Uncertain cartographies

Posted to Maps  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

Most people know the layout of their neighborhoods and some are good with the roads in their town. Zoom out farther though — to your city, state, and country — and the landscape grows fuzzy in your imagination. Cartographer Chris McDowall redrew his uncertainty of his native New Zealand with interesting, fuzzy results.

The maps on this page are an attempt to translate my head landscapes into cartographic artefacts. I am trying to recreate of what I see when I close my eyes. They are rough approximations—the stuff in my head is far stranger and more difficult to pin down—but they feel honest. I share them because I find them beautiful and evocative.


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Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

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