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.
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal early on Saturday, centered 10 miles below the surface, less than 50 miles from the capital of Kathmandu. At least 1,100 are already reported to have been killed by the quake and subsequent avalanches triggered in the Himalayas. Historic buildings and temples were destroyed, leaving massive piles of debris in streets as rescue workers and neighbors work to find and help those still trapped beneath rubble. Below are images from the region of the immediate aftermath of one of the most powerful earthquakes to strike Nepal in decades. (Editor's note, some of the images are graphic in nature.)
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.
After more than a year of rumors and speculation, Bruce Jenner publicly came out as transgender with four simple words: “I am a woman.”
“My brain is much more female than male,” he explained to Diane Sawyer, who conducted a prime-time interview with Jenner on ABC Friday night. (Jenner indicated he prefers to be addressed with male pronouns at this time.) During the two-hour program, Jenner discussed his personal struggle with gender dysphoria and personal identity, how they shaped his past and current relationships and marriages, and how he finally told his family about his gender identity.
During the interview, Sawyer made a conspicuous point of discussing broadly unfamiliar ideas about gender and sexuality to its audience. It didn't always go smoothly; her questions occasionally came off as awkward and tone-deaf. But she showed no lack of empathy.
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.
Today was the latest installment of the never-ending Clinton scandal saga, but it won’t be the last. Yet in some ways, the specifics are a distraction. The sale of access was designed into the post-2001 Clinton family finances from the start. Probably nobody will ever prove that this quid led to that quo … but there’s about a quarter-billion-dollar of quid heaped in plain sight and an equally impressive pile of quo, and it’s all been visible for years to anyone who cared to notice. As Jonathan Chait, who is no right-wing noise-machine operator, complained: “The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.”
“All of this amounts to diddly-squat,” pronounced long-time Clinton associate James Carville when news broke that Hillary Clinton had erased huge numbers of emails. That may not be true: If any of the conduct in question proves illegal, destroying relevant records may also have run afoul of the law.
Our patient—we’ll call him W.B.—is a 56-year-old father of three who, until last year, had always been healthy. He had worked his entire life, in jobs ranging from automotive repair to sales, taking great pride in providing for his family, even though doing so had recently meant combining three part-time positions. All of that ended in February 2014, when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. A neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness, ALS leads to the loss of all voluntary movement, difficulty breathing, and, in the end, death.
W.B.’s life was turned upside down by the diagnosis. But once the initial shock passed, he began researching his condition intensively. He learned that he was unlikely to survive five years, and that in the meantime his quality of life would diminish dramatically. With limited options, many patients retreat. But, quite bravely, W.B. had other ideas. After much consideration, he decided that if he was going to die, he would like to try to save another person’s life in the process, even if that person was a stranger. And so last May he approached the University of Wisconsin’s transplant program, where we are surgeons, as a prospective organ donor.
The Dr. Oz Show provides critics with ample material: séances, energy healing, miracle diet products. Once a media darling, Oz has been subjected to a steady stream of public humiliations, from his shaming in front of a Senate subcommittee to an April 15 letter that a group of doctors wrote to Columbia University, urging his dismissal from the faculty, accusing him of promoting “quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain”—to which Dr. Oz responded with an ad hominem attack on the letter-writers and a defense of free speech. But despite numerous subsequent think pieces about the man behind the curtain, a crucial question stands out: Why call for Dr. Oz’s dismissal, when many medical schools and hospitals endorse the most outlandish of his claims?
The editors of Smithsonian magazine have announced the winners of their 12th annual photo contest, selected from more than 26,500 entries. The winning photographs from from the competition's six categories are published below: The Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images and Mobile. Also, a few finalists have been included as well. Captions were written by the photographers. Be sure to visit the contest page at Smithsonian.com to see all the winners and finalists.
“Oh my God, can you grab him?” I shouted at the woman at the door, as my 3-month-old puppy darted out into the cold and I tried to stop my 6-year-old twins from following suit. She obliged, and I was able to get a proper look at her. It was in the 30s outside, unseasonably cold for Florida, and the young woman holding my squiggling puppy was wearing nothing but a light spring sweater, shivering and looking miserable. I invited her in.
Over a cup of coffee, she introduced herself as Tysharia Young and tried to do what she’d come to do: sell me overpriced magazine subscriptions. It was not the first time someone had knocked on my door for this purpose, and I was sure it wouldn’t be the last. Gainesville has had such issues with magazine sellers that our local police department recently issued a public warning.
When healthcare is at its best, hospitals are four-star hotels, and nurses, personal butlers at the ready—at least, that’s how many hospitals seem to interpret a government mandate.
When Department of Health and Human Services administrators decided to base 30 percent of hospitals’ Medicare reimbursement on patient satisfaction survey scores, they likely figured that transparency and accountability would improve healthcare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials wrote, rather reasonably, “Delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care requires us to carefully consider the patient’s experience in the hospital inpatient setting.” They probably had no idea that their methods could end up indirectly harming patients.