Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spectral Wolf

Here's another excellent XKCD suggestion by Tanya Haddad (click on the image to make it larger, more legible.  Warning: it gets very strange.  I'm pretty sure it's related to something like this). Tanya also sent this wonderful link to a '50's era educational documentary on making maps. Ah, those halcyon days of yesteryear when mylar overlays were the cutting edge tools of the trade. Will GIS professionals ever dress to the nines like that for work.... or anything else? 

By the way, go to this actual webcomic, hover over the image, and there will be an additional message in the "title-text" . This one says:
I call Rule 34 on Wolfram's Rule 34. 

XKCD has referenced Rule 34 before. I've looked it up and still don't understand it.  Something to do with simulating life. 

Monday, March 30, 2009


Here's another XKCD strip suggested to us, this time by Tanya Haddad. It truly is a marvelous webcomic.

Of course the reasoning behind this designation of West vs. East is due to it being a solidly Euro-centric concept, with most of Russia's land mass, of not sometimes Russia itself, as being "East". The West vs. East dichotomy is too simplistic to account for most human goings on. This map by Samuel Huntington at Wikipedia has a more complex arrangement, though it's probably too simplistic as well. But then again, that's what maps do: Simplify the world around us. Is that a benefit or a flaw? Both of course. 

Go to the actual xckd site, hover over the image, and there will be an additional message in the "title-text" . This one says:
Also, is it just me, or do Japan and New Zealand look suspiciously similar? Has anyone seen them at a party together?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Frazz the joker

One of the best cartoons on the planet today is Frazz by Jeff Mallet. GPS and GIS-related topics come up with some frequency. This one popped up on the excellent blog Comics I Don't Understand. This last week was the second time since I've been following the strip that Frazz sent somebody on a wild-but-worth-it goose chase:


Friday, March 27, 2009

Dr. directions

The joke about the spouses arguing about directions is a theme that pops up repeatedly in comics. Here are 2 examples. 

  1. Image removed. Link here.
  2. Image removed.  Link here

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Alien directions

Image removed.  Link here.
Another take on the spouses arguing about directions joke, this time from out of this world.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mapping Sitcoms #2

Some of you may have noticed yesterday's post suggested by Jon that the New York City sitcom map had a label that said "#3 In A Series of Pop Cultural Charts" This is number 4, perfect for those of you who saw the map yesterday and thought "Hmm... I wonder if there's a map showing locations of sitcom settings nationally". Well, here it is. And what a fascinating map it is. Although not all of the shows mapped are/were sitcoms (I'm looking at you Matlock). Certain swaths of the country are somewhat poorly represented (southern and mountain states). Whatcha gonna do. By the way, the other two maps in the series, while interesting, aren't map-related so I won't be posting them. But if you're interested, here are the links: http://danmeth.com/tagged/popculturalcharts

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mapping Sitcoms

This submission was suggested by my great frined Jon Proctor. It's a map showing all the sitcoms filmed in the New York City galaxy. It's from this site: http://danmeth.com/ which appears to be moderately interesting at least.

Monday, March 23, 2009

GPS shopping

 Image removed. Link here.

Here's a cartoon by Aaron Bacall that's a bit predictive in the sense that this is precisely the sort of thing GPS vendors and advertisers have in mind for the practical application of their product. There are already applications on vehicle navigation systems and smart phones that do this sort of thing. In truth this toon seems almost quaint in the sense that the general public may already assume this is exactly what GPS technology was originally designed to do. GPS technology is likely to get even more customized than this if it isn't already (see Minority Report)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Flat Earth

Here's a political cartoon from April of 2005. This was penned by Dwane Powell of the Raleigh News & Observer. There have been a few political cartoons along these lines over the years as school boards around the country debate science curriculum, though those debates tend to be about evolution vs. creationism, not so much geography. And to be fair, the "flat earth" myth may well have been created by author Washington Irving (Legend of Sleepy Hollow). James Loewen explains in this great book "Lies my Teacher Told Me" how Irving wrote an early history of America, in which he posited that before Chris Columbus the popular belief was that the Earth was flat. Despite the fact that most sea-faring civilizations in the world had long since figured out the spherical Earth concept centuries before, this "flat earth" myth has become one of the most pervasive urban myths of all time and has found its way into coutless examples of popular culture, case in point this excellent example from Bugs Bunny.

Monday, March 9, 2009

GPS Christmas

Here's another one submitted by Sarah Beecroft from XKCD by Randall Munroe. It's an excellent example of how pervasive GPS has become in every day life. And it's sweetly romantic. Very nice.

Randall Munroe massively expanded on this idea later. 

Go to this actual webcomic, hover over the image, and there will be an additional message in the "title-text" . This one says: 
If it's over water, and you can't get a boat or revise the rules to preserve the makeout, there is no helping you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hillbilly compass

This is a front cover from a Hillbilly comic book which is indeed as thoroughly offensive as one might imagine it to be.  More scans of some pages from this work can be found at Brian Hughes' blog "Again with the comics".

This was referenced at one of the Internet's best blogs: Boing Boing.
Boing Boing is a wonderful collection go techno gadgets, interesting stuff, and free speech advocates. I'm only posting it because of the "compass" reference and because Boing Boing has links to other fun stuff.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Warmer GPS

Sarah Beecroft has submitted this comic to the blog (thanks Sarah) and it will be our first reader-submitted post. It is from the most excellent webcomic xkcd by Randall Munroe. Expect to see more xkcd in the future.

Go to this actual webcomic, hover over the image, and there will be an additional message in the "title-text" . This one says: 
In lieu of mapping software, I once wrote a Perl program which, given a USB GPS receiver and a destination, printed 'LEFT' 'RIGHT' OR 'STRAIGHT' based on my heading.