The art of the map--literary maps, maps of the body, maps of the imagination, and more--comes to life in this curated round-up of creative cartography
I'm obsessed with maps--a fundamental sensemaking mechanism for the world, arguably the
earliest form of standardized information design, and a relentless
source of visual creativity. Today, we turn to seven fantastic books
that explore the art and science of cartography from seven fascinating
Matthew Cusick, 'Fiona's Wave,' 2005. Cusick's oversized collages are painted with fragments of vintage
atlases and school geography books from the golden era of cartography, 1872-1945.
Qin Ga, 'Site 22: Mao Zedong Temple,' 2005. In 2002, China's Long March Project embarked upon a 'Walking Visual Display' along the route of the 1934-1936 historic 6,000-mile Long
March, and Beijing-based artist Qin kept tracked the group's route in a
tattooed map on his back. Three years later, Qin continued the trek
where the original marchers had left off, accompanied by a camera crew
and a tattoo artist, who continually updated the map on Qin's back.
You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination
is a beautiful and meditative compendium of maps and musings on maps
that explore, in the broadest possible terms, the human condition. Divided
into three sections--"Personal Geography," "At Home in the World," and
"Realms of Fantasy"--the book features 50 full-color and 50
black-and-white cartographic illustrations, ranging from a humorous
diplomatic atlas of Europe and Asia to a canine view of the world to
hand-drawn maps of shelters along the Appalachian Trail.
A selection of diverse essays, from the academic to the personal to
the humorous, contextualize the maps within the larger conceptual
narrative exploring humanity's compulsion to map and chart its place in
Eccentric yet unassuming, From Here to There offers a charming visual treat and, in the process, reveals fascinating slivers of human stories.
4. RADICAL CARTOGRAPHY
An Atlas of Radical Cartography
is as much about the art of cartography as it is about social activism,
pairing artists, designers, architects, urban planners, and cultural
institutions in an ambitious volume that explores mapping projects
across social justice, globalization, energy, human rights, and more.
It features 10 eye-opening maps on everything from marginal land
settlement in Calcutta to the Los Angeles water cycle by 10 different artists, alongside 10 compelling essays on sociopolitical issues examined through the prism of cartography.
Based on the excellent blog of the same name, Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities
features 138 of the most fascinating, absorbing, and remarkable maps
from the blog's three-year history of culling the world's forgotten,
little-known, and niche cartographic treasures. From the world as depicted in Orwell's 1984, to a color map of Thomas More's Utopia, to the 16th-century portrayal of California as an island
where people live like the Amazons, the book is brim-full of priceless
anecdotes from our collective conception of the world over the
antiquity, humanity has had an ongoing fascination with the nature of
time, struggling not only to understand it but to also visualize it and
thus make it more digestible, more tangible, more graspable. Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline
traces the history of graphic representations of time in Europe and the
United States from 1450 to the present in a gorgeous, lavishly
illustrated collection of timelines, featuring everything from medieval
manuscripts to websites to a chronological board game developed by Mark
Twain. BibliOdyssey has a sneak peek.
Cartographies of Time
is easily one of the most beautiful books to come by in the past year,
both a treasure trove of antique artwork and a priceless cultural
time capsule containing humanity's understanding of time and place in
the larger context of existence.
7. MAPS OF THE IMAGINATION
a most fundamental level, maps are visual storytelling about the world--about what exists in it, what matters in it, and where we belong
relative to it. In Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer,
Peter Turchi explores how some of greatest storytellers in literary
history employed maps as narrative devices, revealing some remarkable
similarities between mapmaking, traditionally perceived as an
analytical science, and the art of writing fiction. From Melville to
Nabokov to Stevenson to the Marx Brothers, the book features hundreds
of extraordinary illustrations from and about iconic works of
Maps of the Imagination
is a genre-defying gem that straddles art book, writer's manual and
cultural critique in an utterly captivating way that makes you look at
both old maps and familiar fiction with new eyes.
Sullivan: Now we’re getting somewhere. And I’m not just referring to all of the potential wars that so many of our Game of Thrones characters are trying to either stave off or set aflame. We’ll get to those in a moment. No, I’m talking about the long-simmering question that should be on every fan’s mind, the one that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to answer before George R. R. Martin would hand over his series so they could bring it to television
In her new book No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson tells readers a story about her friend, Tim. When Tim started a new job as a manager, one of his top priorities was communicating to his team that he valued each member’s input. So at team meetings, as each member spoke up about whatever project they were working on, Tim made sure he put on his “active-listening face” to signal that he cared about what each person was saying.
