30 Jan 2009

Map of the Month Jan 09 - Antarctic Facilities

I found this Map of the Month for January, through my research to check on the current set of year-round Antarctic Research Stations. These features are shown on the Antarctica spreads of our atlases and on our digital map databases.

I used the COMNAP map of main Antarctic Facilities and accompanying table to carry out my investigations. Our news files were updated with the result and the relevant information was passed on to our map and database editors.

The map
The main map is titled Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, Antarctic facilities operated by the National Antarctic Programs in the Antarctic Treaty Area (south of 60° latitude south), Draft Edition 4 (as at June 2008). This map is designed for printing out at A0+ size (84 x119 cm and larger), so is essentially a wall chart.

Click to download the map (8.3 MB PDF) from the COMNAP website

It also includes: A smaller Antarctic Status world map and table indicating the countries signed up to the Antarctic Treaty and membership of Antarctic organisations. A table of the Main Antarctic Facitities operated by the National Antarctic Programs in the Antarctic Treaty Area with relevant details. A smaller Antarctica Search And Rescue map indicating the Maritime and Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centres responsible for part of the Antarctic Region & Boundaries of Maritime Search and Rescue Regions.

Extract from the main map (click to enlarge)

The background
COMNAP stands for Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs. Created in 1988, it is the international association that brings together National Antarctic Programs from around the world to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica.

Each signatory to the Antarctic Treaty normally establishes a National Antarctic Program, which has national responsibility for managing the support of scientific research in the Antarctic Treaty Area on behalf of its government and in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty. COMNAP currently brings together the National Antarctic Programs of 29 countries from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

The result
After checking the map and facilities table, two year-round Antarctic Research Stations have been added to our databases and will be shown on forthcoming mapping such as the
Times Concise Atlas of the World (new 11th edition to be published later this year). Arturo Prat station (Chile) on Greenwich Island, South Shetland Islands is now operational all-year round. The new eco-friendly, zero-emission, Princess Elisabeth (Belgium) station in Dronning Maud Land is under trial operation.

Further information
This map is copyright to COMNAP. It is distributed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license.

The first formal use of "Antarctica" as a continental name was in the 1890s, attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew, see a previous Collins Maps post

28 Jan 2009

The BCS John C. Bartholomew Award for Small Scale Mapping

“One of the aims of the BCS is to encourage better mapping by providing medals and prizes to individuals or companies who have shown excellence in this field.”

For the past 30 years, The John C Bartholomew Award has recognised excellence in the field of small scale mapping. This year HarperCollins through Collins Bartholomew, in association with the Bartholomew family and the BCS are happy to continue this tradition.

This award is given for originality and distinction in the field of thematic cartography (non-topographic, 1:100,000 scale or smaller), with the emphasis on effective communication of the theme or themes. The winner will receive a cheque for £500 (from HarperCollins and the Bartholomew family), a crystal trophy (to keep) and a framed certificate.

For further details, rules and entry form, click on the following links:
The John C. Bartholomew Award, award rules and entry form, BCS Awards.

The closing date is 28th February 2009.

Keith Moore, Head of Cartographic Services, Collins Geo.

Atlas of Global Development

A Visual Guide to the World's Greatest Challenges

"This is an excellent, up-to-date source book which will be invaluable for students of, and staff teaching, higher levels of geography .... a clear, concise, easily-accessible and well-illustrated volume."
The Geographical Association.

The World Bank in association with Collins Geo have just published a completely revised and updated second edition of the Atlas of Global Development which vividly illustrates the key development challenges facing our world today.

Social, economic and environmental issues that are facing the planet are presented by easy-to read, colorful world maps, tables, graphs, text and photographs. Drawing on data from the World Bank's authoritative World Development Indicators, this book brings to life country comparisons of social indicators like life expectancy, infant mortality, safe water, population, growth, poverty and energy efficiency.

23 Jan 2009

Celebrating Australia Day - 26th January (How some early explorers went walkabout in Australia)

This Monday, the 26th January, will see Australians worldwide celebrating Australia Day. Given that the day is also known as Invasion Day, it is clear that not all Australians see it as a day for celebration. However, here at Collins Geo we are celebrating the day by posting a few interesting map images depicting the inland exploration of the continent.

The first map shows the period 1828 to 1830 and shows the expeditions undertaken by Captain Charles Sturt. He was one of many early explorers to believe that a vast inland sea lay to the west of the Great Dividing Ranges.

The second map shows the period 1859 to 1862 and includes the route taken by two of the best known Australian explorers, Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills. In their 1860-61 expedition they crossed the continent from south to north (Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria), and in so doing determined that there was no great inland sea lying west of the mountains.

