This past weekend, due to the end of Daylight Savings Time, many of us set our clocks ahead one hour, which proved to be foolish because apparently we were supposed to set them back one hour, but that is beside the point. What is important is that we, as a civilized society, embraced this change. We seized the opportunity to screw around with time. This is a good thing.
Some have recently argued against Daylight Savings Time, even going so far as to propose reducing the number of time zones in America to two from four1. I have a better plan. Instead of reducing the number of time [...]
Under circumstances shrouded by mystery, two brothers painted this on a wall by the railway tracks at Paddington on Christmas Eve of 1974.
Until the wall was knocked down, ten years later, passengers would cruise past it as their trains slowed in and out of London. It was anonymous, 45 centimeters tall, and not very colorful, but a lot of people remember it. "Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere."
In his lovely A History of the World in Twelve Maps (the Daily Mail called it "jaunty"), historian Jerry Brotton calls the graffito "perhaps the best metaphorical description" of what happens when a person uses a [...]
The recent "disappearance" of Sandy Island—a long-mapped island in the South Pacific that appears to have never existed—was a fresh reminder that, even with the most modern, state-of-the art, satellites-and-all technology at our disposal, we still may not actually know where everything is. Frankly, we never have—and we've made some pretty awful guesses over the years.
Though it's probably one of the most well-known cartography-related phrases, "Thar Be Dragons" has, as far as we know, only appeared on a single map. That map is the Hunt-Lenox Globe, currently in the New York Public Library's collection. The globe's origins are mysterious; no one knows where it came from or [...]
The Fordham Institute analyzed the fastest-whitening neighborhoods in America between 2000 and 2010, according to census data. Brooklyn had four of the most-whitened zip codes of the top 25 most-whitened zip codes in all of America. We win!
And when you map it out, those four zip codes actually make up just two areas that are contiguous. I've combined them here on Google Maps.
• First: 11238 and 11205. That's Prospect Heights, essentially, to the south, and then where Fort Greene and Clinton Hill meet. Lemme tell you, I was right living right there in the middle, on the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene border, last week, and glorious Clinton Avenue [...]
Chester A. Arthur gets a lot of flak. He deserves most of it. If you're president, you really shouldn't sell off wagonloads of priceless White House furniture at auction. But one accomplishment of Arthur's presidency that gets glossed over in favor of criticism of the “he owned eighty pairs of pants!” closet-shaming variety is that he convened the International Meridian Conference of 1884, with the goal of nailing down "exactly what time is it, anyway?" Although Arthur, I’m sure, put it in much more elegant terms.
The International Meridian Conference designated the Greenwich Meridian as the prime meridian for "time reckoning throughout the world" (it was already the [...]
Have you seen that episode of "The West Wing"? This is a Fun with Maps column, so you know which one I mean. The one where it's Big Block of Cheese Day, and CJ meets with the Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality? If that's not ringing any bells, here's what happens: the organization is promoting an alternative to the Mercator projection, that is, the version of the world map with which you're probably most familiar—it's the one that has Greenland as roughly the same size as Africa. The group would prefer the Peters projection be used, because it doesn't exaggerate the size of Europe and North America at [...]
Greenland is ice, Iceland is nice—and Carcass Island is full of penguins. In this installment, let's investigate some of the more suspicious-sounding islands out there and see whether they live up to their altogether uninviting toponyms.
Name: Deception Island Location: The South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula Does it live up to its name? Yes. Deception Island is a nearly perfect circle with a small inlet leading to a geothermal bay—a researcher from SUNY-Geneseo describes it as "a donut with a small bite taken out." The entrance is almost completely obscured; you can only find your way in if you know precisely where to go. Also, [...]