But after meeting with him a few times, Tim’s team got a very different message from the one he intended to send. “After a few weeks of meetings,” Halvorson explains, “one team member finally summoned up the courage to ask him the question that had been on everyone’s mind.” That question was: “Tim, are you angry with us right now?” When Tim explained that he wasn’t at all angry—that he was just putting on his “active-listening face”—his colleague gently explained that his active-listening face looked a lot like his angry face.
The Onion had a problem: It fell behind the times. The mock newspaper hadn’t printed an issue on actual paper since 2013, and in the period since, it never redesigned its website. As the media world changed—as the New York Times and the Washington Post adapted the ways they published stories online—The Onion lost a key satirical weapon. Visually, it no longer looked like many of the publications it parodied. And so, like it had done many times before, The Onion tagged along.
Pope Francis is widely believed to be a cool Pope—a huggable, Upworthyish, meme-ready, self-deprecating leader for a new generation of worshippers. “He has described himself as a sinner,” writes Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Pope Francis’ entry on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, “and his nonjudgmental views on … issues such as sexual orientation and divorce have brought hope to millions of Roman Catholics around the world.”
But there’s one issue that can make even Cool Pope Francis himself sound a little, well, judgy. “A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society,” the pontiff told an audience in St. Peter’s Square earlier this year. “The choice not to have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: It is enriched, not impoverished.”
In 2008, I was elected governor of Delaware. In politics, timing is everything. You can be a fantastic candidate and run in a bad year for your party and get clobbered. You can be an absolute dud and run in the right year and get the brass ring. 2008 was a good year to be a Democrat.
But beyond the political benefit, my timing was awful. A month before I took office at the depths of the Great Recession, Chrysler closed its assembly plant in Newark, my hometown. A few months after my inauguration, General Motors shuttered its plant a few miles away. That fall, Valero closed its refinery. Those three employers had represented the best opportunities for high school graduates to get middle-class jobs for decades. Within a year, all were gone.
The question that most people ask themselves as they walk into their boss's office to negotiate their salaries is likely some variant of "What am I going to say?" But according to hostage negotiator Chris Voss, that might be the least important thing to keep in mind when negotiating.
Voss, now an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, spent 24 years at the FBI. It was as an FBI agent that he started to get interested in hostage negotiations. At the time, a supervisor told him to start by volunteering at a suicide hotline to gain the set of listening abilities that a hostage negotiator needs. By 1992, he was training at the FBI's school for negotiators, and from 2004 to 2007, he was the FBI's lead international hostage negotiator. After retirement, Voss founded The Black Swan Group to bring negotiation know-how to the business world.
Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.
“Just go ahead and do your thing no matter what,” says Marian Cannon Schlesinger to today’s young women. At 101 years of age, she is still painting, writing, watching Rachel Maddow, and reading two newspapers a day.
As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of JFK’s assassination, many of the people who can recall the era in detail have passed on. Marian Cannon Schlesinger was married to Arthur Schlesinger Jr., historian, speechwriter and special advisor to President John F. Kennedy, living in D.C. and raising four children during his Washington years. Well-traveled, having studied in China prior to their marriage, she returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts after their divorce. She has written and illustrated five children’s books and, in 2012, published the second volume of her memoirs: I Remember: A Life of Politics, Painting and People.
Though at first glance, science and fantasy seem to be polar opposites, the Venn diagram circles of “scientists” and “Lord of the Rings fans” have a large overlap. One could (lovingly!) label that region “nerds.”
Fight me on that if you want, but there’s plenty of evidence that suggests scientists love J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic. Several newly discovered animal species have been named after characters from the books—a genus of wasps in New Zeland is now called Shireplitis, with species S. bilboi, S. frodoi, S. meriadoci, S. peregrini, S. samwisei and S. tolkieni. The wasps bear the names of the hobbits because they too are “small, short, and stout,” according to a press release. On the other side of the size spectrum, paleontologists named a 900-pound ancient crocodile Anthracosuchus balrogus, after the Balrog, a giant whip-wielding fire monster from The Lord of the Rings. There is also a dinosaur named after Sauron, which seems kinda harsh to me. And many, many more, if the website “Curious Taxonomy” is to be believed.