Maps, maps, and more maps

The Internet is wonderfully, gloriously map crazy. There was one on the Huffington Post today, that sent me via a link to another site that had a bunch of maps, and then more links to more maps. Chances are you’ve seen some of these. All of them fascinating. Β Most can be enlarged by clicking on them. Some require two clicks for max size.

Antarctica superimposed over the United States. Big, isn’t it?:

Maps-Antarctica laid over the united states

Pangea with modern political borders added:

Maps-pangea with modern borders

Most famous brand in each state. Interesting. I agree with Sonic in Oklahoma. I think Coca Cola should have been in Georgia, and Colorado should feature Coors Beer:

Maps-the most famous brand in each state

Who smokes the most cigarettes (annual per capita)?

Maps-who smokes the most cigarettes (annual per capita)

There are more people living inside the circle than outside of it:

Maps-there are more people living n this circle than outside of it

What each country leads the world in. Good thing this one is BIG. This may be my favorite:

Maps-what each country leads the world in

Map of where cannabis is legal. Looks like the world has a way to go on this:

Maps-Map of where Cannabis is legal.

The United States superimposed on the moon. Interesting, if accurate. Not sure what I expected here:

Maps-To give some sense of scale- The United States overlaid on the moon

Annual hours of sunshine in Europe and the United States. Hmm, US hasn’t looked much like this recently:

Maps-Annual hours of sunshine in Europe and America

Ever wondered how big the Pacific Ocean is?

Maps-ever wondered how big the pacific ocean is

Land on earth where there is also land on the other side. And to think as a kid I tried to dig to China:

Maps-land on earth where there is also land on the other side

19 thoughts on “Maps, maps, and more maps

  1. The “What each country leads the world in” map is my favorite too PT, with the “Map of where cannabis is legal” coming in a close second. Would love to see one comparing the actual size of Africa in proportion to the rest of the world with the “politically correct” version I heard one in circulation for so long… πŸ˜€

    1. I got a chuckle out of Somalia’s contribution being pirates.

      This might be close to what you want. It’s the world divided into 7 zones with a population of 1 billion each. Looks like the notable areas are India/Burma and China(?)/North Korea:

      Maps-world divided into 7 zones with a billion people each

      By the way, I added two maps to the post that I accidentally left out last night.

        1. Ahh, I see. For some reason I was thinking relative population sizes. Yes, the video makes a very good point, I think. I wouldn’t go so far as to turn the map upside down, but popularizing the Peters projection and putting it in our schools sounds like a good idea (there were so many good ideas in “West Wing”!).

          For a copy of the Peters map and another explanation of the idea presented in the video, see What if I Told You the World Map is Wrong?

          1. Ha, that’s the one that launched my search in the first place. I was hoping to find a site where some Google map would autocomplete some funny maps like the one shown. Never found one.

        2. That was an amusing clip from West Wing, Izaak. Shortly after I retired for good I treated myself to a 12″ illuminated globe from National Geographic. That’s the only map that is geometrically distortion free and i use it often. Indeed, Africa is actually huge and Greenland is almost invisible. One of the more interesting aspects of using a globe during my Naval career was using a strip of paper to measure the effective radius of a Polaris SLBM (1″ = 600 nm.) It is surprising how few “targets” are not within range of navigable ocean water! But of course, with Trident missiles, anything can be hit and still leave all the oceans to hide in. Scary, huh?

          1. Scary indeed Jim. Kinda makes me wonder at the wisdom of maintaining fixed, land-based, launch sites, considering the relative ineffectiveness of so-called “hardening” when it comes to the high yield weapons of today.

          2. You are exactly right, Mak. The Trident boats are a much better way to go and it’s not just the hardening problem. The larger one is human psychology. On a ship you’ve got a crew of about 150 people interacting with one another and with careers that let them alternate with other types of subs as well. In the Air Force mode you’ve got a couple of guys sit around in a missile silo practicing authentication procedures for an event they’re sure will never happen. Boring and hardly a promising career. Hence the growing scandals in the USAF. The only thing keeping them going is inter-service rivalry. The flying part is diminishing too as they transition to drones. Ouch.

  2. Very interesting maps – nicely done, PT. I too have always loved maps of all kinds.

    This post got me thinking about nautical charts. When I was a navigator in the USN, keeping the charts up to date was a profession all its own. The enlisted rating that did this was “quartermaster”. Before any deployment we would order the appropriate charts, but that was only the start of the job. They were never up to date as printed because changes occurred regularly. Depths changed due to silting, wrecks and sea mounts were discovered, new soundings were reported, buoys were installed or blown away. So, the quartermasters would carefully bring the charts up to date, pasting inserts or making pen and ink changes. It was a critical task because an error could mean disaster for the ship.

    Does the USN still do that, I wondered. I googled it and low and behold, the printing presses will stop this spring! It’s the end of an era. But, the job of updating the online versions will always be there. Navy Times says that NOAA spends $100 million a year in the process!

    1. I imagine those charts were doubly important on a submarine, where you often don’t have visual confirmation of what’s out there. But nowadays, as long as the electronics work, the online charts should always be up to the minute … or second.

      I still prefer working with paper maps. Studying one on a screen is just not the same as handling a printed one.

      1. I’m not so sure. The image quality of my desk-top iMac never ceases to amaze me and I can imagine it being better than the printed product, better resolution, more accurate and more versatile. There’s no reason the ship’s position can’t be automatically displayed on the electronic chart, incorporating all sources of positioning such as lines of sight, radar and GPS. That would take some of the human error out of the process. Of course, there’s always the chance of equipment failure, as in a hard-drive crash. Knowing the nautical tradition, there must be redundant back-ups, including small-scale paper charts. There had better be.

        1. I was thinking more of the sensory experience of handling a real map, and how much I always enjoyed using my old paper topo maps of the mountain areas near here. You can get great topo maps online (rarely for free anymore), but you can’t stuff them into a backpack or display them on the wall. A topo on a cell phone will show you the same information, but that tiny format just isn’t the same. And yes, if I were out hiking, of course I’d have my phone, but I’d also have a backup paper map too.

... and that's my two cents