Mapping anime to attract tourists

The Japanese National Tourism Organization co-created a map of Hakone, Japan with Gainax, the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion a wildly popular 1990s anime which is currently undergoing a resurgence. The JNTO and Hakone area are taking advantage of this resurgence to encourage anime fans from around the globe to come for a visit.

From the AnimeNewsNetwork article, JNTO notes there is great interest in the US alone with significant attendance numbers at anime conventions…Anime Expo in Los Angeles (40,000 attendees), New York Anime Festival in New York (21,000), and Otakon in Baltimore (27,000) not mention interest from other english speaking countries.

If you are heading to Japan on vacation you may want to get one of these maps so you can spend time somewhere other than the shops in Akihabara.

British Geological Survey Maps

The British Geological Survey, the world’s oldest national geological survey, is offering GEOSCIENCE, a free service for sharing geospatial information including maps, 3D maps, and photographs. The GEOSCENIC is really cool because it is geological photos from their archives that can be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes. They have a make-a-map function for students and teachers. I think that overall this site would make a great addition to history, geography, geology, or science lesson plans. I’m making a bunch of really awesome screen savers.

US Census Bureau beginning to hire for 2010 census workers

I just saw last night that the Census Bureau is gearing up the hiring process for workers here in West Virginia, and I am sure the process is also starting up in other states as well. There will be several waves of hiring, from office workers and support staff, to the actual census takers. Hiring for workers at the state and local level is done through regional offices, and you can find the list at the Census Bureau’s website here. There are a number of jobs for Geographers and Cartographers, and GIS people. They’re usually only for a year or two, but are great experience. So, if you are out there on the job market, or will be soon, you should definitely check out the Jobs At Census website!

ScapeToad – free cartogram generating software

The use of cartograms as representational tools for the US election results got a lot of attention last week, with links to a number of sites such as Mark Newman’s .

Cartograms are powerful cartographic visualizations, but are not necessarily easy to produce. I remember having to run a very tempermental ArcView script to generate some cartograms for a Digital Cartography class project. Our reader Ed sent me a link to a great free Java software tool developed by the Choros Laboratory of Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, ScapeToad, that you can use to generate your own cartograms.

INFOMAR – Mapping Ireland’s Seabed

nullJust as countries are spending increasing amounts of money and resources to map their territories using high-resolution technologies such as LIDAR, some, like Ireland, are devoting significant effort to map their undersea territory (and potential resources) as well. Beginning in 2006, the INFOMAR (INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s MArine Resource) project has been focused on mapping Ireland’s bays and undersea territory using LIDAR, vessel surveys, and seabed sampling.

The INFOMAR website has a web mapping application with some of the vector data related If you would like to see examples of processed LIDAR data layers of some of Ireland’s bays in Google Earth, the INFOMAR site has several KMZ files available for download here.

Via Herald

Largest Self-Portrait in the World!

Created with DHL shipping company and the help of GPS! It spans nearly every continent and shows a pretty elaborate path. While this might seem flippant, I think it shows an important intersection of technology and art. Anyone familiar with ancient maps can see the obvious art there, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought of art and GPS in the same sentence before!

Via Gizmodo

Festival of Maps in Chicago

There is a great website associated with the Festival of Maps that is taking place through February 2008. The site offers a chance to view sites via a map, search for specific content/events and browse by different map types. If you are going to Chicago in the near future definitely check out this great resource to plan your tour of sites participating in the Festival of Maps. Keep an eye out for a video episode in late November after we get back from the SSHA conference in Chicago.

Festival of Maps Chicago

Will TomTom’s Map Share herald the end of professional mapping?

In an article yesterday, PC Pro’s (a UK-based tech news site) Darien Graham-Smith comments on the upcoming release of TomTom’s “MapShare” technology (here’s my previous post), and predicts that its impact will be much more far-reaching than the fairly quiet launch announcement. He argues that this will break consumer SatNav systems’ reliance on commercial map updates, and allow “peer-to-peer cartography” to eventually lead to the end of professional cartographers – he goes so far as to say that Map Share is a “disaster for the cartographers.”

This is a debate that’s not just going on among professionals in geospatial technologies, but in many other fields as well, as Graham-Smith points out. We all know how the Internet has played a huge role in changing the way we interact with and access information of all kinds, including geographic information, and I don’t think anyone is crazy enough to try to predict with any certainty how this will all play out over the next decade. While I don’t necessarily agree with Graham-Smith when he predicts that this is the beginning of the end for professional cartographers, I do think that the next generation of geospatial professionals will work and interact in a very different world, and their experience and much higher comfort level with generating and consuming user-based content will also likely contribute to a changing definition of what it means to be an expert or professional, in terms of expert knowledge, content creation and the value of that knowledge or content.

Where is Middle-Earth?

More fun from our friends over at Strange Maps. As the post says, Tolkien didn’t create Middle Earth from thin air, it’s based upon real geography. In this case, as sort of stylized version of Europe. Then you put in on the map, it sorta makes sense I guess. Although I would have thought he would have made France be Mordor 🙂