Where the Germanwings Plane Crashed
The plane went down in a remote part of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, and search teams struggled to get to the area. When French air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft, it was flying at approximately 6,000 feet; the elevations in the search area range between 2,000 and 9,000 feet.
No helicopters have been able to land because of the rugged terrain around the crash site. Searchers had to be lowered, further slowing recovery efforts. The size of the debris area, which was about the size of three to four football fields, suggests the plane hit the ground at a very high speed, according to the French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve.
Bursting with information and often incredibly beautiful – maps do more than just showing you where you are, or where you might be going. Here we tell the stories behind some fascinating examples.
The recently published Times History of the World in Maps features documents from ancient civilizations, through the medieval period, to some of the key events of the 20th Century.
Historian Philip Parker helped compile the accompanying text.
Maps that shaped the world
A treasure of the medieval world, it records how 13th Century scholars interpreted the world in spiritual as well as geographical terms.
The world depicted is centered on Jerusalem.
The single sheet of vellum features about 500 drawings – including cities and towns, events, plants and animals, plus strange mythical beasts.
The next image shows the first time that the name ‘America’ was used on a map as a term for the New World.
Named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, the continent features on a section of modern day South America, from the 1507 Waldseemuller World Map, which originated from Germany.
The Battle of Gettysburg, in 1863, is widely considered the turning point of the US Civil War.
This map shows how Confederate and Union forces squared up against each other around the Pennsylvanian town.
The map was drawn relatively soon after the battle by a Union Army supporter – a northerner.
That’s why Confederate forces on it are termed ‘rebels’.
The shaded topography, showing ridges in the landscape, was included to help the public envisage how the battle played out.
George Bradshaw’s popular railway timetable guides, which were revised and republished long after his death, are what he is best known for.
But he was also a cartographer – and his map from 1852 reveals a dense network of railways lines spreading out across much of the UK.
Considering that passenger rail services were a relatively recent phenomenon, the explosion of branch and main lines – over a period of about 20 years – is remarkable.
The densest parts of the network are where industrialization was happening fastest.
Central Scotland, the north of England from Liverpool to Hull, and the Midlands.
There were fewer trains in southwest England and south Wales.
The close up city maps reveal just how much industrialization and urbanization was still to happen in the 19th Century.
Industrialisation was also a driving force for railway development in other countries.
This Gaylord Watson railroad map of the United States dates from the early 1870s.
From the northeastern seaboard, the rails have spread west – stretching to areas which hadn’t been part of the USA for that long.
The black ink hand-written annotation is what makes this relatively ordinary map of Cuba special.
President John F Kennedy was shown the map at a CIA briefing in 1962 – and it was he who marked where the Soviets had started to construct nuclear missile launch sites.
The map is a testament to the Cuban Missile Crisis – playing a physical role in the tension and drama, which saw the world brought to the brink of nuclear war.
The colored shapes on this map from 1973 show the South African government’s black homelands consolidation proposals.
Under the apartheid regime, the homelands – or Bantustans – were designed to be separate political entities.
Black inhabitants of these areas were deprived of their South African citizenship.
These mini states – never internationally recognized – were spread out, deliberately fragmented.
India Grows, Canada Disappears: Mapping Countries By Population
Can you find Australia and Canada? The cartogram, made by Reddit user TeaDranks, scales each country’s geographic area by its population. (Click through to see the high-resolution map.) TeaDranks/via Imgur
World maps distort — it’s inherent in their design.
Take a spherical object (the Earth) and try to represent it on a flat plane (paper), and some parts of the sphere are going to get stretched. On most maps, Canada and Russia get puffed up, while countries along the equator get shrunk.
Every now and then, though, you stumble across a map that enlightens.
TeaDranks posted the graphic on Reddit’s “map porn” discussion on Jan. 16. He calls it his “magnum opus.”
“Wikipedia was my source,” TeaDranks wrote. “I was inspired by this map which is now ten years old. My map’s scale is twice as large as the old one’s.”
The older version of the graphic was made in 2005 by the cartographer Paul Breding. You can buy a copy of that map on Amazon.
In the case of TeaDranks’ cartogram, the attribute is population. A quick look at it, and a few ideas pop out.
- India has almost caught up with China as being the most populous country in the world.
