30 Mar 2010

Map of the Month Mar 10 - Algonquin Provincial Park Map

In August 2009 I went on a canoe trip in the Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. The park, established in 1893, covers an area of 7,650 sq km and is said to include over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 km of streams and rivers. It is home to a large variety of wildlife including Moose, White-tailed Deer, Black Bears, Wolves, Beavers, over 270 bird species, Trout, Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass. An ideal area for canoeing and exploring.

On previous trips in the area I had used the official park map which was adequate enough. However, my cartographic curiosity got the better of me and after searching the web for alternatives, I came across the
Algonquin Provincial Park Map. It is produced by Jeffrey A. McMurtrie, an Environmental Geography student at the University of Toronto, who has enjoyed canoeing in the park since he was a boy. Infuriated by the number of errors on other park maps (he submitted corrections but received no responses) he decided to produce his own map. He gathered information from many different sources - satellite photos, trip logs, books and from the knowledge of other park visitors.

Sample and key from the full map, click to enlarge

For this trip I downloaded the required areas for our expedition and printed them at A4 size which allowed me to put them into a watertight map bag for protection.

Myself, my wife, my brother in law and his wife took two Canadian canoes to the start of our excursion at the south end of O-Pe-On-Go Lake. We began by taking a 30 minutes water-taxi ride northwest up the lake, saving a days canoeing and getting us quickly into the park’s interior. From the North Arm we tackled the longest portage of the trip (2180m) then canoed across Happy Isle Lake and Merchant Lake. A portage into Big Trout Lake and some paddling was followed by another land crossing through Otterslide Creek then across Otter Slide Lake, Burnt Island Lake and Joe Lake, finishing our trip on the south end of Canoe Lake. Over the four days we must have covered around 65 km. Though we never came face to face with a black bear, on the last night we were aware of something outside our tent, fortunately it moved on so no evasive action was needed.

Area showing our canoe expedition, click to enlarge

During the trip I was very impressed with the level of detail on the map including canoe routes with portage lengths (purple on the map), camp sites, cabins, contours and land use. I also liked the addition of local historical information such as ‘Here boy scouts can sign a logbook on the lake named after their founder’ at Baden-Powell Lake.

Algonquin Provincial Park Map is free to download in a number of formats, resolutions, full size or by selected areas. The new revised version (3.0) will be available soon (early 2010), it features beaver dams, bird nests, and GPS data for many campsites and portages among other things. See the website www.algonquinmap.com for all map details and background information.

Ewan Ross, Cartographic Editor, Collins Geo

29 Mar 2010

What was the Most Popular Atlas?

According to the latest post on the Bartholomew Archive blog, it was ... The Bartholomew's Citizen's Atlas. Cited as 'The Most Popular Atlas Ever Published' according to ... Bartholomew's own advertising. See the elegant advertising poster and background details at The Most Popular Atlas Ever Published

On the Map BBC Radio 4 Programmes (week two)

This afternoon the second week of the 'On the Map' programmes will begin.

Last weeks bite-sized broadcasts were very easy to listen to and follow and uncovered many fascinating insights into maps, map making and map makers.

For further details see ‘On the Map’ BBC Radio 4 Programmes with Mike Parker

26 Mar 2010

New Moore Island, No More

From..... David Mumford [Collins Geo Newsroom Co-ordinator]
To......... Kenneth Gibson [Collins Geo Database Co-ordinator]
Subject. New Moore island, no more

Had an email from a colleague, about an island that has disappeared (he saw an article on the BBC online yesterday). I’ve done some research and want you to check out the cartographic databases to see what needs to be done - to keep them up to date.

The tiny island, named New Moore Island or Purbasha in India, or South Talpatti Island in Bangladesh was first charted after the Bhola cyclone in 1970. According to the references I’ve looked at, it was in the Bay of Bengal, in the Sundarbans area, south of the
Hariabhanga river which delineates the international border between Bangladesh and India. It had been claimed by both countries since it appeared nearly forty years ago. It was very small (3x3 km at low tide), low lying (less than 2 m high) and had no permanent settlements.

The School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta commented that the disappearance of the island was confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, and was probably due to rising sea levels in the Bay. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Sugata Hazra the School’s Professor.

