Since the 1990s, collector David Rumsey has digitized and made freely available his thousands of historical maps; his site has long been one of the best resources for cartography.
Some maps are not designed to chart geography, but to express a particular belief.
New York City has over 1,000 monuments across the five boroughs, and the new NYC Public Art Map and Guide plots them on an interactive map
The building blocks of urban landscapes are often riddled with fossils, with Jurassic reptile bones and Cretaceous sea creatures sometimes emerging from the stone surfaces.
Mounted on remnants of the old Ming Dynasty city wall, which once surrounded Beijing, are Western clocks and astronomical instruments for observing celestial bodies.
Originally intended purely as tools for navigation, maps have long branched off from this practical function to become an unexpected medium for visual expression.
Last month, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to recommend 30 of the sites from its backlog of nearly 100 as potential landmarks.
Paula Scher, the first female principal of Pentagram and designer of identities for the Public Theater and Tiffany’s — not to mention hundreds of hit album covers — grew up surrounded by maps.
“Globes have a very low survival rate,” explained Ian Fowler, director of the Osher Map Library (OML) at the University of Southern Maine.
Many of the first European maps of the Americas included warnings of cannibalism, despite no proof of such activity.
This August, activist group Osez le Féminisme (Dare to be Feminist) installed guerrilla signs in Paris to rename streets and parks after women like singer Nina Simone, sailor Florence Arthaud, and author Simone de Beauvoir.
A three-year project from the University of Glasgow’s School of Critical Studies mapped 13 centuries of metaphors in the English language.