Posts Tagged ‘essential geography’

Review of Essential Geography of the United States of America wall map

Friday, August 27th, 2010

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Will print maps survive Google Maps and the iPad? If Dave Imus’s new Essential Geography of the U.S. is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes!

Wall maps are large, physical artifacts that evoke our love of place. Indeed, they are the trophy mounts of the mapping world. They offer fond remembrance of the thrill of adventure, help dream up new trips, and effect a sirens call over friends and family with their proud display of  geography. Custom cartography reminds us place is not the sum of a street network but a overlay of cultural story and physiographic pattern. As OpenStreetMap, NavTeq, TeleAtlas, and the like duke it out in the PND and 1:10,000 scale road-map-as-a-service space, this map shows our discipline at it’s best.

Now for the specs. This beautiful wall map is drawn at 1:4 million scale (36″ tall by 48″ wide, ~65 miles to the inch). That’s twice the detail you get from Natural Earth’s raw GIS data. I was sent a preliminary copy for review and several attentions to detail catch my eye:

  • Major airports are located and labeled with their 3-character code (SFO, LAX, LGA, etc).
  • Attractions are listed for most metropolitan cities (Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, fisherman’s warf in San Francisco).
  • A compilation of small, mid, and large size cities nestle between named mountain ridges, settle the green forests, and line the coast. Some even have their elevation noted (“mile high” Denver at 5280 feet).
  • This human geography is connected by a road network with shields indicating relative lane widths, but still showing small rural routes when they are the only access thru town.
  • National parks and other sites are outlined and named.

The map is fittingly dedicated to William Loy, long time geography professor and coauthor of the award winning Atlas of Oregon (University of Oregon Press, 2001) who passed over in 2003. The map goes on sale this fall, perfect for the gifting season. Available soon at Imus Geographics »

Here’s another preview:

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