knowledge and understanding. Very powerful and fun.

28 March to 4 April, 2010

The Falkirk Wheel

An amazing feat of engineering, a work of art, and about as elegant as something mechanical can be. The Falkirk Wheel is a Rotating Boat Elevator that moves boats, up to 8 at a time, between two canals. The location is Falkirk, Scotland, about midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow. In fact, the wheel was built as part of a plan to resurrect boat traffic between Glasgow and Edinburgh. There is also a good article in wikipedia

4 to 11 April, 2010

Detailed World Map

This site offers a free map of the world, with "three-dimensional" landforms, nice natural colors, and an amazing number of labels. You can play with the map online -- it's interactive and thoughtfully designed for web use -- or you can download it to print as a desk or wall map. It's huge -- 43 MB. There are links to other versions.

11 to 18 April, 2010

NWS Info by Airport

The National Weather Service's Central Weather Service Unit maintains the links on these maps. The first map is the conterminous 48 United States; a pull-down menu lets you select other maps. For each map, airports are shown. Locate the airport whose weather you wish to know about, mouse over it, and you get the full aviation weather observation the last time it was taken -- usually on the hour. The color of the dot gives you immediate information on conditions -- a simple + sign, for example, means clear, no ceiling, VFR flying conditions (the key is below the map). A wealth of information; a glossare helps interpret some of the aviation shorthand. ("METAR" is aviation shorthand for "aviation routine weather observation report".)

18 to 25 April, 2010


Vpike provides an easy and intuitive way into google's street views, driving directions, traffic conditions, etc. You can simulate a drive-by of a place you're headed, to see what it will look like when you get there. Street views are available for US Metro Areas, US Airports, and lots of other places.

25 April to 2 May, 2010

Cities At Night From Space

From NASA's Earth Observatory: "Astronauts circling the Earth have the wonderful vantage point of observing the nighttime Earth from 350-400 kilometers above the surface, taking in whole regions at once. Onboard cameras and a bit of experimentation allow astronauts to take highly detailed images of our cities at night and share them with the rest of us."

2 to 9 May, 2010

Cities at Night World Tour

Following on from last week's hotlink, here is a video shot from the Space Station, showing the station's progress over notable Earth cities at night. The narrator names the cities, and adds interesting comments about colors and shapes and sizes. NOTE that this video is a 126 MB mpeg movie that will open easily in quicktime, but even on a robust internet connection will take a few minutes to load, but it is well worth the time and effort.

9 to 16 May, 2010

Twelve Mile Circle

A Blog about strange, interesting, or just quirky aspects of geography and maps. The author goes in several different directions, not all of them exactly geography related, but all, somehow, related to maps and his interest in maps. The link above takes you to the index page; good titles for each entry help in the decision about where to browse. Worth a look.

16 to 23 May, 2010

The Breakup of Antarctic Ice Shelves

From NASA's Earth Observatory. The six images here document the collapse of the Larsen-B Ice Shelf in 2002, with long and detailed annotation. There are also links to information and views of the collapse of other Ice Shelves, and under the heading "World Of Change" there are links to all kinds of other significant change -- from the evaporation of the Aral Sea to Water Level in Lake Powell.

23 to 30 May, 2010

Gulf of Mexico Oil Well Leak

Starting from 21 April, NASA's Earth Observatory has been documenting with satellite imagery the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well, and the spread of oil since then. NOAA has also been tracking the oil, particularly from the point of view of its effects on boating and fishing. The NOAA site is here

30 May to 6 June, 2010

California Fault Activity Map 2010

Two new maps of California from the California Geological Survey. One is a new Geologic Map of California, the other the new Fault Activity Map, showing all kinds of new data since the previous version. These are all-digital, and can be viewed online, or ordered through links on this page.

6 to 13 June, 2010

Stop Disasters

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 information.

13 to 20 June, 2010

Demographics of Fast Food in the US

Lexicalist is a really interesting site about words. Their servers scan the web "to learn who's talking about what. The result is a demographic picture of language in actual use". This page shows regional strengths of various Fast Food restaurants; a click on any map brings you more demographic information about that particular fast food chain.

20 to 27 June, 2010

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Demographics Page

This is just one example of the powerful demographic data available online in various government websites. This one happens to be the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and includes all kinds of profiles and data. The U.S. Government's official web portal is USA.GOV.

27 June to July 4, 2010

Bing Maps Watch

An interesting blog by Joshua Peterson, tracking new and thoughtful uses of Bing Maps. Always a few good ones here; worth checking regularly.

July 4 to 11, 2010

BBC -- Mapping the Oil Slick

Many different agencies are mapping the extent of the Gulf of Mexico oil slick. The BBC has a thoughtful (and scary) map that shows the extent of the slick at different points in time. The Deepwater Horizon Unified Command has a much more sophisticated interactive map, with many layers, which you can view by clicking here.