- Nigeria quickly has become Africa’s population hub, with more than twice as many people as any other country on the continent.
- Cities like Delhi, India, and Shanghai, China, have more people than some European countries.
- The U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the world’s population.
The website Worldmapper has hundreds of cartograms, showing countries sized by everything from the number of books published or tractors working to condom use by men or woman.
“One neat thing about this one [TeaDranks’ cartogram] is that unlike with some cartograms, the basic shapes of the countries are very recognizable,” Vox’s Matthew Yglesias points out.
Source: Michaeleen Doucleff, India Grows, Canada Disappears: Mapping Countries By Population, NPR.com, January 28, 2015, http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/01/28/381971608/india-grows-russia-shrinks-mapping-countries-by-population.
The other day on Twitter, Albert Cairo tweeted about a great visual map he found in a 1938 issue of Fortune Magazine at Steve Heller’s Moving Sale on Saturday, June 28th, 2014 in New York City.
Steven Heller wears many hats (in addition to the New York Yankees): For 33 years he was an art director at the New York Times, originally on the OpEd Page and for almost 30 of those years with the New York Times Book Review. Currently, he is co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department, Special Consultant to the President of SVA for New Programs, and writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review.
He is the co-founder and co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts, New York, where he lectures on the history of graphic design. Prior to this, he lectured for 14 years on the history of illustration in the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual arts. He also was director for ten years of SVA’s Modernism & Eclecticism: A History of American Graphic Design symposiums.
The World in Terms of General Motors
The visual in the December 1938 issue of Fortune Magazine was called The World in Terms of General Motors. It depicted a sketch map showing the location of (then) GM’s 110 plants. The spheres representing each plant are proportional (in volume) to their normal number of workers. The key numbers of the spheres are indexed on the map. The map does not include those manufacturing plants in which GM has less than 50% stock. The principal ones are Ethyl Gasoline Corp., Bendix Aviation Corp., Kinetic Chemicals, Inc., and North American Aviation, Inc.
Not shown are GM’s many non-manufacturing interests, domestic warehouses, etc.
So, finally, here is the complete map.
[Click on the map image to enlarge]
Charles Minard’s Map of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812
One of the most famous maps incorporating time was created in 1861 by Charles Minard, a French Engineer. The map and chart, entitled, “Carte figurative des pertes successives en hommes de l’Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813″, brilliantly illustrated the march to and from the Polish-Russian border to Moscow by Napoleon’s army and was profiled in the article, Spatial Unmapped on GIS Lounge.
422,000 soldiers began the journey in June of 1812 towards Moscow and only 10,000 made it back to the border after the failed invasion. Minard’s map has been acclaimed by many for its clear use of geography and time to show how devastating the invasion of Russia by France was on the troops.
Noted statistician and Yale professor, Edward Tufte, declared in his 1983 book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information , that the Minard graph “may well be the best statistical graphic ever drawn.”
Esri Press has recently released a book inspired by Minard’s Map entitled, Mapping Time:
Published by Esri Press, Menno-Jan Kraak’s book Mapping Time: Illustrated by Minard’s Map of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812 combines historical and geographic analysis with cartography to examine mapping change over time.
The book includes more than 100 full-color illustrations inspired by graphic innovator Charles Minard’s classic flow line map of Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia.
Kraak is a professor of geovisual analytics and cartography at the University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands who has also written the textbook, Cartography, Visualization of Geospatial Data.
Book details: Mapping Time: Illustrated by Minard’s Map of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812 is available in print (ISBN: 9781589483125, 168 pages, hardcover) and e-book format (ISBN: 9781589483668).
The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, New York Public Library (NYPL) has announced the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high-resolution downloads. The New York Public Library believes these maps have no known U.S. copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded, through the Map Warper. You will first need to create an account, then click a map title and go.
What’s this means for all of us map lovers?
It means you can have the maps, all of them if you want, for free, in high resolution. NYPL has scanned them to enable their use in the broadest possible ways by the largest number of people.
Though not required, if you’d like to credit the New York Public Library, please use the following text “From The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library.” Doing so helps them track what happens when they release collections like this to the public for free under really relaxed and open terms. NYPL believes their collections inspire all kinds of creativity, innovation and discovery, things they hold very dear.
