A few notes:
- Paper sags over time. Good thing he mounted it to a board
- We printed on tyvek for water/rip proofing, which was interesting. It's surprisingly hard to rip.
- I would have chosen a different projection maybe, but only for purely aesthetics, not any scientific reason. If its hanging on a wall in your house because you want it, you have all the license in the world to do whatever.
- I can't tell, but did NZ make the cut?
- And I may not have used blue for areas in the corners that are not actually water.
What a great job though!
This reminded me of Colonels coming to me in the military saying - "I want all of Iraq on my wall at 1:50,000" and as a junior enlisted man saying something, very respectfully, like "Well, sir, Iraq is about 900km from top to bottom, so that's 900,000m, and at 1:50,000 that's about 18m from top to bottom. How high are your ceilings?"
Ahaha... I am really curious though. What were their responses? Just do it? Or was it like, my wall is 5 meters high, so make maps that will fit that height?
What's your take on digital maps in military? I gather printed maps will be around a looong time because tablets just cannot match the usefulness of maps (at least at platoon/company level)?
Always amazed to hear from people of such diverse background and experience here and on the internet in general.
I think it’ll be great for a map where the triangular sections are each about a meter on a side (1:10M scale), or perhaps half a meter on a side (1:20M scale).
I tried ringing around to see if I could source inks that would work with tyvek to use with this machine, but inks are expensive and i'd probably need a whole new dedicated printhead. In short I gave up.
What kind of resolutions were you able to achieve on Tyvek?
It solves most projection issues without looking terrible.
I've often wondered why children's books aren't printed on tyvek, but perhaps publishers see lack of durability as a feature rather than a bug.
It absolutely wouldn't. Download TileMill or its successor, Mapbox Studio. Adjust the (Carto)CSS. Done.
Though for a map of this scale I'd probably work straight from Natural Earth without involving OSM, to be honest.
Looks great, anyway.
> [...] the real challenge for a map service is to decide what they should and should not display. Google does an excellent job [...]
It might have been a better choice, and maybe he didn't evaluate the option, but I still imagine the complexity of these options for the OP's specific aesthetic taste is quite large.
Which is one reason to turn to the Natural Earth data, it has been curated more systematically than OSM.
There has been lots of research about how to automatically produce Goldilocks Maps (enough information - but not too much) - I remember an article (whose URL I can't locate) which showed increased readability by pruning minor location names when they are too close to major locations. Google does that sort of thing well, but they are not the only ones nowadays - for example the osmfr Openstreetmap style does, in my opinion, a decent job of prioritizing labels: http://tile.openstreetmap.fr/
I looked around the local area here and it turns out to be quite reasonable, but there are also more than a couple misses, where the more notable town/village in a pair is suppressed.
As i noticed the other day, they certainly have a very precise notion of where Great Britain is:
example image used in the article shows most countries with their capitals, and others with some random cities highlighted, truly to the T!
I do agree with others though that it would have been a great amount of effort to invest in understanding CartoCSS for his requirements, and getting to create it.
...so much for this morning's priorities. /sigh
If you're familiar with the Natural Earth data set, do you know if it is possible to apply a transformation so a map could be printed of the World using the Cahill or Waterman projection?
I can envision a striking large-scale art piece that started from a "butterfly" representation of the World.
(Much recently available data is stored using geographic coordinates - basically the latitude and longitude, and maybe the elevation, but a lot of older data, and especially government data, is stored in coordinate systems that are designed to limit the error in spatial analyses that are done on the data. This isn't really something that you would have to understand deeply to make a map in a given projection, but you might have to deal with it along the way.)
Mapbox looks like exactly the thing I'm looking for (I want a local street-level map), thanks!
On Exactitude in Science
Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions, translated by Andrew Hurley.
...In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.
—Suarez Miranda,Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV,Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658
From Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893):
"That's another thing we've learned from your Nation," said Mein Herr, "map-making. But we've carried it much further than you. What do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?"
"About six inches to the mile."
""Only six inches!"exclaimed Mein Herr. "We very soon got to six yards to the mile. Then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!"
"Have you used it much?" I enquired.
"It has never been spread out, yet," said Mein Herr: "the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.
The Mercator projection was indeed originally designed for compass navigation, but the reason it's still used for web mapping is slightly different. The Mercator projection is conformal. What this means is that angles (and hence in some sense shapes) are preserved locally. When we zoom in on a small section of the Mercator projection, we get a reasonably accurate representation of the actual shape of features. This is generally not true for most more fashionable projections, which will stretch and skew things, so they don't always look great when zoomed.
