Friday, January 21, 2011

why i won't stop to ask for directions

it's not that i don't want to admit that i'm lost, because if you're following my story at all, you know that i will admit that i am lost or at least that i do not know where i am loudly and cheerfully to anyone who happens to come along.

no, the reason i do not stop to ask for directions is that it gives me an excuse to look at my maps. i am nearly never happier than when i am playing with my maps. i have maps that i use to find my way, both in software and on paper, and maps that i use to chart things, to write on, maps that i use to make art with, and of course i have to look at other people's maps, too.

so i don't remember exactly what i was going to write about today; it maybe had to do with my snowfort, or something i was making in my kitchen, or maybe some art project, or some blog thing i was thinking about, but then some map things came across my desk and i was transfixed.

oh, my.

so i will tell you about that, and a couple of other things for good measure, since i'm on the subject.

i subscribe to the blog of the hand drawn map association. makes me weak at the knees. a while ago the new york times put out this really awesome interactive literary map of manhattan, and last week they ran a story with a cool interactive feature about the restoration of a rare map by bernard ratzer all of which is so sexy i can barely stand up, as opposed to this thing, which is interesting but very disturbing. who uses a thing like that? none of my neighbors, thankfully. i checked.

and i didn't really intend to do a post about cool mapping stuff but this cool thing crossed my desk this week, so you might as well have a look at it, if you like maps, data collection, and thinking about how trash moves and collects or trends and all manner of good nerdy map related data-y things. just go look.

then maybe you were following this fun sociology/mapping/art project as it's been developing, and although i have, i wasn't going to mention it really, but then today's kxcd comic came out and it was just too funny:

 but then today i saw this awesome blog entry by this guy named alexander chen and what he's doing is developing this little software thingy that is using a new york city subway map as a string instrument:

Conductor (In progress demo) from Alexander Chen on Vimeo.

and all of that was very nice, but here was the real kicker: oh, sweet, merciful creator of the universe! this guy seb przd has taken a spherical panoramic photograph of a room and then made a flickr photoset of it using different map projections, and if that's not enough map porn for you, he's got a link on the page that takes you to all kinds of explanations and diagrams about map projections!

i might just die from it. is it possible to die from map pleasure overload?


Kristin @ Going Country said...

You lost me (HA!) at map. I am TERRIBLE with maps. It's a continual source of antagonism when my husband and I are on the road together.

I envy anyone with map-reading ability.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

while I do not enjoy maps with the same fervor that you do this was fun for me. I laughed at those mapping stereotypes. Those were very clever.
thanks for the morning fun.


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