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Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

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Strange Maps

98 - 'On the Road' Map: Kerouac Traces His Trip

Missing
about 7 years ago

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell (MA) Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac, and in spite of his fancy name, his French-Canadian parents had to emigrate to Massachusetts to find work. When he died in St Petersburg (FL) 47 years later, Kerouac’s total estate amounted to under 100 dollars. Yet he’ll be ...

Strange Maps

96 - A Cartogram of the World's Population

Map
about 7 years ago

This map is part of a series of cartograms in which the actual geography is distorted in order to demonstrate information about the countries shown. In this case, the point made is that of population, with each country’s size ‘weighted’ to reflect the size of its population. The discrepancies ...

Strange Maps

93 - Lewis Carroll's Ocean Chart

Missing
about 7 years ago

This map is an illustration in ‘The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits)’, a nonsensical and somewhat grim poem by Lewis Carroll, who is better known for ‘Alice in Wonderland’. All the illustrations in ‘Snark’, first published in 1876, are by Henry Holiday, whom I therefore suppose to ...

Strange Maps

91 - Early 20th Century Balkan Aspirations

Missing
about 7 years ago

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Ottoman Empire was called the ‘Sick Man of Europe’ because it didn’t seem able to hold on to its possessions in the Balkans. However, as the Balkan nations managed to cast of the Ottoman yoke, their own overlapping territorial claims led to ...

Strange Maps

500.000 Hits

Missing
about 7 years ago

This blog has been up since September 2006. In that half year, I’ve posted 90 maps, gotten about 1.000 comments – most of them interesting and/or favourable – and just now the traffic on this site tallied up to 500.000 hits… That’s way more than I imagined for a blog merely intended to be a storage ...

Strange Maps

90 - The Limburg Split of 1839

Missing
about 7 years ago

The map-on-a-stamp in this post is again taken from the wonderful site called Dan’s Topical Stamps. To American ears, the word ‘Limburg’ conjures up the mighty stink emitted by so-called Limburger cheese. In one of Mark Twain’s stories, its smell is even mistaken for that of a corpse. And the ...

Strange Maps

89 - Bushlandia vs. Reality

Missing
about 7 years ago

An updated version of the famous United States of Canada vs. Jesusland map (see posting #3 on this blog). That map represented the outcome of the US presidential election in 2004, with the ‘red’ states (those that voted for incumbent president Bush, the Republican party candidate) far ...

Strange Maps

88 - Neuschwabenland, the Last German Colony

Missing
about 7 years ago

  Ever since it achieved unification in 1871, Germany craved colonies as a matter of national pride. But by the late nineteenth century, most of the ‘uncivilised world’ was already carved up by established European powers. In an eleventh-hour effort, the German Empire acquired a few scraps of ...

Strange Maps

87 - The Whole World In A Cloverleaf

Missing
about 7 years ago

Heinrich Bunting (1545-1606) knew the world didn’t really look like this. There are enough maps in his works (such as Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae) to indicate he knew the continents had an irregular, and not a symbolic shape. Yet he delighted in drawing other symbolic maps, examples of which ...

Strange Maps

86 - A Map of Germany's Euroregions

Missing
about 7 years ago

  It seems impossible to find an online map showing all of the European Union’s so-called Euroregions. Why doesn’t the EU showcase these transnational regions, conceived to promote economic development and cultural understanding among neighbours that too often in the past have been strangers or ...