29 Apr 2010

New Collins Children’s World Map

Published today, this highly illustrated wall map is designed to take children on a journey of discovery around the countries of the world.

Cartographer Robin Scrimgeour who created the map says:
“This completely new pictorial world map was produced specifically for 4 to 9 year olds and designed to be bright, clear and informative. It includes countries, capital cities and ocean names. Pictorial symbols and a short paragraph introduce each continent, giving children a fun overview of their world. The 90 x 60 cm laminated poster map comes with re-useable stickers of flags, food, animals, people and places which kids can have fun placing in different locations around the world.”
Order the Collins Children’s World Map from Amazon

Magnificent Maps Exhibition at the British Library

Tomorrow (30th April) sees the opening of what looks like being a truly stunning exhibition, featuring some of the greatest maps in the world. The British Library, the national library of the United Kingdom, and one of the world's greatest research libraries will unveil its much anticipated Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art exhibition.

The display will feature around 100 maps from the library’s collection of over 4 million cartographic items. These will include some of most impressive, beautiful and largest maps ever created, many of them on display for the first time. The exhibition will place the maps in their original settings and reveal why these maps were designed for propaganda, as art or to convey power and influence.

British Library
Press Room: Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art
Magnificent Maps website
Magnificent Maps Curators’ Blog

Previews in the Press
Times Online
Magnificent Maps at the British Library, NW1 28 Apr 2010
Here Be Monsters 24 Apr 2010
Maps - the new rock’n’roll 16 Apr 2010
BBC News online The art of map making 30 Apr 2010

If you have been to this exhibition, please post a comment on it.

28 Apr 2010

Map of the Month Apr 10 – Cypraea Mappa, the Map Cowry

This month’s ‘map’ specimen is something completely different. It is a live map, an alive map, a living map.

The map cowry - Cypraea mappa or Leporicypraea mappa, is a gastropod mollusc with a glossy, brightly coloured shell up to 8 cm long. The map cowry was named after its shell colour and pattern of brown longitudinal lines which resemble early (Chinese) maps. It can be found over a wide band of the southern hemisphere stretching from the east Africa coast, across the Indian Ocean and westwards to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The cowry is collected for food, in the past the shells were trading as currency but are now very popular as paperweights, for jewellery and decoration.

How do you get one? Go to Zanzibar, East Timor or Samoa and find one, or as with most things these days, simply order them from the internet.

27 Apr 2010

New Collins Ramblers Guides

Coming out this Thursday (29 April 2010), these popular walking guides combine detailed route descriptions with information on the local history and wildlife. They are produced in association with the Ramblers, Britain's biggest walking charity with 130,000 members.

•The introduction gives information about the topography, geology and history of the area, and describes the flora and fauna inhabiting it.
•The main section of the book comprises 30 walks. Each walk has a symbol key, illustrating the level of difficulty and particular areas of interest. A fact file summarises useful information such as the start/finish point, distance, duration, highest point, refreshments, safety advice and landscape/wildlife interest.
•Illustrated with colour maps from the Ordnance Survey, each walk is then described in detail with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. The text gives the history of the main landmarks along the way plus information on the natural history of the area, and is accompanied by stunning colour photographs.

Peak District Roly Smith
The Peak District boasts an unrivalled network of around 1,400 miles of public rights-of-way, and over 80 square miles of open access on the northern moors. This guide allows the reader to explore the infinite variety of walking opportunities, which range from gentle riverside strolls, to tough moorland treks.

Isle of Skye Chris Townsend
This famous corner of the Scottish Highlands and Islands is home to a spectacular variety of mountain landscapes and dramatic coastlines. There is a wealth of fascinating places to explore: caves and sea stacks, headlands and arches, waterfalls and castles.

Yorkshire Dales David Leather
The magnificent Yorkshire Dales include impressive limestone formations, beautiful waterfalls and shadowy peaks. Picturesque dales such as Swaledale, Wharfedale and Dentdale meander through the area, where abbey ruins, ancient farmhouses and villages wait to be discovered.

Snowdonia and North Wales Richard Sale
The second largest National Park in the British Isles, Snowdonia offers a variety of challenging walks, from the high peaks to lowland valleys and gorges. The guide also includes some walks outside the Park.

