Balloon maps

Posted to Maps  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

There was a time when the best way to get a view from above was to hop into a hot air balloon, which eventually led to the so-called “balloon map.” Cara Giaimo for Atlas Obscura starts the story with a ballooner named Thomas Baldwin.

In an age of transatlantic flights and Google Earth, Baldwin’s suggestions seem a bit quaint. But in his time, when almost everyone was stuck on the ground, Baldwin’s attempts to pin down an accurate sky-view were heroic. Over the following century, entrepreneurs, military spies, and tourist boards alike would follow his lead, transforming some of the world’s most vital views into lovely, quirky “balloon maps.”

Hand-drawn, detailed maps and graphics like this — before computers — always blows my mind.

Favorites

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 …

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, let’s look at the most unisex ones. Some names have …

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and …