In general with map projections, you have to make a compromise between global properties and local properties. Choosing Mercator means going full-on for local quality, at the expense of the global map being quite distorted. This makes it great for zoomable web maps, because most of the time the global map is just used to find the area you're actually looking for.
Now, you could argue that for a living-room wall, you want something that looks good globally. If it was my wall, I'd agree with you. However, this guy seems to be really interested in local detail. He worries about his four-point fonts becoming blurry, and about having as many small villages marked on the map as possible. If he's interested in that kind of detail, then I think he probably cares far more about local properties than the kind of global properties that would bother me or you.
I really like the "classic Guyou" projection: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjConf/Img/Z.... It mangles the ocean pretty badly, but the sizes and shapes of the landmasses are surprisingly realistic, and it's rectangular to boot.
But referring back to the OP, notice the grid of books and curios along the entire neighboring wall, and the grid-like pattern of the wood flooring underneath. The Mercator projection seems of a piece with this grid theme in the room.
Your curvy Guyou projection would look great in this Lautner house: http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/53e53330f92ea16cd900340...
I don't think so at all. Australia is fairly balanced east/west in real life, but on that projection it looks like it's got an eastern tumour. Africa looks like it's got a western tumour. Spain looks like it's the size of the Arabian Peninsula. The British Isles (300k sq km) are the same size as India (3M sq km). It looks horribly distorted compared to a map on a globe.
Just speculating here, but it's also a big rectangle that is easy on the eyes. Non-rectangular online maps would fit awkwardly in websites. As for Gall-Peters, that map is just irredeemably ugly to me, and I'm ignorant of other rectangular projections that could compete with Mercator.
As for other rectangular projections, the most common is the equirectangular (or plate carrée), which simply maps (longitude, latitude) to (x, y). This is a pretty common representation for gridded global data.
However, online maps alter the projection as you zoom so this is not much of an issue.
I'm also not aware of any of the main online maps changing projection as you zoom. It seems like that would be more pain than it's worth.
The property they both preserve is points north, south, east, or west of them on a globe are also north, south, east, or west of them in the projection. (Plenty of rectangular projections don't have this property ex: http://geographer-at-large.blogspot.com/2011/08/fun-with-map...)
The issue is interior angels of a triangle on a sphere don't add up to 180 degrees so you literally can't preserve all angles on a projection.
PS: If you actually walk exactly 1 mile north, 1 mile west, 1 mile south, then 1 mile east you don't necessarily end up on exactly the same place on a globe. (It does work if you start half a mile below the equator.)
Edit: Not that the earth is even a sphere...
Based on this image: http://www.dominik-schwarz.net/potpourri/worldmap/images/DSC... the entire continent of Africa looks only slightly larger than Greenland (when in fact it's about 14 times larger), and substantially smaller than Russia (when it is actually ~1.7 times larger).
Greenland has a population of ~60,000. Africa has a population of ~1.1billion.
I think Africa would have more small villages than Greenland (and Northern Russia) combined, yet is afforded less space.
I am surprised people who read the article are even asking this considering how much he struggled even to get the source image (and how he ultimately wound up manually stitching together print screens).
I can understand why someone wouldn't want to set up their own tile rendering system (and hence not use something like OSM with whatever projection they want), but it likely would have been less work than screenshots.
"What the hell is that?"
"It's where you've been living this whole time"
Still better than no map on the wall. The style looks lovely at this scale! I would have made my own map from NE and OSM data but not everyone knows how much great data is available for free and how easy making maps with it is. We who know should do a better job of sharing.
On some level this is an unsolvable problem, but I was disappointed to see him spend more time on the pins he used than on the tradeoffs involved in the projection.
Unless you're a hipster nerd trying hard to seem sophisticated. In that case, fashion is everything.
Now I wish we did not accepted that fast the lens-flares, but hey - my kid loves them.
Feel free to ask me any gis or web mapping questions as email@example.com, I'd love to facilitate more beautiful maps out there.
I used to work on tile rendering at Google and considerable effort was spent on this. Thank you!
I think marketmaps.com landing page is pretty focused on the US, but they have a pretty extensive catalog, and you could also design your map with QGIS from OSM data and send them the PDF.
