Showing posts with label maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maps. Show all posts

Thursday, August 06, 2015


I just discovered this large "Land of Make Believe" map (above) behind some paint cans in my garage. I bought it for my kids when they were young and then promptly lost it...and now here it is again! Maybe someone's still selling it. 

Here's (above) a darker, more serious version of the Make Believe map.  Jaro Hess drew it in 1930. 

I went on the net to find out more about the more about the Make Believe map and I discovered other fantasy maps that I didn't know existed. This one (above) seems to have come with a board game. Judging from the unflattering way black tribesmen are depicted I'd guess it's from the 1930s or 40s. 

Wow! Here's a European-made map (above) showing what appears to be an arab fantasy landscape. How do you like the Moon in the upper right corner?

That's all the fantasy maps I have but I'll throw in a realistic map of India (above) from 1805.

And here's (above) an early Chinese map painted on sandstone. The rest of the world showed no interest in landscape painting until fairly recent times, but the Chinese seem to have long regarded it as an art form.  

Above, a well-drawn map showing Britain's connection with far flung colonies.

Interesting, eh?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I don't know about you but I'm fascinated by historical maps. The best ones are seldom reproduced in poster size so if you want a spiffy one on your wall you have to pay collectors' prices for originals. If I could afford it, near the top of my list would be this one (above) showing Livingstone's route across Africa in the pre-colonial 1860s and 1870s.

It's hard to imagine now, but most of the sub-Saharan African nations we're familiar with today didn't exist then. Africa was "Darkest Africa." Few outsiders had a clear idea of what was in there. Livingstone's trek across the central plateau illuminated for the first time a wide swathe of the territories on either side of his route.

 His trip (above) was no bowl of cherries.

 This picture (above) may be from Stanley's account of finding Livingstone; I'm not sure.

Poor Livingstone was even attacked by a lion.

One of Livingstone's goals was to end slavery in Africa, and he succeeded in at least putting a crimp in it. During the colonial period the British arrested arab african slave sellers like the ones above. Unfortunately Livingstone's geographic findings opened the door to colonialism.

 You can see (above) why Africa has so many problems today. Modern national borders haven't much to do with the old ethnic boundaries.

The modern system system attempts to unite wildly disparate people into the same state. Those are Watusi above, a giant people.

They're in the same nation as the Pygmies, who are the world's smallest people. Seeing these pictures reminds me of the old saying: "One law for the ox and the squirrel is tyranny."

I'm also reminded of a book I read a long time ago called "Congo Kitabu" which claimed that the Pygmies were being enslaved by their giant neighbors, and were in danger of becoming extinct. Yikes!

BTW....on another subject....

Here's (above) the last picture of Pluto taken before the expected (and temporary) transmission blackout. That'll only last a short time, then we'll get better pictures from an even closer vantage point.

Gee, I have to say that this side of Pluto is disappointing. It looks like a common dirty snowball. No wonder it was demoted to dwarf planet status. The side facing Charon was a lot more interesting. It had a giant hexagonal crater, which needs to be explained. I've seen a few hexagons in space photos: one covers one of Saturn's poles and a couple more look like shock waves from deep space novas. 

Oh well, maybe trained eyes will deliver more meaning from the picture. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I'll start with a Neverland map that I assume was sold at Disneyland soon after it opened. It's not all that useful as a map but it's cheery and would look good on a wall.

Here's (above) another take on Neverland. I love this poster. Black and white enhances the effect.

Above, a gangster map of Chicago.

Above, a detail.

Above, still more details.

This (above) isn't really a map. It's done by an artist who paints on maps.

Here's (above) a map showing the progress of the Pequod as it hunted Moby Dick.

I read that the octopus (above) appears on more maps than mermaids and narwhales.

Above, Mussolini as a grasping octopus...or is it? In a comment Sir Pogalot says it's Churchill.

I wonder if this map of London (above) is still in print?

Here's (above) the world without water, committed to paper in 1690.

