Jan 022014

Map Addict coverMike Parker’s Map Addict proves that there’s such a fine line between an interesting hobby and an OCD.

And the author clearly at least borders on the latter, his relationship with the ordnance survey maps started with shoplifting and has evolved into a career.

The selfbiographical bits start off decent, but turn into way too tedious and revealing towards the end. And the history of maps is well-researched, though some large topics get glossed over (like projections) and some minor ones get pages upon pages. But railing against GPS-navigators as borderline evil just shows that the author hasn’t got to grips with reality, the devices are not going away any time soon. And the patronizing “some women can read maps”-chapter was both surprising and annoying.

Towards the end this turned out to be more an ordeal than an enjoyable read. But the more scientific/historical bits make this book worthwhile (learned new words as a bonus: enclave/exclave are not exactly part of everyday vocabulary but nice to know nonetheless).

Feb 152011

Central Park mapCentral Park Nature effectively maps the huge park, but there’s no online version at all. And lugging the five foot long physical copy around in the park to hunt for the different species of trees is on the impractical side.

The map would make a nice keepsake from a hike through the park, but at least the website doesn’t indicate it being available anywhere else but the webstore.

Aug 032010

Earth with no axial spinInstead of spinning on its axis, that is.

Witold Fraczek’s article explains the consequences.

Due to the disappearance of centrifugal force, the oceans would be completely realigned. As gravity would be the only meaningful force, the ellipsoidic “bump” would disappear and the water recede towards the poles.

Finland would be submerged completely, and a globe-spanning mega-continent would connect the existing landmasses around the equator.