- You could use (cleverly-braided+insulated) regular LEDs if there was a breadboard or something behind the map, but that'd be both huge and inconvenient.
- Maybe LEDs with inductive coils and a large backing induction mat?
- Given a metallic backing, and a regular fridge-magnet-like magnet, is there some way to trade some of the magnetic force the magnet is exerting on the backing for electrical power? Or maybe power a light using the normal force of the backing on the magnet. Either way, this would probably have the side-effect of reducing the coercivity in a regular permanent magnet way faster than otherwise. (You can make the whole backing surface a weak electromagnet, though! I wonder if that's more or less energy-intensive than making an induction mat of that size...)
- Maybe ignore conductive power, and try for radio power? RFID-powered LEDs? Crystal-radio-like LEDs? Or even just phosphorous-coated pinheads (not the matchstick kind; the CRT kind) with an infrared lamp or blacklight on the other wall?
- Or maybe, if you don't care about the LEDs only lighting up when on the wall, you could just make them "permanently" lit in the same way some exit signs are: put a tiny little bit of something radioactive in there, and then surround that with fluorescent gas in a glass shell.
- A chemical solution would be very interesting for its own sake. If there was potentially chemoluminescent fluid in the backplane (which would then have to be a gel/sponge), and the pins could pull it in via capillary action somehow—maybe the heads on the pins could be squeezed, making them effectively into little bulb syringes—then fluid could end up in the pinhead and react with something inside.
You just stab one of these fixtures into the wall anywhere you want; each of the three prongs travels to a different depth and makes contact with a layer representing the hot, neutral, and ground lines so that your light fixture is now plugged into 220 Volt wall socket current.
At the time, I remember saying "that sounds totally insane". I still think it is. But if you made a special map backing board rather than entire walls and ran a lot less power through it....
You need movement to generate electricity, otherwise it'd be a perpetual machine.
An alternative would be to have a "surface of light", ie, a source of light all along one of the walls of the map and passing right over it (not actually illuminating the map); then any object sitting on the map would be illuminated.
Theres a simpler solution that uses the same idea. Have pins that look like mono audio jacks, so the "tip" and "ring" are separate. Put two layers of conductive material down on the map, one on each side of the insulating board, and apply a voltage between them. When you stick in the pin, your "ring" contacts the closest layer, the tip the furthest, and so you have a voltage available to power the LED in the head. The voltage would only need to be about 3V or so, so its perfectly safe, you just need a small fuse in case of shorts.
Manufacturing a conductive "ring" on a pin would be difficult with machining, so using a conductive paint on top of an insulating paint would be the best option. The hardest issue would be ensuring a reliable contact with the ring, as the contact surface would be very small.
>I am now lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to many different countries and I sadly realized that this planet is not nearly as big as I hoped when I was a kid.
Fly less. I find that my sense of how big the world is is related to how frequently I fly Vs traveling by train, bus, motorcycle or anything else really.
Hurtling from one airport to another at ~800km/hr gives you a false impression about the distances you are covering. I suspect the speeds are simply so fast that we don't have the ability to intuitively appreciate just how far we are traveling. When you take slower forms of transport you suddenly realize how freaking huge the world is.
Flying also isolates you from the area you are traveling across. When you don't fly you see that there is in fact a vast amount of stuff (cities, towns, farming areas, mountains, rivers etc) between the airports. When I fly a lot the world is reduced to a network of airports.
An example from my own life. My wife and I once flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia then traveled overland (trains and buses with the occasional ferry) through Malaysia, up through Thailand, around part of Laos, back into Thailand and then over into Cambodia.
Travel time => 8 months.
My impression of how big the world is => absolutely massive.
Then we flew back from Phnom Penh to Kuala Lumpur, where we started.
Travel time => less than 2 hours in the air.
After a few additional flights, my impression of how big the world is => tiny.
However they note that even sending this letter may do nothing:
> Because we plan our communications in advance, it may take several weeks for your request to become effective. If you continue to receive our communications in error after expressing an opt-out preference, please let us know so that we can investigate the situation.
And by that "few weeks" they likely have already sent your personal information to "other selected third parties" making the entire exercise pointless.
As an aside, have you looked closely at Greenland on a globe? It looks all wrong - long and skinny like someone messed up the aspect ratio.
Yeah! I don't know why the 3D spherical projection gets a free pass when we're talking about mapping.
Which map projections would you choose? A difficult decision:
I'd rather have a gigantic globe (that can also be dismantled for moving or storage) than have a wall map.
