Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I want my solar parity

John Farrell over at Energy Self-Reliant States made this interactive and animated map mash-up that shows " which major metropolitan areas can beat grid prices with local solar first, and how quickly unsubsidized solar could take over America's major metropolitan areas."

Link to see when your city can bask in off-grid rays:

While I'm thrilled that some cities begin to achieve parity as early as 2013, I gotta wait until 2026 to get mine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where is the love?

Some time ago I did a big reveal of Carmen Sandiego that included speculation about the romantic connection between Carmen and Waldo (of "Where's" fame).  Here's another on that theme:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boulder warming

When I first moved to Colorado many moons ago there was a front page article with a photo about a couple who had proudly made a map showing how an earthquake would drop most of the western United States, including the Rocky Mountains, into the Pacific Ocean, leaving much of the Denver Metro Area as beachfront property.  This couple was very serious and fervently believed in this theory of theirs.... or so the article claimed.  I've not been able to find that article (although I haven't actually tried) but what appears above is an artist's rendition of kinda the opposite... as in this is what it might look like looking south for almost everything east of Denver to become ocean... again I should say, since back during the Cretaceous it all was ocean... as one can see in this animation.    But actually this could be a convoluted global warming type theme... so we'll add this other one by Chip Bok which is very much global warming oriented and call it a a day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kringus reveals plans

This is farther in to the same "Kringus" story line form Scott Kurtz' outstanding Player vs. Player webcomic. This is where we finally find out what Kringus is up to.  If you think this is sinister, y'ain't seen nuthin' yet.  Later Kringus story arcs go way into the deep end. 

But even as fun as the Kringus stories can be, my favorite Christmas map-related comic is this one:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kringus does GPS

Here's a treat: Player vs. Player by that giant in the webcomic industry (pun intended) Scott Kurtz.  This episode comes from towards the beginning of one of the first "Kringus" story arcs that Kurtz did. Notice the GPS device labeled on the diagram. This story arc starts here:

These "Kringus" story arcs have become rather elaborate in recent years.  Well worth the time of looking them up through the comprehensive archive. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

RSA Animate: whiteboard globe

RSA Animate is a series of amazingly well-drawn whiteboard diagrams of interesting talks on various fascinating topics. In this one Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment.  Don't let the fun drawing of the globe early on distract you from the fascinating presentation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rex Morgan M.D.

Rex Morgan M.D. by Woody Wilson & Graham Nolan.  Not only is the a folding map in panel 3, but there's a reference to a map light in the car in panel 6.  Do people still call interior car lights map lights?

The story arc this belongs to involves some Alzheimer-y elderly folks (who are nevertheless having relations) wandering off from the retirement community ... and I think getting themselves kidnapped by rather incompetent, very mild crooks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mapping Tozo

David O'Connell's Tozo is a rather popular webcomic that's got a rich story line and has been running for almost 5 years now. Like Girl Genius, it's in the Steampunk style and, also like Girl Genius, it takes place on an Earth parallel, in Europe.  The setting is a stand-in for Venice, but the papacy has headquartered there rather than Rome..... and there's something mysterious happening on the European mainland involving an asteroid.  

Panel 2 there is the first glimpse of the map of Nova Venezia there is the offices of its ruler the Doge, Lady Celestine.... although this version of Venice doesn't quite look like ours.
She's scheming there against our hero, Detective Tozo, who is having a conversation with Professor Borello, who made him that little mecha-golem Klikker in that first panel, who was preceded by Tikker who the professor also made, but who ran off and became a spy for the resistance against the Spider Empire on the mainland.

 The Doge, Lady Celestine, resplendent in her palace... with her globe to the side.  This is the front page for Chapter 2.

 The evil Count Carlo on the cover of Chapter 3.  Note the map on the dresser to the left.

 Part of the background story explaining The Shard, The Spider Queen, and so forth.  There's that map again.

 Uh-oh! War has broken out between The Doge and the Papacy.  That's not good!

Read the whole story at

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Muppet cartography

A new Muppet Movie was released a few weeks ago. Here's a Sesame Street video about making maps featuring Ernie:

I remember when making maps was that simple. There was a great exercise in elementary school where we used a few drops of green, brown, yellow and white paint on blue paper. We folded the paper and unfolded it to make a Rorschach image... and that was our topographic map of our new imaginary land which we had to write a report about. It was one of the most fun learning experiences of my life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


In this Sherman's Lagoon strip by Jim Toomey from September of 2005 our friendly sea creatures are  contemplating another road trip... using a folding map with fins... at the bottom of the sea...Comics!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

California 'toonin' two-fer

Here's a California-themed two-fer.