July 11 to 18, 2010

Early Urban Rail Transit Maps

From the University of Chicago's Map Collection, this page presents links to some late 19th-century and early 20th-century maps of Urban Rail Transit systems. Read the introductory paragraphs to understand some of the content issues and biases of these maps. Great browsing, especially for any city you happen to know.

July 18 to 25, 2010

Airline Schedule Changes And Available Seats

From USA Today, an interactive map that will confirm for you your suspiciaon that airlines serving US cities do not offer the same capacity from Point A to Point B as there used to be. Airlines can change flying capacity two ways. One is to change the number of daily flights on a route or at an airport, and the other way is to change the size of planes. Both affect the number of seats. USA TODAY chose to examine changes in the number of seats because that method takes into account both kinds of capacity changes.

July 25 to August 1, 2010

US Senate Races -- Solid Seats and Seats in Play

From the NY Times, a fascinating interactive map attempting to quantify the Senate seats that are up for grabs, and to predict possible outcomes. This map shows 35 seats that are solidly Republican and will continue to be so, 48 that are solidly Democratic and will continue that way, and 17 that are "in play", leaning one way or another or just tossups. Another map, showing the same kind of data but for this year's House races, is available here.

August 1 to 8, 2010

Find a Human To Talk To

Not geography exactly, but so useful... Have you ever called "Customer Service", found a robo-voice telling you how valuable your call is, and ended up saying to yourself, "not another voice prompt; how do I get to a real live human being?" Turn here. This is really useful website that gives phone numbers and shortcuts to real human beings for a growing list of nearly 2000 companies.

August 8 to 15, 2010

Global Temperature Anomalies, May 2010

From NASA's Earth Observatory. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies assembled temperatures for May, 2010, and created this map comparing temperatures in May this year against average temperatures for the same month from 1951 to 1980. You can quickly see areas that are well above normal (particularly the Arctic, areas that are well below normal (western North America and central South America as well as the Pacific side of Antarctica). A really helpful page of text explains the map, and links to a couple of references.

August 15 to 22, 2010

The Most Dangerous Roads in the World

From the Dark Roasted Blend blog, this amazing series about the world's most dangerous roads. There are 7 sections of this series; looking at these routes and the vehicles on them will take your breath away -- tiny mountain roads, on the edge of a precipice, badly-maintained, and with large transport trucks trying to pass each other.

August 22 to 29, 2010

Google Maps Mania

There are so many remarkable things that can be done with Google Maps that it's really challenging to stay up-to-date with all the options and tools and services. Google Maps Mania is one of the better websites that tracks Google Maps news, mashups that are being developed, and the new tools and options being released. Worth bookmarking.

August 29 to 5 September, 2010

Light Pollution Maps

Maps of the 48 contiguous states and the very most southern parts of Canada, showing the brightness created by artificial light at night. The data is from 1996-7, with some new data added from the Fall of 2001. Taken into account is the extra reflectivity added when there is snow on the ground. These are all based on The Night Sky in the World from the Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologia in Padua.

5 to 12 September, 2010

NASA's Mars Reconaissance Orbiter Site

This site brings together a wide variety of Martian views from the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter -- included are images and videos, and even a 4-page "Fun" area. Dig deeply -- there is a lot of content here, and it's breathtaking.

12 to 19 September, 2010

Print, cut, fold, and glue to make your own globe

A page of polyhedra, printed with world maps for folding into globes. Tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, and four other polyhedra, and for each shape there are several different maps. Print the map, print the instructions on how to fold, and have fun. Very cool stuff.

19 to 26 September, 2010

Indus River Flooding

More from NASA's amazing Earth Observatory. These are images from space of the Indus River on August 9, and again on August 12, showing the monsoon floods overwhelming the river.

26 September to 3 October, 2010

Greg's Cable Map

I knew there were lots of underwater cables, but this amazing Bing Maps mashup consolidates all available information about the undersea cable infrastructure, and shows details about well over 100 cables. For each cable, you can read about landing points, data transmission speed, and get links to the cable's website (if available). A fascinating resource.

3 to 10 October, 2010

How World Population is Distributed by Lat and Long

Bill Rankin (a graduate student in Science and Architecture at Harvard) has created a graphic illustration of the distribution of population, showing population by latitude and by longitude, superimposed on a world map. An eye-opener.

10 to 17 October, 2010

World Clock with World Information

Poodwaddle provides an interesting variety of Flash applets for free; one that I really enjoy is their World Clock -- the current time (which you can set for any time zone), plus population data, information on deaths, illnesses, the environment, and much more. Very interesting and informative.

