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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

Strange Maps

55 - A Tourist Map of Gotham

Missing
over 7 years ago

Most people know that Batman lives in Gotham City, and that this fictional place is a barely disguised version of New York City – so much so that in real life, NYC is sometimes nicknamed Gotham. Here’s a few lesser known facts about Batman’s home town: The place-name ‘Gotham’ has an ...

Strange Maps

54 - Tarzan and the Lost Empire

Missing
over 7 years ago

Published in 1912, Tarzan of the Apes was the first of 24 adventure books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs featuring the son of a British lord and lady raised by Great Apes in Africa. The protagonist’s English name is John Clayton, his title Lord Greystoke – but he’s better known by is ape-name ...

Strange Maps

53 - Ever been gerrymandered?

Missing
over 7 years ago

The painter Gilbert Stuart was inspired by the awkward shape of an electoral district on a map he saw in a newpaper editor’s office. He decorated the snake-shaped district with a head, a set of wings and claws, making it out to be some kind of antediluvian monster. “That will do for a salamander ...

Strange Maps

51 - A Colour Map of Utopia

Utopia
over 7 years ago

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at”, said Oscar Wilde (in his 1891 essay ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’), so I suppose this blog can’t do without one either. ‘Utopia’ is a Greek neologism invented by the author of the eponymous satire, Thomas More ...

Strange Maps

50 - "Germany Must Die"

Missing
over 7 years ago

I’m on a bit of a roll here, as far as strange World War II maps are concerned. Here’s another one, again from the German side, found at this page of the website of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. This map is entitled “Deutschland muss sterben” (‘Germany Must Die’), in lettering reminiscent of ...

Strange Maps

49 - Czechoslovakia Threatens Germany (1934)

Missing
over 7 years ago

Another propaganda map dating from just before World War II, but this time from the Nazi-German side. One of the first victims of fascist agression was Czechoslovakia, dismembered at the Munich Conference in 1938 (when Sudetenland was ceded to Germany) and shortly thereafter occupied anyway ...

Strange Maps

48 – Nazi War Aims

Missing
over 7 years ago

A British map, I presume, made between 1937 and 1940, showing the German plans for the conquest of Europe “revealed by Secret Nazi Map” – I don’t know if that isn’t a bit of British propaganda, or if there actually was such a map. In fact, this map, whether or not derivative of that supposed ...

Strange Maps

47 - The Lost Continent of Mu

Missing
over 7 years ago

A Pacific counterpart to Atlantis, Mu is supposed to have been a large continent in the middle of the ocean and the home of an advanced civilisation, having sunk beneath the waves many thousands of years ago. The civilisation of Mu is said to have influenced both the Chinese and the native American ...

Strange Maps

46 - How Big Is Jutland?

Missing
over 7 years ago

Although you probably instantly recognise its shape on a map, you may be forgiven for never having heard of Jutland. This northern European peninsula is not an independent entitiy: it’s divided between Denmark, which occupies the northern two thirds of what Danes call Jylland, and Germany in the ...

Strange Maps

45 - Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's Home Planet

Missing
over 7 years ago

Tatooine is a (fictional) desert planet in the Star Wars saga, circling two suns and circled by three moons and home to the Skywalker family. The planet is one of the most iconic of the saga, mentioned in all six movies so far. Tatooine harbors about 200.000 inhabitants, and was for a long time ...

Strange Maps

44 - The World According to Dubya

Missing
over 7 years ago

Post #38 of this blog showed a spoof map of the world, supposedly according to Ronald Reagan – the avuncular 40th President of the US, an icon of conservatism to some, a prime example of cluelessness to others (including those who made the map). I’m old enough to remember that map when it was ...

Strange Maps

43 - Dreaming of Deseret

Missing
over 7 years ago

In 1849, the Mormons who had recently settled the Wild West near the Great Salt Lake, ‘proposed’ the state of Deseret. It’s not clear to me whether this ‘proposal’ equalled a ‘proclamation’ in their minds. It is clear however that the United States never recognised the State of Deseret during the 2 ...

Strange Maps

42 - The Free City of Danzig (1919-1939)

Missing
over 7 years ago

Maps on old postcards look really cool, I think (see previous post). So I looked for another one, and found this postcard, dating from 1929. Coincidentally, it illustrates another area peripheral to Germany: the Free City of Danzig. This city on the Baltic coast (presently the Polish city of ...