European explorers had discovered most of the major geographical features of Australia by the turn of the 20th century, although it is worth noting that it was not until 1936 that the Simpson Desert was crossed by an expedition led by Ted Colson.

The maps were scanned from the 4th edition of the Australian School Atlas published in 1959 by O.U.P. and produced by John Bartholomew & Son Ltd. They belong to a series of 12 maps in this atlas charting the inland exploration of Australia.

The current range of educational atlases from Collins can be found at the Collins Education website.

By David Jamieson, Librarian, Collins Geo

The Geography of Barack Obama

It is often said that people are greatly influenced by places in their lives. Barack Obama, the new US President, has no doubt been affected by a number of places relating to his birth, education and employment.

The following selected places are significant to Obama. Click to see their location and related geographical information using our new Collins World Find That Place application.

Barack Obama was born in
Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961. His father, Barack Obama Senior, came from Nyang’oma Kogelo* (also known as Kogelo) in Nyanza province, Kenya. His mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Fort Leavenworth (a US Army facility) just north of Leavenworth, in Kansas. Obama then moved with his mother to Jakarta, Indonesia until he was ten years old.

He graduated from Columbia University in
New York in 1983, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations. Obama served as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, Illinois, for twelve years, teaching Constitutional Law.

He became Senator of
Illinois in 2005 and in January 2009 he was sworn in as the 44th president of United States at a ceremony in the national capital Washington (District of Columbia).

*This small Kenyan village will now be added into our map data due to the huge media interest, it will be considered for inclusion in future atlases and digital datasets.

Where in the world is Obama (the town, not the president)?

Search Collins World Find That Place to find out.

21 Jan 2009

The Bartholomew Archive at the National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has just ‘gone live’ with the initial results of its project to document the records of Bartholomew map makers. The website is clear and easy to navigate, it contains many links to further material and includes fascinating images and maps.

“The Bartholomew Archive is the remarkable record of the Edinburgh-based firm of map engravers, printers and publishers, John Bartholomew & Son Ltd. It is one of the most extensive cartographic archives available for research in a public institution.”

A three-year NLS project to document the archive began in 2007. This project is funded by the John R Murray Charitable Trust.

Members of the Bartholomew family were engaged in map-making from the first known map engraving work of George Bartholomew in 1825. John Bartholomew junior started printing operations before 1870. For more than a century afterwards the Bartholomew firm specialised in high-quality map production.

Publishers HarperCollins and John C Bartholomew and family donated the firm's business records, working maps and plates to the NLS between 1983 and 2008. John Bartholomew & Son Ltd had donated copies of their published maps and atlases for many years previously.

The Bartholomew Archive Home Page

19 Jan 2009

Get Your Own Personalised London Map Jigsaw

Collins Bartholomew London street-level map data is now being used to create customised jigsaws of London. Available as a 400 or 255 piece jigsaw, each puzzle features colourful and detailed mapping of the capital.

Each jigsaw is made-to-order with a house shaped centrepiece based on a post code of your choice. If you live in London you can get it centred on your home, if not you can always centre on the Queen's home (SW1A 1AA).

Collins Geo is currently in the process of creating digital images from its archives that will allow historical maps to be made into jigsaws.

The bespoke jigsaws can be ordered from Above and Beyond,
Asda Gifts or WH Smiths Local Gifts.

15 Jan 2009

Leeds Leeds Leeds!

Last Friday's Yorkshire Evening Post ran a piece on Leeds, and how it's legacy has spread around the world. "There are no fewer than 19 towns or cities outside England called Leeds and they are variously spread across three continents."

This article was inspired by our research into the number of namesakes for the UK's ten largest cities, to promote the newly published Times Universal Atlas of the World.

14 Jan 2009

Place names and the PCGN

This afternoon Professor David Munro gave a presentation to the Collins Geo staff on the work of The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use (PCGN).

Professor Munro who is Chairman of the PCGN explained the intricacies of naming places around the world and illustrated how they are influenced by local culture, perception, language, scripts, sovereignty, politics, transcription and application.

Some examples used:
Milan (English form) = Milano (Italian) = Mailand (German) - language variants.
Bombay (Portuguese origin) is now known as Mumbai - a completely new Hindu related name.
Tsaritsyn changed to Stalingrad then changed to Volgograd – political change.
Hot Springs was renamed Truth or Consequences (New Mexico, USA) – after a popular radio program in 1950.
Bukhara (Russian Cyrillic, romanized) = Bukhoro (Uzbek Cyrillic, romanized) = Buxoro (Uzbek Roman) – transliteration and orthographic variants.
Nome (Alaska) - was apparently named as a result of a spelling error. In the 1850's an officer on a British ship off the coast of Alaska noted on a manuscript map that a nearby prominent point was not identified and wrote "? Name" next to the point. When the map was recopied, a cartographer in the Admiralty misread the comment and christened the feature "Cape Nome".