The first is a  about a drought California had in 2008 by Patrick O'Connor

The second is about California's former governator, Arnold Swarchenegger and his troubles with the state's budget in 2009 by RJ Matson:

And finally a T-shirt design from "Busted Tees"

Friday, December 9, 2011

DNA of the Christopher S. Bond Sciences Center at MU

Some of you out there may know about the University of Missouri.  And some of those may know about the Christopher S. Bond Sciences Center.  But were you aware of the shape of the sidewalk out front? 

It's on the campus map too.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Musical mapping

Remember the musical subway animation from a while ago?  Today's animated map combines gaming with music and mapping.  Isle of Tune is an online (and now mobile) game and music-maker that allows the user to map out roads for cars to drive on and make music. What you're seeing above is the map that plays Beat It.  Try it out!

It does remind me a bit of the Honda commercial from a few years back where they cut rumble strips in a road to play the William Tell Overture  with a car... call me a music snob, though, but it sounds (annoyingly) flat to me:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

There is no geography in summer

Today we have a One Big Happy by Rick Detorie.  These precocious kids get up to more mischief than Dennis the Menace.... although that's partly because Dennis hasn't been very menacing in ages.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Successful fail two-fer

Some time ago I worked with a software product called "PhotoMapper".  It was a viewer for the massive amount of aerial photography that the company I was working for was producing.  I actually taught their technical staff how to make the high resolution imagery, much of which became the first set of high resolution imagery that populated the technology that became Google Earth..... Of course that doesn't mean there weren't some interesting glitches along the way.

.... and obviously they haven't all been cleared up.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Geographically dependant

The second-to-last panel reference to geography makes this a map-related (and funny) Dilbert by Scott Adams.  Great way to start off the work week, no?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hawaiian Punch

I figured that this week I'd knock out another state specifically referenced in the map-related comics blog... though this one isn't quite a comic.  It's almost certainly Photoshopped.... and that is a can of Hawaiian Punch.

28 states mentioned, 22 to go.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No way out

Here is Jef Mallet's Frazz strip having fun with a GPS and getting lost in a corn maze.

Oddly enough the GPS locations recorded by many mobile devices while they're at rest can look very much like a hairball.  When at rest the mobile device's location measurements can get confused by picking up location signals from cel towers. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Round and round the world she goes

Today's two-fer has two different spins on the same punchline.  The first is from Jim Meddick's Monty.The second is from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, by Zach Weiner.  I'm a bit surprised to see that this is at least the second time Newark has been referenced in this blog... although it's certainly not the first time New Jersey has been the butt of jokes in map-related comics.  But this is the first time Utah has been referenced... so we're up to 27 states referenced in map-related comics.  Which state will be next?  Which state will be last?

Monday, November 28, 2011

...have to watch the show

What if there was a long lost screenplay by Muppet creator Jim Hensen that hadn't been movie-ized yet?  What if that were made into a graphic novel?  Fortunately for us, the brilliant cartoonist Ramón Pérez has done just that with Tale of Sand, due to be released any day now. Note the discarded map being blown into the canyon.

While you're waiting for that to come out, do, certainly, have a look at Mr. Pérez' masterwork webcomic Kukuburi, which is one of my most very favorite things, although it's updated far too infrequently.  Read it from the beginning and bask in it's surreal loveliness.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Recycled world art

Here's a wall map of the world made out of recycled computer parts.  Fun!

Close-up view:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Who the bleep is Colonel Bleep?

The closest thing that I used have to a Thanksgiving-themed map-related comic is one involving a traditional song and bad directions:

I had scheduled this post to include a request for something better, but then one Nadia posted to the Portland GIS group a link to a map of Thanksgiving ingredients.  And while it's only a little cartoony, I'll take it.

If you have any better Thanksgiving-themed map-related comic let me know.

In the meantime today's map animation involves a vintage TV cartoon that tried to jump on the new Sputnik-inspired space-age craze: Colonel Bleep (1957 Robert Buchanan).

I found a tool online TubeChop that should let me zero-in on the specific map-related part of the cartoon (so that you don't have to sit through all 10 minutes of it):

The quality of the animation is even worse than the standard Hanna Barbara cartoon, although to be fair this is a pilot.  And what the devil is Colonel Bleep riding? A warp speed unicycle? Sheesh!

