Unusual, Interesting MAPS

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! Preliminary ! More maps may be collected here.

The following maps are of special interest to me because they are unusual and/or interesting --- or because they relate to some place or occurrence in my life.

Some are animated maps, which add a time dimension to the typical two geometric dimensions of maps.

Some are "relief" maps that add a third geometric dimension by use of shadows.

And some are both --- animated-and-relief maps (4 dimensional maps --- OK, 3-and-a-half --- the height is simulated by simulated shadows).

Some of the maps convey a sense of history as an animated sequence of historical events.

Information conveyed by some of these maps may be unpleasant, depending on your point of view. For example, the animated 'right-to-carry' map at the bottom of the page.

In short, these maps trigger a variety of intellectual responses and emotions.

Each map represents quite a bit of work by the maker --- to collect and organize the data.

Hopefully, many of these maps will be of interest to you. Perhaps some will change the way you look at the world.


This map indicates the growth of wealth in regions of the world from 1975 to 2002.
Note the huge (fat) size of Japan, South Korea, China, India --- and
the United States, England, France, Spain, Germany, Northern Italy.
It looks like Portugal, Belgium, and Holland didn't do too badly either.
Note the extremely small size of Africa --- and small size of South America and Australia.
Generally, the southern hemisphere has not done well, with the exception of the Malaysia, Indonesia area.
If this map went to 2006 or beyond, China would probably be grossly obese.

China looks about as prosperous as the U.S. This is probably because the map is
depicting wealth per square mile (or kilometer). Since the population density of China
is so high, that makes up for its lower per-capita income.

This would explain why Australia is so lean. It has vast expanses of unpopulated land,
and those areas may shrink to zero because of no wealth-growth. On that basis, Africa
takes a big hit, because the Sahara desert would shrink to nothing on the map.

Here is a PDF of the wealth-growth map (1975-2002). It includes a description of the
map along with a table and bar chart. You can use the zoom-in option of a PDF reader
to see the small print.

Here is an external link to the University of Sheffield (England) "Worldmapper" web site that
is a source of maps like this. For example, see the "Population" map for another
perspective of the world.


Some animated GIF maps :


This is an animated-GIF world map depicting growth of the world population, from
the year 1 to 2020. Each black dot represents a million people.

Here is a link (at desip.igc.org) to a view of each of the 8 frames in the animated GIF.

This is a view of world population growth in x-y graph form.
This probably shows the recent rate of growth more clearly than the animated GIF.
It's going to be a wild ride --- these next 20 years or so.
Poor planet earth --- and all its denizens.

You can find many charts like this on the Internet by doing an image search
(Google, Yahoo, whatever) and using keywords such as "world population growth graph".
In fact, that is how I found this picture.


This is an animated-GIF map of the migration of Hawksbill turtles, in the area of
Panama and Mexico, in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is a link (at www.cccturtle.org) to more information on the turtles in that
"project", about 4 turtles.

This is an animated-GIF map of the migration of turtle "Shelldon", from
Panama all the way to the Northeast United States area.

Here is (at www.cccturtle.org) more information on Shelldon and the paths of about 15 other turtles.


This is an animated-GIF map of the Settlement of the United States, 1650 to 1983
--- indicated by formation of counties.

Here is a link (at www.cyndislist.com) to more U.S. maps like that map (animated and un-animated).


This is an animated-GIF map depicting the progress of a solar eclipse over the
surface of the Earth --- an actual eclipse of 3 Oct 2005.

Here (at sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov) is more info on solar eclipses for the decade
2001 to 2010 --- as well as info on lunar eclipses and moon phases.


This is a map of Greek colonies around the Mediterranean sea, circa 550 B.C.

This is a map of the empire of Alexander (the Great Macedonian), circa 323 B.C.

CLICK HERE to see an animated GIF map depicting the travels of
Alexander the Great and his army --- from 356 to 323 BC.

Here is a larger, non-animated map showing more detail (cities) in the regions of
Alexander's travels --- from 356 to 323 BC.

Here is a site (at home.triad.rr.com/warfford/) with historical details of Alexander's life.

For even more information, here (at en.wikipedia.org) is the Wikipedia entry for Alexander the Great.

Here (at www.let.leidenuniv.nl) is another site that refers to the animated map of
Alexander's travels --- as well as referring to many more maps depicting
international migrations through the ages.


CLICK HERE to see the track of Captain Cook's 2nd voyage around the world,
1772 to 1775.

Here (at www.nmm.ac.uk) is more info on Cook's voyages --- at the web site of
England's National Maritime Museum.


This is an animated lightning-strike map of a storm over New Zealand, 15 Nov 2004.
You can probably find more current lightning strike maps (and other such weather maps)
by using an image search (Google, Yahoo, whatever) on keywords such as
"map animated lightning".


This is an animation of average temperature, for each month of the year, at points over
the surface of the earth.

HERE (at www.learner.org/jnorth/) is a source of that temperature map --- at a site that
is concerned with robins and their migration.


HERE (at www.metasphere.net) is a site with 48-frame animated-GIFs of U.S. weather
patterns in the past day or so.


This is an animated map of spread of dams in the U.S. Northwest --- 1930, 1965, 1998.

HERE (at www.sightline.org) is the site from which that dam map came (pun intended).
It is a site with more maps, related to energy efficiency and climate change.


This is an animated-GIF map showing the "progress" in the right to carry firearms
in the U.S, state by state, in a 20 year period --- 1986 to 2006.

Here (at www.gun-nuttery.com) is the gun-nut site from which that map came.


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Page created in 2006 Aug 25. Changed slightly 2009 Jan 07.