Kenneth Field compiles his favourite examples of creative and ingenious cartography for 2018.
Map of the week
Rabbits were introduced to Australia in 1859 by English settler Thomas Austin. According to Austin “The introduction of a few rabbits could do little harm and might provide a touch of home, in addition to a spot of hunting.” Staring in 1901, a 1,139 mile fence was built across western Australia to keep the rabbits from migrating from the east.
Back in 1989, the Guerrilla Girls surveyed all the works of art in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. They discovered that less than five percent of the artworks in the Modern Art Department were by female artists, while 85 percent of the nudes featured in those artworks were female. Women aren’t only under represented inside art galleries. You probably won’t be too surprised to hear that they are also underrepresented in those works of art that are displayed in public spaces.
Around 1745, Elizabeth Cushee shrank the entire world onto a wee little globe measuring just three inches across. Fashioned from paper gores curved and pasted onto a hollow wooden orb, the globe weighs no more than a few ounces. It fits snugly inside a fish-skin case, the scaly exterior of which evokes the celestial confetti of the night sky.
A Euler spiral is a curve whose curvature changes linearly with its curve length. A Euler spiral can therefore be used to create a map projection by projecting a curved globe onto a flat spiral. The interesting point for cartographers is that the more spirals used in a Euler spiral map projection, the less distortion there is.
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