I’ve looked at some of our atlases and we don’t seem to show it (due to the small scales and because this island was so small itself). Could you check our largest scale database of this area to see if we show it, and if we do, it can be removed. I presume it will not be on smaller scale databases?

The map is from the latest Comp [Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World 12th edition] plate 30 at 1:2,500,000 and shows the general location.

If you are interested here are some links:
BBC News online Disputed Bay of Bengal island 'vanishes' say scientists
Times of India New Moore isle no more, expert blames warming
South Talpatti Island
School of Oceanographic Studies, Kolkata

Let me know what you do.

From..... Kenneth Gibson
To........ David Mumford
Subject. RE: New Moore island, no more

The data that we hold and maintain for this area of the world has a largest nominal scale of 1:2,000,000. Therefore, this island was too small to show anyway and no changes are required.


25 Mar 2010

The Anglo Saxon Staffordshire Hoard is Saved

The Art Fund is delighted to announce that the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest archaeological Anglo-Saxon find ever unearthed, has been saved for the nation. The news comes after the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), the government's fund of last resort for heritage items at risk, pledged £1,285,000, bringing the campaign to the £3.3m target, just over three weeks ahead of schedule.Art Fund website Staffordshire Hoard saved for the nation (23 Mar 10).

A previous Collins Maps blog post Saxon Map of Britain Raises Funds to Save the Staffordshire Hoard highlighted this campaign, with details on how the purchase of copies of John Speed’s Saxon map was helping with fundraising.

23 Mar 2010

Scotland of Old Clan Maps

Three of our Scotland Clan Maps are now available to order as framed or unframed prints through Mapseeker – Historical Maps Online, under the Collins Bartholomew Scottish Heritage category.

The Scotland of Old map, also known as the Bartholomew Clan Map of Scotland, features ‘The Lands’, ‘The Arms’, ‘The Crests’. The central map delineates the clan territories and is framed by the serried array of a hundred and seventy heraldic shields along with their crests and mottoes. The whole piece was designed by the late
Don Pottinger, who painted it as a single artwork. Read Roger Pountain’s colourful Map of the Month Nov 09 article on his Clan Map of Scotland (jigsaw).

The Scottish Clans and Tartans map shows the general sphere of influence held by the clans and considerable families at the beginning of the 17th century. The areas representing the ancient Principalities of Scotland are also indicated on the map. The map and index show a selection of clan and tartan associated tourist attractions.

The Scottish Clans and Tartans 2 map indicates the general sphere of influence held by the clans and considerable families at the beginning of the 17th century. Highland dress and the tartan is a powerful symbol of the wearer’s pride in a Scottish ancestry and in Scotland itself. The map and index show a selection of clan and tartan associated tourist attractions.

22 Mar 2010

World Water Day 2010

An estimated 1.1 billion people rely on unsafe drinking-water sources.

More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling for better protection and sustainable management of one of the Earth’s most precious resources on the occasion of World Water Day.

Today is World Water Day 2010. The theme this year is Clean Water for a Healthy World, focusing on raising awareness of water quality issues. International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

UN World Water Day official website
WaterAid UK Get Involved – World Water Day 2010

Our joint publication with The World Bank, The Atlas of Global Development has a section on water resources, looking at the main issues and statistics.

All Maps are Lies, That’s the Truth

Saturday’s Independent Magazine (20th March 10) had an item by Michael Church titled The truth about maps: How cartographers distort reality.

Peter Barber, head of maps at the British Library explains how all maps have some degree of subjective editorial selection, and therefore distort reality - "Unless you have a scale of one-to-one, every map is subjective, and always will be." The article draws attention to the theme of the much anticipated, forthcoming exhibition "Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art" from 30 April to 19 September.

Details from the British Library http://www.bl.uk/magnificentmaps

19 Mar 2010

‘On the Map’ BBC Radio 4 Programmes with Mike Parker

This Monday (22 March), the first episode of a ten part series called ‘On the Map will be broadcast.

Mike Parker, author of
Map Addict, will present the 15-minute programmes. They will go out on Radio 4, Monday to Friday at 3.45pm in the weeks beginning 22nd and 29th March. Mike visited our Collins Geo offices in January to record some interviews about the Times Atlas of the World - its history, the production process, updates, decisions on name forms, boundary issues and content.