* The maps may be subject to rights of privacy, rights of publicity and other restrictions. It is your responsibility to make sure that you respect these rights.
Source: Josh Marshall, Artifacts #1: The First Map of Africa, talkingpointsmemo.com, March 7, 2014, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/artifacts-1-the-first-map-of-africa.
Mr. Marshall notes that the map below is believed to be the first map of Africa, as a continent. “Africa” was originally a Roman term for the region of modern Tunisia and the western portion of Libya. The Arabs later adopted a similar definition. But this is the first known map of the new concept of Africa as a continent stretching from North Africa down to a southern tip that could be rounded and from which you could then sail on to India and Asia.
Princeton University, Historic Maps Collection.
The map is the work of Sebastian Munster (1489-1552), a professor of Hebrew at the University of Basel. This is mid-16th century, so going on 60 years after Europeans first rounded the Cape of Good Hope to Asia, though the Portuguese had been exploring the western coast of Africa a good deal longer.
Mr. Marshall continues by saying that this map is a fascinating period in the history of European map-making since most were then being strung together through an odd partnership between university academics and printers in Europe on the one hand and explorers and traders on the other, the former still partly hung up on ancient ideas on the shape and outlines of the world as well as theories about where certain things must be and the latter with real observational data about what they’d seen.
Not surprisingly, North Africa is fairly accurate and the key rivers in West Africa bear at least some resemblance to their true locations. Things get a good deal iffier about Central Africa and the scale of Subsaharan Africa. And there’s a pretty serious Ethiopia fail. It’s right over the one-eyed giants who live in Nigeria. When you consider the limited observational knowledge, extremely poor ability to measure distance, obstacles to communications and the fact that the key sea-faring powers treated all this information as state secrets, the degree of accuracy is fairly remarkable.
In viewing the map below, Mr. Marshall notes that still more remarkable is this Abraham Ortelius map from only 30 years later. Published at Antwerp in 1584.
Princeton University. Historic Maps Collection.
As you can see, on a quick look this could almost be a modern map of Africa, though many things are distorted, not least the scale of the Red Sea relative to the rest of the continent.
Mapping time has long been an interest of cartographers. Visualizing historical events in a timeline or chart or diagram is an effective way to show the rise and fall of empires and states, religious history, and important human and natural occurrences. To see more interesting maps ranging in date from 1770 to 1967, visit over 100 examples in the Rumsey Map Collection.
As many of you know, I love historical maps. In particular ones that tell the story of a significant point in history. Below are snippets of the “Map Showing the Overland and Overseas Flights of Charles A. Lindbergh” in color. It was designed by Ernest Clegg and published by the John Day Company, New York in 1928. With informational boxes describing various flights. In carved wood frame.
A narrative of Lindbergh’s flight follows the images of the map in this blog entry.
I hope you find this as interesting as I do.
7:52 A.M., May 20, 1927
At 7:52 A.M., May 20, 1927 Charles Lindbergh gunned the engine of the “Spirit of St Louis” and aimed her down the dirt runway of Roosevelt Field, Long Island. Heavily laden with fuel, the plane bounced down the muddy field, gradually became airborne and barely cleared the telephone wires at the field’s edge. The crowd of 500 thought they had witnessed a miracle. Thirty-three and one half-hours and 3,500 miles later he landed in Paris, the first to fly the Atlantic alone.
Working as a mail pilot a year earlier he heard of the $25,000 prize for the first flight between New York and Paris. Backed by a group of St. Louis businessmen, Lindbergh supervised the building of his special plane and set out after the prize. Other teams were attempting the feat – some had met disaster. Lindbergh equipped himself with four sandwiches, two canteens of water and 451 gallons of gas. Midway through the flight “sleet began to cling to the plane. That worried me a great deal and I debated whether I should keep on or go back. I decided I must not think any more about going back.”
On the evening of May 21, he crossed the coast of France, followed the Seine River to Paris and touched down at Le Bourget Field at 10:22P.M. The waiting crowd of 100,000 rushed the plane. “I saw there was danger of killing people with my propeller and I quickly came to a stop.” He became an instant hero, “the Lone Eagle.” New York City gave him the largest ticker tape parade ever, the president awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross. His feat electrified the nation and inspired enthusiastic interest in aviation.