He then explained that the PCGN is an independent inter-departmental body whose principal function is to advise the British government on policies and procedures for the proper writing of geographical names for places and features outside the United Kingdom (excluding those of the Antarctic).

The PCGN works closely with The United States Board on Geographic Names and liaises with the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names.

Professor Munro sits on our internal Policy Committee as an advisor on name forms for our maps, atlases and digital data products.

See also Nome Convention and Visitors Bureau

6 Jan 2009

2009 Collins Road Atlas Europe

Fully revised, up-to date digital mapping.

Easy to use A4 spiral bound format.

Covers Europe from North Cape, Norway to Gibraltar and from Ireland to western Turkey.

Includes large scale road maps of the Ruhr and Rhine

New for 2009 edition: an extra 24 city through-route maps and 16 new city centre street plans.

Comprehensive place names index.

Published 5 Jan 09.

5 Jan 2009

Times Atlas reveals spread of British town names around the world

To accompany the launch of The Times Universal Atlas of the World, cartographers at Collins Geo have identified the 10 British place names that have the most number of populated places outside the British Isles named after them. Topping the list is Richmond, with 55 namesakes around the world.

The top 10 British-derived place names around the world:
Number of international namesakes*
1 Richmond 55
2 London 46
3 Oxford 41
4 Manchester 36
5= Wellington 35
5= Bristol 35
6 Springfield 34
7 Arlington 31
8 Newcastle 29
9 Plymouth 24
10= Glasgow 23
10= York 23

Origin and spread of the name Richmond
The original Richmond is not the place that immediately springs to mind, namely Richmond upon Thames in Surrey. It only acquired the name Richmond in 1501, when the existing Manor House at Sheen was destroyed by fire. The incumbent monarch Henry VII named the new manor after one of his favourite castle elsewhere in the kingdom – Richmond Castle in Yorkshire. This means the North Yorkshire market town is the true originator of the 55 namesakes around the world.

Richmond in Yorkshire (current population 8970) was so named when a castle was begun there in 1071 by Alan Rufus, a Norman Knight who had accompanied William the Conqueror to England and who also held the title of the Earl of Richemont, in France. Richemont – literally translated, it means ‘Rich Mountain’ – still exists as a village in the department of Haute Seine.

The name Richmond spread to the USA – where 34 of the examples are to be found. The town in Maine was named after the first Duke of Richmond, Ludovic Stewart (who was active in colonizing the area on behalf of the British Government). Further Richmonds were named in honour of subsequent Dukes and their families. Many other Richmonds, such as in the one in Virginia (which looks down on the James River), owe their naming to the coincidental positional aspect with their London namesake (which looks down over the Thames). The founder of Richmond Virginia, William Byrd, was born in the America but educated in England – at which point he must have laid eyes on the view from Richmond upon Thames.

Other examples of the name Richmond are to be found in South Africa (5), Jamaica (4), Australia, (4), Grenada (2), Canada (2), the Bahamas (1), New Zealand (1), Trinidad and Tobago (1) and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

*All the examples included are ‘toponymic homonyms’, meaning places sharing exactly the same name and not being suffixed by “Hill”, “River”, “Valley” etc. ‘Settlement’ is here defined as cities, towns, villages and hamlets but not other localities such as farms, train stations, ferry crossings etc. Settlements that are recorded as not having been named after the UK counterparts have been removed.

Naming newly-founded settlements after their home towns was a common practice by British settlers arriving in far-off continents, and has proved to be one of the most enduring geographical legacies of Britain’s former overseas presence.

“Place names were emotive and used to provide some sort of continuity for people facing uncertain challenges in new and hostile places,” says Jethro Lennox, senior publishing editor for Collins World Atlases, publishers of the Times Universal Atlas of the World. “These days, the importance varies – in some places, few people in the town may be aware of the connection; in others, they remain a source of pride.”

All Roads lead to Richmond article from the Mail online (29 Dec).
Richmond, the most widely copied British place name worldwide article in Times Online (29 Dec).

The most popular place names globally
No British place names, however, feature in the top 50 places names globally, a list which is headed by San Jos̩ with 1716 examples around the world. 35 of the remainder are also Hispanic and seven Russian Рbut none British:

Number of namesakes
1 San José 1716
2 San Antonio 1691
3 Santa Maria 1246
4 Santa Rosa 1212
5 San Pedro 1191

For more information on the
Times Universal Atlas of the World and other Times atlases and maps see Times Atlases.