You might call Henricus Martellus’s 1491 world map — which many believe Christopher Columbus consulted before setting out on his voyage — a symbol of the limits of human knowledge.
When aviation took off in the early 20th century, safety was still shaky and the public needed some convincing to get them soaring among the clouds in the noisy metal contraptions.
A crucial need in any rescue effort — perhaps just as important to saving lives as medical supplies, food, and tents — is an up-to-date map that humanitarian workers can use to more efficiently navigate the rubble.
The Stanford Literary Lab has plotted quotes from over 700 19th-century authors who mentioned locations in London in order to compose concentrations of dread or happiness.
During the late Renaissance, many gold-thirsty European explorers set sail on a quest to locate the fastest route to the Orient.
Considering how long the earth’s been around, you’d think it would have already been exhaustively charted. But in recent years, mapmaking has exploded.
Two 1970s photography series that chronicled the urban landscapes of New York City are now accessible on interactive maps through the New York Public Library’s ongoing Photo Geographies project.
As the 2 train travels from Brooklyn through Manhattan up to the Bronx, it journeys along 49 stations of neighborhoods as varied as Flatbush, the Financial District, and Wakefield.
Last year, the City of New York released a huge trove of tax data to the public. Called Property Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO), the information might not seem terribly thrilling, a dry assortment of building dates, square footage, and property value, but for those looking to map the city’s history and potential future it is an incredible resource.
“There are so many sounds in museums that we usually ignore that are absolutely engrossing once you take the time to focus on them,” says artist John Kannenberg, who’s been recording museum noise for 15 years.
Madeline, the smallest of the “twelve little girls in two straight lines” who lived in “an old house in Paris that was covered in vines,” was born in Manhattan. In Pete’s Tavern on Irving Place in 1938, Ludwig Bemelmans scrawled those first rhyming lines that would introduce his petite heroine of the Madeline books.
The best fiction often succeeds because its creator has constructed a convincing world. By that I don’t mean a place that seems realistic, but rather a world that’s believable because it’s been thought through — pages of notes, characters described down to their beauty marks, the relationships between them, their homes and towns mapped out.