Friday, May 07, 2010


I hadn't intended to put up more maps, but I just came across a treasure trove of interesting cartography, and I couldn't resist putting up some examples here.  The map above is Japanese, from the time of World War l.

Above, a detail showing Western Europe. Note the arrows in Germany, including an arrow labled "Japan." What does that refer to?

I did all this research in an attempt to answer Katie's request for the address of the guy selling posters of Keith Thompson's "The Great War 1914," shown in a post below. I finally found it:

The price seems steep considering the size of the poster, which is only 13" X 19." On the other hand, if the poster is half as beautiful as the reproduction on this site, it'll be worth it. 


Impressive, eh?  Now I feel bad about praising the Hockney-style map in one of the previous posts.  Sure it was pretty, but as the illustration above demonstrates,  for tasks like this you just can't beat draftsmanship.

Of course the best draftsmen are cartoonists (example above). It's hard to resist the conclusion that cartoonists should rule the world, but alas, the world is unconvinced.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


More maps from the endlessly fascinating site: "" None of these maps look very good when reduced to the size they are here, so be sure to click to enlarge them.

So, what do you think of this 1950s map of Europe as seen by Moscow (above)? It's amazing what a difference a new vantage point makes!

This (above) anal-retentive, proposed reconstruction of London is a powerful argument to prove that Mensa should never be allowed to rule the world.

Here's (above) a map of Europe from 1915. When I was a kid newspapers would frequently put up high-quality novelty illustrations like this, but as time went on I saw less and less of them. It's wrong to say that internet news outcompeted newspapers. The newspapers the computer beat were hamstrung versions that hardly resembled the dynamic papers of the past.

A fascinating star chart (above)! According to this the first transmissions of "Seinfeld" have already reached Altair.

Here's what these cities (above) actually looked like when the map was made 60 years ago. Some have human faces. Boy, cities are kind of ugly when seen in silhouette.

No attempt at realism in this cyber map (above), but it's still intriguing.

Holy Cow! Africa (above) is THAT big!!!????

I reprint this map of the Hollow Earth (above) just in case your car breaks down while you're driving in there.

Another map with a novel orientation (above)...the world as seen from Irkutsk.

This (above) won't mean anything til you enlarge it. It's a vulture's map of Ethiopia, maybe from the 40s. Why a vulture? I don't know, but it sure is neat!

Here's (above) a children's book map of some imaginary islands in the South Pacific.

A map of Europe (above) made with girl's underpants!

I have no idea where this map (above) comes from, but it's hilarious! You could make this kind of map of the desks in your classroom, or of your work place.

BTW: This is my thousandth post on Blogger! Imagine that! I didn't know I had a thousand things to say! I wish this stuff was broadcast, rather than crammed into the phone lines. It would be exciting to know that some...thing... with tentacles slithering around Altair 4 would hear about this someday and wonder who I was.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Michael Sporn has recently linked to a terrific map site that I never knew existed.

Maps are fascinating. At various times I've had ocean navigation and flight maps on the wall, and until recently I had a heraldic map of Scotland up. You can see it on a post I put up almost two years ago on the subject of ideal pictures to hang in a boys room.

I post this baseball map (above) not because the idea is so clever, but because the color is gorgeous. Notice how the lettering at the top pops out.

Wow! Is this (above) by Gilray? Wouldn't it be great to have a full-sized poster of this on the wall?

A map of Heaven (above) has been long over-due. I notice though, that the Garden of Cartoon-Infatuated Naked Women is missing. And where are the statues of Milt Gross and Don Martin?

Another long over-due map, the map of the center of the Earth (above). It correctly locates the underground city of Shamballan.

The world envisioned by Homer (above).

Here's a rendering of a city (above) which includes architectural highlights of the western world. They're not always the buildings I would have chosen, and the painter seems to favor long boulevards framed by wind traps, but the basic idea is terrific. I'm surprised that no city in the world (outside of Disneyland and The Tivoli) has chosen to make itself into an anthology of the best architectural ideas the world has to offer.