New for 2010 editions
• Overview map on inside front cover showing start points of the walks.
• Colour coded walks to indicated level of difficulty.
• Front cover flap contains the key to walk symbols and is ideal as a book mark during use.

Click to enlarge sample pages

Amazon reviews:An excellent introduction to walks in the Peak District
I have completed many of the walks in this guide and have enjoyed them all. Directions and maps are clear and as such most of the walks are easy to follow. Each walk is given a difficulty guide and approximate time and I have found these to be realsitic. Information about wildlife, refreshmnents and points of interest mean that you can make the most of your walk and can plan what to take. A well written and informative guide. One of the best I've used.” Jayne Barker, 17 Feb 2004.

26 Apr 2010

Understanding the Gough Map

The Gough Map is known as one of the earliest maps to show the whole of Great Britain in a geographically recognizable form.

Map image from Linguistic Geographies website, click to enlarge

Despite much study, it is still not clear who made the map, how it was made, why it was created and when exactly it was published? Linguistic Geographies: the Gough Map of Great Britain and its Making, is a research project set up to investigate and answer these key questions.

“To this end one of the main project outcomes will be the web-resource through which the Gough Map will be made more widely accessible (it currently resides in the Bodleian Library), and through which the data and findings of this project will be made freely available.”
Gough Map project website

Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project partners are: Queen's University Belfast, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and King's College London. The first meeting of the 15 month project took place in early April 2010 at the Bodleian Library, see Linguistic Geographies blog.

Interactive Gough Map at GEOID website.

22 Apr 2010

A Whole New World

Mapmakers respond as Earth’s changing climate reshapes the face of the planet.

To tie in with Earth Day 2010 (today), this article by Cody Crane in Science World magazine April 19, 2010, highlights how the impacts of climate change are keeping map makers busy with tracking changes and updating mapping. “We’re having to revise coastlines, remap ice shelves, and change lakes that are shrinking in size on maps,” says our own Jethro Lennox, senior editor of the Times Universal Atlas of the World.

Science World is an educational magazine in the United States, aimed at teenage readers in middle and high school.

21 Apr 2010

Earth Day 2010

Tomorrow, 22 April, sees the fortieth anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970.

Earth Day was established to create greater awareness of environmental issues and generate interest in related projects, leading to involvement in a range of practical activities around the world.

“Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.” - Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network coordinates worldwide events. For more information click on: about the Earth Day Network, events in your area, campaigns, core issues and resources.

UN 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity
UN World Water Day 2010

20 Apr 2010

A Majority of the World’s People Now Live in Cities

The recently published highlights of the World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009 Revision confirms that the world population is now more urban than rural. The level of world urbanization crossed the crucial 50 per cent mark by the middle of 2009, when the number of people living in urban areas (3.42 billion) surpassed those living in rural areas (3.41 billion).

This is one of the key findings from the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Population Division: World Urbanization Prospects, the 2009 Revision: Highlights, published March 2010.

At the Press Conference to launch this publication, Hania Zlotnik, Director of the Population Division of UNDESA explained that every two years her Division puts out a revision of its forecast of the growth of urban and rural populations. She mentioned some of the key findings in the report and stated that some 50.5 per cent of the population now lived in cities.

Some other highlights include:

● The world’s urban population is expected to increase by 84 per cent by 2050, from 3.4 billion in 2009 to 6.3 billion in 2050.

● By mid-century the world’s urban population will be the same size as the world’s total population was in 2004. Virtually all of the expected world population growth will be concentrated in the urban areas of the less developed regions.

● Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is the most populous urban agglomeration with 36.5 million people in 2009, higher than that of 196 countries or areas. If it were a country, it would rank 35th in population size, surpassing the populations of Algeria, Canada or Uganda.

● Until 1975 there were just three megacities (>10 million inhabitants): New York, Tokyo and Mexico City. Since then, their number has increased markedly with most arising in developing countries. Today, Asia has 11 megacities, Latin America has four, and Africa, Europe and Northern America have two each. By 2025, the number of megacities is expected to reach 29.

● Major parts of the world still remain largely rural - in both Africa and Asia, six out of every ten persons live in rural areas.

