Posts Tagged ‘strange maps’

“Bizarre Map Challenge” (BMC): A National Map Design Competition

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

bmc

As seen in the NACIS newsletter, a contest for the students in your life.

Announcing the Bizarre Map Challenge (BMC): A Nationwide Map Design Competition. This map design competition is hosted by the National GeoTech Center www.geotechcenter.org (funded by National Science Foundation) and San Diego State University. The goal of this event is to promote spatial thinking and geospatial technology awareness in high schools, community colleges, and universities in the United States and to inspire curiosity about  geographic patterns and map representation for students and the broader public. The Award for the 1st prize will be $5000 cash, 2nd prize: $1000 cash, 3rd prize: $600 cash, 4th - 10th prizes: $200 cash for each. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this event, please email Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou (mtsou@mail.sdsu.edu) or to the dedicated email address (bmc@geography.sdsu.edu).

* March 1st – March 22nd, 2010 : Accepting map entries (on-line form) from the BMC website (see the URL, to be published March 1, for more details and rules)

“You take it – No, you take it”: the Bir Tawil Trapezoid (StrangeMaps)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

[Editor's note: I've been researching sovereign state boundary disputes for Natural Earth Vector at the 1:15,000,000 and 1:50,000,000 scales so I read this entry at the StrangeMaps blog last week with some curiosity. Egypt effectively administers their portion of the "disputed" area along the Red Sea and seems to have dropped their claim to the Sudan portion south of the 22nd parallel. This boundary will be shown de facto along the 22nd parallel the Natural Earth Vector dataset. Thanks Laris!]

Republished from Strange Maps. June 28, 209.

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The Bir Tawil Triangle is a desert of sand and rocks on the border between Egypt and the Sudan. It is also officially the most undesired territory in the world. Bir Tawil is the only piece of land on Earth (*) that is not claimed by any country – least of all by its neighbours. For either of them to claim the Bir Tawil Triangle would be to relinquish their claim to the Hala’ib Triangle. And while Hala’ib is also mainly rock and sand, it is not only ten times larger than Bir Tawil, but also adjacent to the Red Sea - so rather more interesting.

This bizarre situation started out with what is supposed to be the simplest of borders: a straight line. By the Condominium Treaty of 1899, the British drew the line between Egypt and what was then still known as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan at the 22nd parallel north, resulting in a straight-line border of about 1,240 km (770 miles) from Libya to the Red Sea.

Continue reading at StrangeMaps . . .

In Mottos We Trust? United Statements of America (StrangeMaps)

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

[Editor's note: Continuing series of word tag clouds as maps.]

Republished from StrangeMaps.
Orig published there Jan. 17, 2009.

The US goes by the motto In God We Trust (but only since 1956, when it replaced the ‘unofficial’ motto, E pluribus unum). A motto (from the Italian word for pledge, plural mottos or mottoes) describes a quality or intention that a group of people aim to live up to – a mission statement of sorts. As such, America’s newer motto has invited more controversy than the older one, since it seems to run counter to the principle of separation of church and state. Its introduction did seem to make sense at the time, what with the Cold War against those godless communists.

As demonstrated on this map, the 50 states making up the US each have their own motto too. The two-and-a-half score state mottos display a wide variety, of quotations, languages and underlying messages. English is the favourite language, but not even by half: only 24 state mottos are originally in English; Latin, once the language for all solemn occacions (and not just exorcisms), accounts for 20. Two mottos are in native languages, and French, Spanish, Italian and Greek account for one each. The system of checks and balances seems to work for mottos too: if the national motto is overtly religious, then only six of the state ones refer to God, either directly or obliquely. Most deal with secular rights, and the readiness to defend them. The Bible is tied with Cicero as the source for the most mottos (three), while classical literature has proven a particularly fertile breeding ground for inspirational quotes (mottos originate with Lucretius, Aesop, Virgil, Brutus and Archimedes).

Continue reading at StrangeMaps . . .

Watch the Road: World’s Earliest SatNav (Strange Maps)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

[Editor's note: Republished from the Strange Maps blog. Thanks Melissa!]

Satellite navigation (SatNav) is a lot older than previously thought. In fact, it’s even decades older than man-made satellites themselves. This fantastic contraption, called the ‘Routefinder’, showed 1920s drivers in the UK the roads they were travelling down, gave them the mileage covered and told them to stop when they came at journey’s end.

The technology – a curious cross between the space age and the stone age – consisted of a little map scroll inside a watch, to be ’scrolled’ (hence the word) as the driver moved along on the map. A multitude of scrolls could be fitted in the watch to suit the particular trip the driver fancied taking.

The system has several obvious drawbacks – a limited number of available journeys, and the inability of the system to respond to sudden changes of direction. Also: no warning of road works or traffic jams ahead.

Not that there were that many traffic jams in 1920s Britain. The Routefinder, one of many bizarre patented gadgets now on display at the British Library, didn’t take off because there were too few drivers, i.e. potential customers, at that time in Britain. Or maybe also because it was a bit impractical, distracting drivers from what they were supposed to watch – the road.

Many thanks to Toni Hudzina for sending in a link to this story (here on ananova).