And the description of his sidekicks, Squeak and Scratch is not to be missed:
With Colonel Bleep are two unusual companions to share his exciting adventures. First, there is Squeak, a happy-go-lucky boy of the present, very much like you! Except that Squeak is a puppet and cannot speak a single word. Because as you all know, a puppet cannot talk for himself… Second there is Scratch -- an expert on the past, who, like other cavemen, should really have become extinct several thousand years ago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Body blow!

Many moons ago there was a boxing arcade video game known as "Punch-Out!". This game gave the world a number of cultural memes, the one that crawls into my head most often is "Body blow!".  Here the Perry Bible Fellowship (warning: occasionally NSFW), takes a literalist twist on that theme.  I don't know whether that first panel ever appeared in the original video game (it probably did), but it's certainly worth having some fun. PBF is drawn by Nicholas Gurewitch, Evan Keogh, Jordan Morris, and Albert Birney.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lego globe

My friend Rob suggested this one: The Lego fist punching out of the Lego globe. This is from artist Nathan Sawaya's "Art of the Brick" Lego exhibit that was at the American Swedish History Museum in Philadelphia in 2008.

Of course that's not the only Lego globe on offer.

There's the more generic examples:

There are versions with more colorful texture:

 And there's even a huge version that also comes in the form of an online jigsaw puzzle:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Class warfare

Here's another item from Ruben Bolling's "Tom the Dancing Bug" editorial cartoon, this time related to the issues surrounding the Occupy Movement.  Note the maps in panels 2 and 7 Click on the image to make it larger if needed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What in the name of Pei Xiu is that in China?

So this week there was a bit of a dust up as some extremely odd things were found in satellite images of China.  An article in Gizmodo (and other places) has more pictures, but not much in the way of explanation.  Anybody out there have any ideas?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is it hot in here?

Let's do an animation this week on Global Warming.  Although I don't think he'll like it, I'm going to credit an online associate of mine, Jim Hatch, with inspiring this one.  I regularly spar with him on political topics via email.  He recently sent me an unintentionally humorous article on the recent BEST study of global temperatures that showed average global temperatures rising even faster than previously measured. Here's an animation that can go with that:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Your favorite projection

When a map-related comic is this massively obvious it'd be a travesty not to post it on this kind of blog.  Of course this very-inside-baseball riff on projections is from Randall Munroe's XKCD (click on the image to make it larger and more legible... It's very worth it!)

At the actual webcomic, hovering over the image reveals this additional message in the "title-text":

What's that? You think I don't like the Peters map because I'm uncomfortable with having my cultural assumptions challenged?  Are you sure you're not ... ::puts on sunglasses:: ... projecting?
That's just brilliant!

Here, by the way, is a fun video clip about the Peters projection from The West Wing:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

7 billion -fer

So last week there was the advent of the birth of the 7 billionth human. So this week we'll do a round-up of map-related comics on that theme:

Signe Wilkinson here combines the topic of the 7 billionth human on the planet with the Occupy Wall Street movement (which has been going on for the last month or so).

  Next we have one by a cartoonist named Garrincha  out of Miami.

 Keeping with the theme of associating the population topic with another current event, there's this one by Ken Catalino who makes a play on the fact that the Duggar family is expecting their 20th child. 

By the way, Mrs. Duggar is nowhere near the record-holder for most number of children born to one woman. That, believe it or not, is a tie, at 69:
  • Mrs. Fyodor Vassilet was born in Russia in 1707. . During her lifetime, she gave birth to 16 sets of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets, for a total of 69 children. 
  • The second woman who gave birth to 69 children was Mrs. Bernard Scheinberg, who lived in Austria in the late 1800s. 
    • When she died in 1911, at the age of 56 (so even if she started giving birth at age 16, that's over 1.7 kids per year), her husband remarried and had 18 more children with his second wife, for a total of 87 children!
    • But Genghis Khan may have fathered far more children than that, with estimates possibly in the thousands.

 Here's one by Danish artist Van Dam Landmeer.  You'd think the Earth there depicted would be glad to be growing a fuller head of hair, no?

Here's one by Hajjaj out of Jordon.  I'm actually not entirely sure that it's about population.  It almost looks like it could be about constipation.

Tom Toles

And finally, Lalo Alcaraz, with each baby there representing 7 billion people.

Actually, the rate of population growth appears to be leveling off.  We should peak around 9 or 10 billion by 2050 and then either level off or start dropping... unless medical technology cures everything by then and people stop dying... which actually isn't all that unlikely.