89 - Bushlandia vs. Reality
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
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 outnumbering the ‘blue’ states, (preferring the Democratic candidate, senator John Kerry).
The ‘blue’ states were concentrated on the West Coast and in New England, but in this map have almost completely conquered the ‘red’ heartland of the US. This map dates from mid-2006, and presumably represents president Bush’s approval ratings – I suppose they’re highest in Bushlandia, which is composed of only three, relatively sparsely populated and mainly rural western states: Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.
This map found on altacocker.com, a self-declared ‘anti-Bush website’.
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