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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

1 42 46

Strange Maps

71 - The Island of California

Missing
over 7 years ago

One of the most famous misconceptions in cartographic history is of California as an island. The origin of this error is Las Sergas de Esplandian, a romantic novel written in 1510 by Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo, stating “that on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California ...

Strange Maps

66 - The World in (George Orwell's) 1984

Missing
almost 8 years ago

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’, the world is ruled by three superstates: • Oceania covers the entire continents of America and Oceania and the British Isles, the main location for the novel, in which they are referred to as ‘Airstrip One’. • Eurasia covers Europe and (more or less ...

Strange Maps

64 - Sannikov Land, an Arctic Phantom Island

Missing
almost 8 years ago

In 1811, the Russian merchant and explorer Yakov Sannikov reported seeing a ‘bluish fog’ to the northeast of the New Siberian Islands. In 1886 and 1893, fellow Russian explorer Eduard Toll also sighted what many by then presumed to be an as yet undiscovered island, provisionally named ‘Sannikov ...

Strange Maps

63 - A Map to the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The Superstition Mountains to the east of Phoenix, AZ reportedly hold a legendary motherlode of gold known as the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Truth and fiction about this mine have been unrevokably mixed up through the years, producing 62 varieties of the legend. But before we get into those, here are ...

Strange Maps

61 - United Shapes of America

Missing
almost 8 years ago

This canvas by artist Kim Dingle doesn’t look like a map, more like a herd of cows. But actually it’s a collection of maps. The artist asked teen-aged school kids in Las Vegas to draw their country in the shape they thought it had. It’s one of the strange maps in a book called ‘You Are Here’, which ...

Strange Maps

60 - Madha and Nahwa

Missing
almost 8 years ago

These names sound like they’re out of Arabian Nights – which is pretty close. Madha and Nahwa are the names of two territories on the Arabian peninsula which up until 15 minutes ago I had never before heard of. Together, they form a type of enclave/exclave complex which I would like to call The ...

Strange Maps

59 – A German Map of the Empire of Love

Missing
almost 8 years ago

In the 18th century, sentimental cartography was very much à la mode, with this map as one of the finer examples. ‘Das Reich der Liebe’ (‘the Empire of Love’) by Johann Gottlob Immanuel Breitkopf, was published in Leipzig in 1777. In a brief explanatory, it describes how pilgrims set out from the ...