Winter 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

2008 Conference Summary
From the Chair

New Scholarship Chair

Drive to Excellence Update
2008 FSA Photos
Mn/DOT Image Services

MetroGIS Services Forum

Carver Recreation Portal
Stearns Property Mgmt. Portal
Goodhue Americorps Projects

2009 CAP Grants

Higher Education
UofM GIS Resources
Goodchild Talk

Resources for Educators

Craig NSGIC Chair

Borchert Conservation Hero

Other Places
Strange Maps
GIS Day Video



Strange Maps
By Will Craig, University of Minnesota
“Strange Maps” is intriguing to any geographer, because we think strange might mean interesting or innovative or intriguing cartography. Strange Maps is the title of a website that contains such maps and is well worth visiting. This article provides a brief description of that website – plus a quick look at another site that also provides strange maps.
Strange Maps is an eclectic collection of contributed maps, pulled from the media and other sources. The August 2008 page opens with a map showing the dominant generic name for carbonated beverages at the county level for the U.S., produced by See graphic. It’s no surprise that Minnesota falls in the “pop” category. The May issue starts with a floorplan of Sherlock Holmes’ flat on Baker Street – produced by an avid reader living in Japan. The collection is fascinating, but defies description.
Strange Maps is in the cartographic section of WordPress.Com – a blog site that claims to be “nonpartisan and apolitical, but insists on being anti-nonsense.” People have been contributing unique maps since 2006. Hundreds of maps have been submitted. There have been 9 million hits on this site. There is a lame search tool; better to just poke around.
If you’ve got the time, you might also visit World Mapper. This site produces world cartograms on various themes, ranging from literacy and wealth to religion and road deaths. Cartograms distort area to show themes. On this last category, India and China lead the world and consume huge amounts of space on the map. Australia and Canada are almost non-existent. The U.S. is roughly the size of Pakistan. See graphic.