‘On the Map’ looks at maps and map-making since the beginning of the twentieth century and will cover the use of maps for everything from leisure and motoring to propaganda and story-telling. It will also include the different approaches which have been taken to the mapping of cities, the use of maps during war, the creation of atlases and the political agendas behind different maps. And it looks at the future of cartography as digital technology opens up mapping to everyone.

1. Mon 22nd
The Map Makers - Introduction and OS maps
2. Tue 23rd Mapping the Metropolis - Mapping Manchester & London A-Z
3. Wed 24th Motoring Maps - Road maps and sat navs
4. Thu 25th Social Mapping - Data mashups and crowdsource mapping
5. Fri 26th The Lie of the Land - Power, politics and propaganda
6. Mon 29th World View – Territories and travel
7. Tue 30th Off the Map - Military mapping and tactical omissions
8. Wed 31st Whose Map is it Anyway? – The future of OS mapping
9. Thu 1 Apr Digital Maps - OpenStreetMap, sat nav and internet mapping
10. Fri 2 Apr Maps of the Mind –Mental maps and the Archers

The website includes brief background details for each episode, with links to maps mentioned in the programme or examples of mapping on the particular theme. Episode 3 - Motoring Map has a link to a Bartholomew 1920 motoring map and to some 1930s promotional material.

To listen: click on this url www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rd8z5, then click on the Listen Live link at the top right of the page.

Two other documentaries coming soon to BBC FOUR are
Mapping the World and The Art of Maps.

16 Mar 2010

North is Up, South is Down?

Our perceptual world is part of our way of thinking” Joseph P. Simmons.

I’ve just come across a very interesting paper, via a MapHist posting this morning, subject: –‘Map orientation and distance perception’, reviewing a short article in the
March/April 2010 Yale Alumni Magazine. The article relates to a paper by Simmons and Nelson, titled ‘On Southbound Ease and Northbound Fees: Literal Consequences of the Metaphoric Link Between Vertical Position and Cardinal Direction.’

The aim of the marketing study was to find out if consumers were influenced consciously or sub-consciously by relationship between cardinal direction and vertical position (i.e., “north is up”):
* People believe that it will take longer to travel north than south.
* It will cost more to ship to a northern than to a southern location.
* A moving company will charge more for northward than for southward movement.
* People have greater intention to visit stores advertised to be south (versus north) of a reference point especially when ease of travel is important.

The study suggests that a lifetime of using maps which traditionally show north at the top, has an influence on the way many people think about distances and directions.

We talk about going up north and down south, but do we really think it is harder to go up? I remember ‘when I was just a boy’ travelling ‘down’ from Scotland to visit my grandparents in Yorkshire. On the day we were leaving my granddad commented on how it would take much longer for us to go back home, as it was uphill all the way!

Nowadays, in the digital mapping age, the association between north and up may be less clear. More people are using route-finders on the intranet, sat-navs in their cars and website store finders which use close up/large scale mapping that seem to gives less of a sense of place, but greater emphasis on how to get from here to there.

Any comments please.

“I always like going south. Somehow … it feels like going downhill.” - Treebeard, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

On Southbound Ease and Northbound Fees (917 kb pdf) in the Journal of Marketing Research Vol. XLVI (December 2009), 715–724.
Upside Down Map of California on Amazon.
Upside Down Atlas of Great Britain on Amazon.

10 Mar 2010

Concepción Goes West and the Earth Slows Down

The factual news behind this sensational headline is a matter of scale and relativity. The massive 27th February earthquake off the Chilean coast has caused the tragic death of reportedly over 700 people and massive localised destruction.

Research scientists including some geophysicists, on the ground, were quick to analyse and produce measurements from the data gathered at the time. They report that the 8.8 magnitude earthquake (moment magnitude scale) lasted nearly four minutes. The tremor was so powerful that it moved the entire city of
Concepción 3.04 m to the west, the capital Santiago 24 cm and even the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires (nearly 1300 km away) shifted 3.9 cm. The research team deduced the cities’ movement by comparing precise GPS locations known before the earthquake with those almost 10 days later. This change would definitely affect GPS positioning and large scale mapping.

