Map Music: Map Ref. 41°N 93°W by Wire

Weird, but I don’t have any map song posts yet on Maps and the City! So, what better way to start with this one. Thank you Melle for introducing this classic to me (so you should thank him for my music education). Enjoy Map Ref. 41°N 93°W by Wire (1979).

“An unseen ruler defines with geometry
An unrulable expanse of geography
An aerial photographer over-exposed
To the cartologist’s 2D images knows
The areas where the water flowed
So petrified, the landscape grows
Straining eyes try to understand
The works, incessantly in hand
The carving and paring of the land
The quarter square, the graph divides
Beneath the rule, a country hides

Interrupting my train of thought
Lines of longitude and latitude
Define and refine my altitude

The curtain’s undrawn
Harness fitted, no escape
Common and peaceful, duck, flat, lowland
Landscape, canal, canard, water coloured

Crystal palaces for floral kings
A widespread waving span of wings
Witness the sinking of the sun
A deep breath of submission has begun”

Get Lost in Straetview: 17th Century Amsterdam

Looking for a good reason to visit Amsterdam this Spring? The Amsterdam-based maritime museum Het Scheepvaartmuseum just openend a great exhibition on their Atlases. Very high on my to do list, as you can imagine.

If you can’t really book tickets to Amsterdam anytime soon, you’re still lucky: today the museum launched the website Straet View (think Google Street view goes seventeenth century). Great fun to wonder around seventeenth century Amsterdam.

I’ll keep you guys updated about when I’ve visited the exhibition because there will be a lot more map fun in The Atlases (so be careful… that post might still trigger you to visit Amsterdam real soon!).

Scheepvaartmuseum-Atlases-map-MATC

Scheepvaartmuseum-Atlases-detail-MATC

Marginalia in cARTography

From next week on, there is an exhibition on show in the Chazen Museum of Art called Marginalia in cARTography.This exhibition (February 28 until May 18) explores the visual discourse between marginal artistic images and the maps where they appear, as this marginalia sheds light on the content and purpose of the maps, their authors and patrons, and on the historical period when they were made. The exhibition also explores cartography as an art form, with a focus on the representations in the map margins. Guest curator is Sandra Sáenz-López Pérez, an Spanish art historian who specializes in the iconographical analysis of maps and the artistic interest of historical cartography.

If you don’t happen to be around the corner of Wisconsin (like me), you might like the fact that the catalogue is downloadable here.

Marginalia_Chazen-MATC

Map: Blaeu, Willem Janszoon, Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula, Map, Amsterdam, 1635, 41 x 54 cm., Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Neon is the new Black

Cool map alert! These Neon Maps City Posters by Jay Powell might be the perfect map for your living room or office. They are suitable for framing and there are various cities to choose from: Moscow, New York, Melbourne just to name a few. Ah, and countries too! And… if your region/city/country/favourite intersection is not on the list yet, you might just get it by backing the project on Kickstarter! Check it out, you only have 6 days left.

Neon Maps MATC

Neon Maps Liverpool MATC

Neon Maps Santa Barbara MATC

Neon Maps MATC

Neon Maps MATC

Georeferenced Atlas der Neederlanden

As you may know, I work at the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam, and I was lucky to get involved with a project called ‘Atlas der Neederlanden’. This atlas is in fact an impressive factice atlas from the collection (nine folios with maps of the Netherlands from several centuries up until approximately 1816, when the Kingdom of the Netherlands was shaped). The maps in the Atlas were restored and they are now on show in an fantastic exhibition, until 9 February 2014. (OK, I’ll stop promoting now).

With this project I also got into georeferencing a little: still quite a new field for me but this website by UvA-researcher Jan Hartmann gives a great idea of the possibilities. The technique behind this website is really far ahead. On the left, you can browse through all the maps in the nine folios of the Atlas der Neederlanden, and on the right you can project the map onto various maps of the Netherlands as we know the country today. You can easily zoom in and out of the various maps on a very high speed. Great way to see how accurate the maps in the Atlas are, or to see how they are oriented. Or: just to marvel at the beauty of these old maps, because they are incredibly pretty.

mapserverSara-AtlasderNeederlanden-home

mapserverSara-AtlasderNeederlanden-crop.

SARA-website