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How well can you recognize land features? (game)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 11:58am

GeoGuessr is a Street View-based geography quiz that gives you the challenge of guessing the locations of a series of random Street View images. What you’ve got are clues such as the landscape around, cars, street signs to show on a global Google Map place where you think the Street View image was taken. The closer your guess to the actual location then the more points you win. 

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Why is North at the top of our maps?

Monday, June 27, 2016 - 11:37am

Given such a long history of human map-making, it is perhaps surprising that it is only within the last few hundred years that north has been consistently considered to be at the top.  Early European maps had east at the top (orientation is derived from orient, or east); Islamic maps faced south.  When maps changed to north-at-top is difficult to pinpoint, but it came relatively late in history.

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Light Pollution shown on 3D globe

Friday, June 17, 2016 - 2:54pm

A new online atlas of artificial sky brightness is now available, based on updated light pollution data published last week. (There’s also a 3D globe version that may not work in all browsers.) Light pollution, as I’ve blogged before, is the bane of professional and amateur astronomers alike, obscuring fainter objects and interfering with observations, both naked-eye and through telescopes. As the article in Science Advances puts it, “This atlas shows that more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies. The Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity, including 60% of Europeans and nearly 80% of North Americans.” [Rumsey Map Center]

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National Park Maps (to view, save, and download)

Friday, June 17, 2016 - 2:39pm

NPMaps.com is an independent website and is not affiliated with the National Park Service. But it's a pretty impressive one-man project, worth poking around in.  This site currently has 1,059 free high-resolution national park maps to view, save, and download.

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Guide to figuring out the age of an undated world map

Friday, June 3, 2016 - 10:54am

Found in the Map Room (Feedly RSS).  Here there be dragons.  But they're kind of fun to discover. 

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