This information will be used to update the population of all the major cities on our reference mapping and the key highlights will be used to update the prelim (world urbanization and cities) sections in our forthcoming world atlases.

UNDESA World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009 Revision
Home Page
UNDESA World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009 Revision Press Release
UNDESA World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009 Revision Highlights

19 Apr 2010

Mobile Phones are More Common than Toilets in India

This revelation comes from a recent UNU-INWEH (United Nations University-Institute for Water, Environment and Health) report.

“It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, about half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet,” said Zafar Adeel, Director of UNU-INWEH, and chair of UN-Water, a coordinating body for water-related work at 27 UN agencies and their partners.

India has 545 million mobile phones (enough to serve about 45 per cent of the population), but only about 366 million people (31 per cent of the population) had access to improved sanitation in 2008.

Recommendations in the report Sanitation as a Key to Global Health: Voices from the Field are intended to accelerate the pace towards reaching the Millennium Development Goal on halving the proportion of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation.

Our joint publication with The World Bank, the
Atlas of Global Development has maps, statistics, diagrams and text which vividly illustrate the key development challenges facing our world today.

15 Apr 2010

Genealogy Map Resources: Exploration of Australia

The function of maps in genealogy is two fold. Most records are arranged geographically, so it is important to know where your ancestors lived and what villages and towns were nearby. They are also a fabulous way of bringing your family history to life, helping you get an insight into the places where your ancestors lived and what those places were like at the time.

Mapseeker has digitised a number of early Australia Expedition maps from the Collins Bartholomew Historical Archive and made them freely available for genealogy research. The Australian collection includes maps from 1530 to 1901, showing the route of a number of expeditions including those of Tasman, Sturt, and Burke and Wills.

Many maps of other countries and cities are available from Mapseeker’s archive of
Genealogy Map Resources, more are being added. See website for details.

14 Apr 2010

New BBC Four Documentaries - The Beauty of Maps and Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession

The Beauty of Maps, Seeing The Art In Cartography
A four part documentary series looking at maps in incredible detail to highlight their artistic attributions and reveal the stories that they tell.

Starts Monday 19 April, 20:30 - 21:00 on BBC Four:

Medieval Maps - Mapping the Medieval Mind The story of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, the largest intact medieval wall map in the world. Mon 19 April.

City Maps - Order out of Chaos How urban maps try to impose order on chaos. Tues 20 April.

Atlas Maps - Thinking Big A look at some of the largest and most elaborate maps ever produced. Wed 21 April.

4. Cartoon Maps - Politics and Satire How maps took on a new form, as devices for humour, satire or storytelling.

The parallel BBC website The Beauty of Maps has even more images and details.

This T.V. series showcases some of the maps in the British Library's forthcoming
Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art exhibition.

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession
A three part documentary series about the extraordinary stories behind maps. Professor Jerry Brotton uncovers how maps aren't simply about getting from A to B but are revealing snapshots of defining moments in history and tools of political power and persuasion.

Starts Sun 18 April 21:00 – 22:00 on BBC Four:

Windows on the World - how maps are both snapshots of defining moments in history and tools of political power. Sun 18 April.

2. Spirit of the Age - how maps can reveal the fears, obsessions and prejudices of their age. Sun 25 April.

3. Mapping the World - how maps are snapshots of a moment in history. Sun 2 May.

1 Apr 2010

Mike Parker’s Map Addict Paperback Edition

A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & the Ordnance Survey.

The paperback version of Map Addict is on sale from today and includes a new colour 8 page map section.

Mike Parker, writer and presenter of Radio 4’s On the Map, celebrates the richness of all things maps in this fantastic, critically-acclaimed read.

Mike Parker offers an exhilarating celebration of the humble map.’ Mail on Sunday.

See previous post
Map Addict by Mike Parker

Published by Collins

New Collins World Wall Map

Today, a new edition of our popular Collins World Wall Map is published.

This updated edition is an ideal reference map of the whole world. The main map at a scale of 1:22 000 000 includes roads, railways, cities and towns, and physical features. Inset maps show the polar regions. The bottom panel shows national flags and key statistics for every country.

The modern, attractive cartographic style make this wall map suitable for home, business and educational use. It comes rolled up in a clear Perspex tube and is excellent value at £9.99