Strange Maps

Cartographic curiosities

Strange Maps

600 – Münster’s Monster Mash

Munster-a

One of cartography’s most persistent myths: mapmakers of yore, frustrated by the world beyond their ken, marked the blank spaces on their maps with the legend Here be monsters.   It’s a pleasing hypothesis. For to label a cartographic vacuum with the stuff of nightmares solves two problems at …

596 – Sound Like a Map to You?

Croppedspectro

Question: Which contest is the nec plus ultra for puzzle fans and quiz aficionados everywhere?  Answer: The MIT Mystery Hunt (MMH), which kicks off every year on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day [1] on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. The …

Strange Maps

592 – Build Your Own Poland

Croppedalternate

Occasional exceptions notwithstanding, this blog steers clear of maps from the twin realms [1] of fantasy and alternate history. This might seem odd, as both genres rely heavily on maps to flesh out the world they describe. Consequently,  both fantasy and alternate history teem with non-standard …

Strange Maps

591 – Elizabeth II, Queen of the South Pole

Croppedelizabeth

It’s a question on the minds of many, this gift-giving season: What do you get someone who already has everything? The problem gets a bit more pressing if you’re the British Cabinet, and the Queen is coming round to visit. Their solution? Clever: two gifts – 60 table mats, and a chunk of Antarctica …

Strange Maps

590 – Fake Metro Map of Montevideo

Croppedmetro

“Today, Montevideo is on a par with the great capitals of the world, like London, Milan and Rio de Janeiro. Finally, Montevideo has its Metro.”  – Estero Bellaco, Engineer and President of the Corporación Metro de Montevideo (CMM). Those words were spoken at the inauguration of the metro …

Strange Maps

589 – Procrasti-Nation, Our Common Home

Croppedcras

Why get done today what you can put off until tomorrow? Anyone who knows that feeling is an honorary citizen of this virtual country: Procrasti-Nation.   For Freud, the need to procrastinate is a function of the Pleasure Principle, which dictates that we seek gratification, or least avoid pain …

Strange Maps

587 – Maps as War by Other Means

Croppedgaza

War, as Clausewitz said, is the continuation of politics by other means [1]. But sometimes, war itself is being continued by other means – cartographic means. Maps are an excellent propaganda weapon against a (geo)political enemy. We trust cartography instinctively to ‘show us the right way’, and …

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