17 to 24 October, 2010

WIldfire Map

"Thousands of wildfires large and small are underway at any given time across the globe. Beyond the obvious immediate health effects, this "biomass" burning is part of the equation for global warming. In northern latitudes, wildfires actually are a symptom of the Earth's warming." This page, and map, from NASA News and Features pages, tells a very powerful story.

24 to 31 October, 2010

Preserving the Waldseemuller Map

From the U.S. Library of Congress, a flash video about the digital preservation of the Waldseemuller map. "The Waldseemuller Map is not only preserved in a special case to slow its aging, it has been scanned and its digital copy is online for anyone to access and explore. The Library has also created advanced multispectral images that are crucial for fully understanding the physical map and for monitoring its conservation."

31 October to 7 November, 2010

Commuting Visualization Map

This map allows you to specify two separate zip codes, and it will show you the number of people who commute between those two areas, and the driving directions. Fascinating. The data is taken from the last Census Transportation Planning Package, so it may be 10 years old, but it is still fun and interesting.

7 to 14 November, 2010

Southwest Asia Map Game

A pleasant little puzzle game -- drag the names of the countries of North Africa and West Asia onto the correct locations on a map. Get it wrong, a red X appears and you get another chance. Some interesting political decisions were involved in the production of the map -- the inclusion of Palestine, and the attribution of Morocco's claim to Western Sahara, but not Mauritania's.

14 to 21 November, 2010

LEGO Relief Map of Europe

This site focuses on lots of things you can do with LEGO -- sculptures, mosaics, maps, and more. This particular page describes the creation and building of a LEGO Relief Map of Europe, using over 53,000 bricks, in an area 3.84 M square (12.6 feet). The site includes tutorials, and all kinds of fun ideas for using LEGO.

21 to 28 November, 2010

SEASONS Interactive

From the Lawrence Hall of Science at Berkeley comes this nifty little site in their "Science Education for Public Understanding Program". The first page is an introduction to some terminology; then click "continue to interactive" and you can move the model of the Earth slowly through a full year, and see how the relationship of the Sun to the Earth is responsible for the seasons. You can see the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and marvel that in Northern Winter, the Earth is actually about 5 million KM closer to the Sun than in Northern Summer. Lots of options and tools. Worth a visit for any teacher.

28 November to 5 December, 2010

Impact Earth

From Purdue University's website, a web-based program for calculating the regional consequences of a meteor impact on Earth. The user enters numerous parameters -- the diameter and density of the projectile, the angle and velocity of impact, the type of target, and how far from the site of impact the effects could be felt, and the server calculates atmospheric entry, energy expended, global damage, crater size, and several other outcomes for your particular inputs. Interesting and fun to play with, if a little bit like playing with Armageddon.

5 to 12 December, 2010

Geospatial Revolution

A remarkable series, under the aegis of Penn State Public Boradcasting. The link above is to the main page; begin by watching the trailer, about 5 minutes long; as the series is released, episodically, you'll be able to use this same link to see each episode. So far, the first two episodes have been released -- the first covering a Welcome and Intro and explanation of the importance of geospatial technologies; the second episode, just released, covers Portland, Oregon's efforts to be a truly interactive city, plus the ways that UPS uses geospatial technology to improve services, and a GIS application in Philadelphia that brought fresh food to underserved communities. The last episodes will be coming in March and April. Links are available for K-12 educators, and there are links to lots of other resources.

12 to 19 December, 2010

MacGyver: How To Use A Map

MacGyver was a TV series in the US from 1985 to 1992. Angus MacGyver is a resourceful and imaginative secret agent who never uses a gun, and solves problems by combining a lot of native ingenuity with duct tape, a swiss army knife, and his knowledge of all sorts of unusual uses for common items. In this excerpt on YouTube, MacGyver steals a map from some unnamed North African country, and uses it in a variety of ways to assist him in his getaway. As he says at the end, "just goes to show you, a good map will always get you where you want to go".

19 to 26 December, 2010

The Atlas of Canada

Natural Resources Canada maintains the Atlas of Canada, "Telling Canda's Story with Maps". It is an archive of remarkable depth, with a variety of categories for exploring, and a number of services available to users. Their most recent map is their new map of the North Circumpolar Region -- a detailed map of the world north of 50 degrees North Latitude; this map recently won first prize at an International Cartography Conference in Santiago, Chile, and is the International Cartographic Association's Map of the Month for November, 2011.

26 December, 2010 to 2 January, 2011

The New York City Roach Map

Because there is no 21st-Century Tool available for tracking roach infestations, a team of interested people in New York City have created a method that generates, from City Data, a map showing cockroach infestations in restaurants around New York City in the previous month. Click on the "learn more" link at the bottom to read about the people and the methodology. Fascinating. Other projects taht came out of the same "Great Urban Hack" can be seen by clicking here


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