High-resolution, deliberately "inaccurate" maps


#1

[Read the post]


#2

They seem to be very cute, but I can’t really tell. Is there any way to see the maps if you don’t own ArcGIS, Adobe Illustrator, or a mapping program that can read GeoJSON or TopoJSON?


#3

[Apparently][1] carefully crafted accurate-ish-but-distorted maps were serious business for a period of time in the Soviet Union. They had a custom designed projection for the purpose of producing civilian-grade maps until 1989, at which point they started to go with the ‘the real map, with the sensitive stuff removed’ for at least some applications.

(edit: Unfortunately, I’ve not had any luck digging up exactly what projection they used for that purpose: Sensibly enough, they chose an actual expert in mathematical cartography to construct a deliberately obfuscating projection for the job. Annoyingly for me, that means that Professor G.A. Ginzburg has his name on a fair number of different projections and all over the lists of authors and bibliographies of assorted books and papers on maps and cartography. It probably doesn’t help that the ones in languages I can read are probably skewed heavily toward his academic work that wasn’t deemed an important element of state security; while the specifics of that project were probably not enthusiastically translated for the English markets. Pulling up some of his work, and works that refer to him, hasn’t been a problem; but no dice on the specific projection mentioned. I’d be delighted if anyone is able to succeed where I have failed.)
[1]: http://www.geography.wisc.edu/histcart/v6initiative/10postnikov.pdf


#4

I rather liked the Anchor Atlas of World History.

Here is a typical map.

note the excessive angularity of the coastlines.

Of course, the book would be less charming if it didn’t contain hundreds and hundreds of maps.


#5

The bay area in CA actually made me snort. Well. Played.


#6

Here you go:


(imgur.com/a/xrUSJ)


#7

Thank you! Did you just create these?


#8

Plenty of inaccurate maps to be found, but are they deliberate?


#9

is this about Florida?


#10

Yup, side effect of spending a lot of time in a prepress department. :smile: It took longer to download them all then to run them through Illustrator and upload them to Imgur.


#11

Wow. How does that even?

I mean, I any really trying to work out the sequence of events that would cause a news agency to mislabel countries. I know full well that a) “Fox News” isn’t actually “news,” and b) not a single person there could find Egypt if they were standing on a pyramid, but this still had to start out from SOME map at one point in time, created by someone who knew where the countries were. Then what? Did some intern bump into it to hard, and all the labels fell off?


#12

As a cartography nut I find myself strangely uncomfortable and uneasy looking at those maps. Mission accomplished?


#13

Holy crappoly. There are plenty of countries I can’t place (I nail luxemburg not by location, but by size), but don’t they have wikipedia? Or a phone? Or an encyclopedia set donated from their grandparents?


#14

Arrrrgh! Does anyone else find that map of the US painful to look at? It’s an uncanny valley in map form. Or am I just too OCD for my own good?


#15

While they may not always be high-resolution, pretty much all of the maps we see are stylised and deliberately inaccurate.


#16

Apparently not. Not even for domestic news.
Move over, Utah. Nevada’s taking over…


#17

Not being American that first map looks fine to me, and the one of Europe is pretty much correct as far as I can see, although I’m not sure why the departments in France are marked, but the separate countries in the UK aren’t.


#18

John Oliver, first 15 seconds only:


#19

Probably has to with the fact that French departments serve a much more defined political role than english Counties. German Lander are still more powerful and important than either… Ideally, of course, you could turn on and off boundaries at will.

“OK, I want German Lander, and English ceremonial counties, but not Russian oblasts, or French Departments. And use a Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection, please.”


#20

Countries, not Counties, ie England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. (I agree that counties aren’t of much interest except on a purely local level, and most people live in cities with their own council now anyway).