Map from OSU Research News Website: Researchers Show How Far South American Cities Moved in Quake.

Richard Gross a US Jet Propulsion Laboratory research scientist has computed how the earth's rotation should have changed as a result of the quake. A preliminary calculation using a complex model predicted that the length of an earth day has been shortened by about 1.26 microseconds (1.26 millionths of a second). This change would have little effect on most people

For further information see:
Ohio State University (OSU) Research News Website:
Researchers Show How Far South American Cities Moved in Quake.
NASA News:
Chilean Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days

8 Mar 2010

Commonwealth Day 2010

Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations (normally called The Commonwealth), this year’s theme is Science, Technology and Society. The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of independent countries, nearly all of which were once British territories.

● There are 54 members including the United Kingdom, which co-operate in the common interests of their people.
● The Commonwealth promotes international peace and security, democracy, liberty and equal rights, as well as economic and social development.
● The modern Commonwealth came into being with the London Declaration in April 1949. It now represents nearly two billion people – almost a third of the world's population.
● New members must generally have a direct historical or administrative association with another Commonwealth country. However in 1995 Mozambique became the first country admitted without any former colonial or constitutional links
● Rwanda, the newest member joined in Nov 2009 becoming the second country admitted without direct links.

The Commonwealth and other major International Organisations from the Award winning Collins Student World Atlas (2009).
Click to enlarge.

Click for details.

5 Mar 2010

New Ireland and Scotland Touring Maps and Pocket Maps

Ireland and Scotland Touring Maps
We have just published new editions of these two well established, popular touring maps. They contain a huge amount of detail including places of tourist interest, fully updated for 2010. These maps are ideal for those wanting to get the most out of their visit to Scotland or Ireland.

• Clear, easy to follow road maps with colour classified roads.
• Over 20 categories of tourist information clearly marked and indexed.
• Full index to place names and places of interest.

Ireland Touring Map
Scotland Touring Map

Scotland and Ireland Pocket Maps
Brand new additions to the Pocket Maps format are these handy little double-sided maps of Scotland and Ireland. The clear, detailed, full colour mapping is presented in a handy design, ideal for the pocket, bag or car glovebox.

• Ideal route planners, the whole of Scotland or Ireland at a glance.
• Includes places of tourist interest to make sure visitors make the most of their journey.
• Handy companion to a sat nav - it enables you to sense check your route.
• Excellent value at only £1.99.

Scotland Pocket Map
Ireland Pocket Map

4 Mar 2010

New Collins World Atlas Reference Edition

Today sees the publication of the Collins World Atlas Reference Edition, a completely new addition to the Collins World Atlas range.

This great value hardback world atlas has more place names and mapping than similarly priced atlases. It is the perfect family reference atlas for travel, planning, school and college study, and for gaining a perspective on how the world looks today.

• Highly detailed maps give a balanced worldwide coverage.
• Beautifully illustrated thematic pages show the latest global issues including the AIDS epidemic, world conflict and climate change.
• Thousands of facts and statistics including world and continental ranking tables.
• Detailed section showing descriptions, flags and statistics for every country in the world.
• Updated section showing the latest stunning satellite images.
• Special section listing all the UNESCO World Heritage sites with location maps.

This detailed atlas is an ideal addition to anyone's reference collection.

The world revealed through award winning mapping

312 x 226 mm, hardback

312 pages
ISBN 978-0-00-734718-6

2 Mar 2010

Collins Geo Wins Map Awards at IMTA (EAME) Conference 2010

Collins Geo has just picked up two awards at the recent International Map Trade Association (IMTA): Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) annual Conference and Trade Show, held in Bayonne, France, 25-26 Feb.

We won the Gold Award for Best Flat Map for our Collins Three Wall Maps
(Wall Maps Pack 3 in 1). This is a new collection featuring a world political, world environmental and United Kingdom map.

The Big Ben London Street Map was awarded Silver in the IMTA Best Folded Map category. Full of useful information and at a scale of 5 inches to 1 mile, the map is clear and easy to read both for the pedestrian finding their way around the streets of the city or the visitor trying to navigate their way around using public transport.