Bad weather and the prospect that his transatlantic flight would be delayed for a number of days greeted Lindbergh upon his arrival in New York. However, on May 19th, a favorable weather report predicted a break in the rain prompting Lindbergh to make his attempt the next day. He arrived at the airfield before dawn the next morning, prepared his plane for flight and began his historic journey:
“About 7:40 A.M. the motor was started and at 7:52 I took off on the flight for Paris. The field was a little soft due to the rain during the night and the heavily loaded plane gathered speed very slowly. After passing the halfway mark, however, it was apparent that I would be able to clear the obstructions at the end. I passed over a tractor by about fifteen feet and a telephone line by about twenty, with a fair reserve of flying speed. I believe that the ship would have taken off from a hard field with at least five hundred pounds more weight. I turned slightly to the right to avoid some high trees on a hill directly ahead, but by the time I had gone a few hundred yards I had sufficient altitude to clear all obstructions and throttled the engine down to 1750 R.P.M. I took up a compass course at once and soon reached Long Island Sound where the Curtiss Oriole with its photographer, which had been escorting me, turned back.”
Lindbergh continued his flight over Cape Cod and Nova Scotia and headed for the open Atlantic as darkness fell:
“Darkness set in about 8:15 and a thin, low fog formed over the sea through which the white bergs showed up with surprising clearness. This fog became thicker and increased in height until within two hours I was just skimming the top of storm clouds at about ten thousand feet. Even at this altitude there was a thick haze through which only the stars directly overhead could be seen. There was no moon and it was very dark. The tops of some of the storm clouds were several thousand feet above me and at one time, when I attempted to fly through one of the larger clouds, sleet started to collect on the plane and I was forced to turn around and get back into clear air immediately and then fly around any clouds which I could not get over.”
Lindbergh continued his course, at times skimming only 10 feet above the waves as he tried to find a way around the fog and maintain his course. The appearance of fishing boats below alerted him that he was nearing land:
“The first indication of my approach to the European Coast was a small fishing boat which I first noticed a few miles ahead and slightly to the south of my course. There were several of these fishing boats grouped within a few miles of each other.
I flew over the first boat without seeing any signs of life. As I circled over the second, however, a man’s face appeared, looking out of the cabin window.
I have carried on short conversations with people on the ground by flying low with throttled engine, and shouting a question, and receiving the answer by some signal. When I saw this fisherman I decided to try to get him to point towards land. I had no sooner made the decision than the futility of the effort became apparent. In all likelihood he could not speak English, and even if he could he would undoubtedly be far too astounded to answer. However, I circled again and closing the throttle as the plane passed within a few feet of the boat I shouted, “Which way is Ireland?” Of course the attempt was useless, and I continued on my course.
Less than an hour later a rugged and semi-mountainous coastline appeared to the northeast. I was flying less than two hundred feet from the water when I sighted it. The shore was fairly distinct and not over ten or fifteen miles away. A light haze coupled with numerous storm areas had prevented my seeing it from a long distance.
The coastline came down from the north and curved towards the east. I had very little doubt that it was the southwestern end of Ireland, but in order to make sure I changed my course towards the nearest point of land.
I located Cape Valencia and Dingle Bay, then resumed my compass course towards Paris.
Lindbergh flew over Ireland and then England at an altitude of about 1500 feet as he headed towards France. The weather cleared and flying conditions became almost perfect. The coast of France and the City of Cherbourg passed beneath his wings as darkness fell a second time during his flight.
“The sun went down shortly after passing Cherbourg and soon the beacons along the Paris-London airway became visible.
I first saw the lights of Paris a little before 10 P.M., or 5 P.M., New York time, and a few minutes later I was circling the Eiffel Tower at an attitude of about four thousand feet.
The lights of Le Bourget were plainly visible, but appeared to be very close to Paris. I had understood that the field was farther from the city, so continued out to the northeast into the country for four or five miles to make sure that there was not another field farther out which might be Le Bourget. Then I returned and spiralled (sic) down closer to the lights. Presently I could make out long lines of hangars, and the roads appeared to be jammed with cars.
I flew low over the field once, then circled around into the wind and landed.
