Old school map scale



Found on Noisy Decent Graphics. Hope its ok to borrow, an interesting approach to getting scale on a map, using 1/2 mile circles all over to give you a scale were ever you look.

Not sure if this is that much better than having a grid which is tied to a scale. But the problem with that approach has always been about matching fold lines to grid lines. You don’t really get a nice alignment of the folds of paper to the scale of a map. unless you’re lucky. The other problem with the folds/grid approach is that people may not neccesarily understand that the physicality of the folder paper relates to the map printed onto it.

As Mr. Terrett says “I thought it looked easy, I’m not sure the rest of the audience did” quite so, i’m also wondering if the question of scale is so important that it should dominate the map so much.

Its the same kind of approach as our Legible London map scale:


No new ideas eh?

Map Monsters


As Long as people have been drawing maps, sailors have been lying about the size of sea monsters. These two activities meet in the curious word of map monsters.

One eternal truth with these monsters is that they never seem to resemble real animals. You can imagine the old sea dog describing his encounter:

Sailor “It were 100 league long and 30 leagues deep”
Cartographer “Did it have teeth?”
Sailor “Teeth! 15 rows of razor sharp bone crunchers”
Cartographer “ok”
Sailor “Maybe 25 nows i think about it”
Cartographer “What else?”
Sailor “20 legs, 10 heads, 4 tails, fire coming out of its gills”
Cartographer “Yeah?”
Sailor “and horns. Probably. I didn’t see it in person”
Carotgrapher “…”
Sailor “did I tell you about the teeth?” 

have a look at this zoomable map on the National Geographic website. It must have been scary out there on the open seas. 





Although you only have to see something like this to start to wonder…