A SplashMap in Peru

David Overton of SplashMaps sent us this pic of a splash map in use in the Peruvian jungle.

“Deep in the Peruvian rain forest the Norwegian military were in charge of navigation, using SplashMaps to navigate the Yaku river in particular while delivering aid and support to remote villages.”

I like the juxtaposition of the fabric map and the GPS or whatever is on this guy’s phone.

Sulawesi election hoarding

Ant Scott sent us this pic from a recent MapAction deployment

“I came across this one while out on a damage assessment visit yesterday for MapAction following the recent Sulawesi earthquake. I don’t remember seeing maps on election posters before, let alone with classes and a legend, showing (I believe) which seats this party is standing in. However the road the poster is on is actually closed now because a little further on, it (and many houses) was swept away by the soil liquefaction which followed the earthquake. Politics (and everything else) continues, but there’s a huge reconstruction job to be done following a disaster which has literally changed the landscape and claimed thousands of lives.”

Sri Lankan Railways

Dan Ormsby sent us this schematic map

“A schematic map hanging in the signal box of a railway station in central Sri Lanka showing the lines, signalling equipment, engine sheds etc.  The signalling equipment is the original equipment installed by the British when the railways were build (around the 1860’s) .. and the map looks nearly as old!  I like the way that it is actually a black and white print, that somebody has coloured in with pencil to aid its interpretation – GIS the old fashioned way!  It, along with the signalling is a good step back in time to remind us of how the railways were once run in Britain without the use of digital tech – and still are in other parts of the world.  The train we got in Sri Lanka was itself 4 hours late – but the signal man let our kids kill half an hour changing the signals and the points.  Fortunately only a small handful of trains travel through there each day!”

Thanks Dan, glad the kids didn’t cause a railway disaster.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

In Belem just on the outskirts of Lisbon is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos or Monument of the Discoveries commemorating the great explorers of Portugal’s past. In front of the monument is this amazing marble map detailing the extent of the Portuguese empire at its peak.

Superb photo from Dave Lovell @LocationEurope

Dave Lovell sent me this beautiful pic that shows the scale of the Marble Map, the holiday pic of me shows some of the detail.

The monument is pretty cool too

The Travel Angel

Caitlin Dempsey
The Travel Angel, Los Angeles Farmers’ Market

Caitlin Dempsey, the editor of GisLounge sent us this beauty

“One of my favorite hidden gems at the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market is the “Travel Angel” which was installed in 2001 as part of a public art project. The piece is kind of hidden in a nook near one of the entrances, making it a delight to stumble upon.  I always look for it any time I visit the Grove.  The inside of the wings are covered with maps and the outer wings (which you can’t see in this photo) are collaged with postcards from places around the world.  “

Nice one Caitlin – you win the award as our first contributor

UN Council Chamber, Geneva

This brass version of the UN logo hangs in the Council Chamber in Geneva.

“A map of the world representing an azimuthal equidistant projection centred on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree, . . . The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.”

— Official Seal and Emblem of the United Nations, Report of the Secretary-General, 15 October 1946

The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people and the countries of the world.

The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Worcestershire

The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Worcester was created around 1590. It now hangs in the Bodleian Library

I went to the Tolkien exhibition at the Bodlian Library in Oxford to see the amazing maps that he had drawn as both illustrations and planning for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Photography was banned but on the way out I spotted this massive tapestry map hanging in the lobby area.

“The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Worcester was created around 1590, one of four such tapestry maps commissioned by Ralph Sheldon. The map is woven in wool and silk. As a concept, these tapestry maps were unique in England, nothing else of this cartographic nature had been created at the time. The map content is almost certainly derived from the county maps of Christopher Saxon (1574-79)” – abbreviated notes from the Bodleian Library

Going global

One heck of a lot of globes

During the UK Mapping Festival Ken organised an excursion to Bellerby and Co’s globe making workshop in Stoke Newington for a small group of map geeks. Peter Bellerby gave us a tour of the workshop, explained some of the processes involved in making these magnificent globes whilst trying not to give away the secret sauce that makes a Bellerby globe so special. Cartographers will be fascinated by the decisions that have to be taken to fit content and labels onto a globe.

A Churchill “aka massive” globe

Every globe is made by hand, carefully balanced and hand coloured. They take weeks of painstaking work to complete which explains the cost, a massive globe like the Churchill above costs of over £70k! If anyone is wondering what to buy for the map lover who has almost everything …

Hand painting a globe