But suddenly, a hysterical, ecstatic crowd broke through the restraining ropes and stampeded toward him, cheering and shouting. As he opened the door, he was lifted down and hoisted onto the shoulders of the police, who carried him through the surging crowd, cries of “Vive” ringing through the night. He had conquered the Atlantic alone, covering 3,610 miles in 33 1/2 hours. He had won the Orteig prize!
From the balcony of the American Embassy the following morning, he responded briefly and modestly to the persistent calls of the great crowd which had gathered. For hours after he retreated back inside, they shouted, clapped, and waved their hats and handkerchiefs. In the days that followed, his fame as a hero grew to unbelievable proportions as he took Europe by storm. The President of France pinned the Legion of Honor upon the lapel of his borrowed suit and thousands of messages poured in upon him.
It was as if everyone saw in him something that they sought in themselves – a spirit of adventure and achievement in life. Somehow he represented the symbol of hope in a weary world, for there was something unique about his integrity, courage, and indifference to honors. “He had started with no purpose but to arrive. He remained with no desire but to serve. He sought nothing, he was offered all.”
When he came home to America aboard the USS Memphis, a majestic convoy of warships and aircraft escorted him up the Chesapeake and Potomac to Washington. President Coolidge welcomed him home and bestowed the Distinguished Flying Cross upon him. His New York reception was the wildest in the city’s history as 4 million people lined the parade route and Mayor Jimmy Walker pinned New York’s Medal of Valor upon him. Finally, when it was all over, he turned and flew to St. Louis for a rest and to contemplate. His epic flight would become the one singular event which electrified the world and changed the whole course of history.
It was now that the Daniel Guggenheim Fund sponsored him on a three month nation-wide tour. Flying the “Spirit of St. Louis,” he touched down in 49 states, visited 92 cities, gave 147 speeches, and rode 1,290 miles in parades. Tired, but satisfied with the job he had done in promoting aviation, he returned to New York. He made a good will tour at the request of Ambassador Dwight Morrow. It was here that he first met Anne Morrow, daughter of the Ambassador, a meeting that would blossom into romance. After Mexico, he visited twelve other Central American and West Indies countries, conveying goodwill all along the 9,000 mile flight tour.
On March 21,1929, President Coolidge presented him with the nation’s highest honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor. Throughout the rest of his life he would continue to serve America as an advisor on aviation. He resigned his commission as a Colonel in the reserves an April 29, 1941, but he served in the Pacific theater during World War II as a technical advisor. He taught American fighter pilots how to get increased range from their planes – as much as fifty percent more. He flew several combat missions in P-38 fighters and on at least one sortie shot down a Japanese plane. After the war, he continued to serve his country in many ways and on April 7, 1954, he was appointed a Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserves.
Certification of Charles Lindbergh’s flight required several documents to prove the performance
The certification of Charles Lindbergh’s flight required several documents to prove the performance. A sealed barograph, an instrument working with atmospheric pressure, was loaded on the aircraft; its six-hour cylinder recorded the altitudes flown and proved that the flight was uninterrupted. The start of the flight was attested by the US National Aeronautic Association and the Procès-verbal established by the Aéro-Club de France on Lindbergh’s arrival attested that the barograph was found sealed and reported that 322 litres of gas (85 gallons) remained in the sealed tanks. This Procès-verbal was signed by no less than 13 French officials, the US Ambassador Myron Herrick, the Belgian Air Attaché Willy Coppens and, of course Charles Lindbergh himself. Finally, the FAI General Secretary Paul Tissandier informed the National Aeronautic Association on August 31st, 1927, that Lindbergh’s flight was certified as the Class-C World Record for non-stop flight over a distance of 5809 kilometres”.
 The Spirit of St. Louis 2 Project, The Flight, http://www.charleslindbergh.com/history/paris.asp.
 “Lindbergh Flies the Atlantic, 1927,” EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (1999).
Maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers. This collection of maps aims to do just that.
Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.
1. Where Google Street View is Available
2. Countries That Do Not Use the Metric System
3. The Only 22 Countries in the World Britain Has Not Invaded (not shown: Sao Tome and Principe)
4. Map of ‘Pangea’ with Current International Borders
Pangea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, forming about 300 million years ago. It began to break apart around 200 million years ago. The single global ocean which surrounded Pangaea is accordingly named Panthalassa.