Edit: Just discovered that if you prefer a conformal map instead of one with equal area then you end up with the Mercator projection.
And this is just the neatest thing to play with:
It looks like one retroazimuthal variant (the Craig retroazimuthal) is sometimes called the "Mecca projection", so you know which way to kneel at sundown if you're into that sort of thing.
(I think I would take advantage of Mapbox's free plan, which allows for 1 custom stylesheet and enough usage to get the image together. I guess there are lots of people who would be happy to render a stylesheet (especially if a modest fee is involved), but I'm not sure how someone on the street figures that out and gets in contact with them)
I was wondering if you had a specific setup in mind when you said 'just generate', as I did not find the process to be particularly trivial, even for a smaller region (and I do have experience messing around with arcane syntax and command lines).
I'm somewhat surprised that they didn't end up using an Open Street Map derivitive. If Google was good enough, then they'd probably find something from Mapbox or others that use OSM data acceptable, and many provide tools so that "the additional work to custom style the maps would be extraordinary" wouldn't be true.
It's also a bit wierd that the comparison screenshots are all at a different level of zoom from the one's that he wanted to use. Many online maps emphasis different things at different levels.
It also makes it very evident how odd it can be to project the surface of a sphere over a flat surface. The distortion of some shapes leaps to the eye.
Another one: https://www.walldecalcompany.com/product_images/x/995/world_...
If I were printing all that blue ink, I'd want ocean trenches to stand out in the same way that the mountain ranges do :)
http://worldmapswithout.nz/ on the other hand...
Maybe it is a German thing, in Australia a plasterer is anyone who installs plaster boards on the interior of houses by nailing them directly to the stud work (the wooden tresses).
For a CA transplant who does a lot of driving up and down the state, this map has been fascinating.
It's really very cool to a have that kind of wall-scale high-resolution information display. When I get a more permanent place to live, I'm tempted to do the same thing.
Now I need to figure out how to convert open-street-map tiles into a dymaxion projection, which I can then print and mount on triangular boards.
On one hand I totally buy the article's explanation: "Putting pins in a map is something I've loved doing for many years. They inspire me and remind me of great experiences."
But on the downside, I'd be really afraid that the completionist in me would be motivated to visit exotic places because of the pin I'd be able to add to the map. ie. going to a place just so I could say I've been there.
I'm sure I'd never book a trip solely for that reason, but I'd be afraid it would be more of a factor than it should.
I really like Domink's project but I would have liked to have seen more diy trial and error.
Watching this video of Jimmy Diresta's would have made mounting on a timber french cleat a breeze.
A full-scale wall map has always crossed my mind, not making one, but buying one. I did try and find one once and came up empty handed. I am probably in the minority here, but I like the Mercator projection and I think it looks great on a wall in that size (at least North is always up) even if it isn't exactly well-loved by that many.
But all in all, hats off, fun project/good results
> It shall be permissible for a natural person to make single copies of a work for private use on any medium, insofar as they neither directly nor indirectly serve commercial purposes, as long as no obviously unlawfully-produced model or a model which has been unlawfully made available to the public is used for copying. A person authorised to make copies may also cause such copies to be made by another person if no payment is received therefore, or if it involves copies on paper or a similar medium which have been effected by the use of any kind of photomechanical technique or by some other process having similar effects.
Results look amazing 
Would probably be quite heavy.
Well the whole damn map/project was custom. Seems as the same amount of "hacking" as most posts in this sub, except this was not made inside a computer.
So wouldn't it make more sense to just buy a huge display then? :)
But I must agree with others that the author at least seems to give the appearance that he was rather ignorant with different map projections. But if you want an Africa-sized Greenland and a huge huge Kamchatka, why not.
For example these guys would do the job for 142 euros http://sprint24.net/go/29ul/ I'm not sure they'd ship internationally though (or at all, for an item of that size).
Please don't use shortened URLs and don't sneak affiliate codes.
www.kayatilev.com most of my work is furniture. Finishing up a coffee table would love feedback.
I get the projection issues. He wants to see the details and be able to roam them. For one who is going to spend a lot of time close up, this project is a home run. Well done, and I'm envious.
When I was a kid, I would collect the large size maps Nat Geo would produce. Had a variety of them on the wall, and for reasons very similar to the ones expressed by this guy. It's fun to think about the places in the world, and associate them in various ways.
Visits, reading about things, photos, whatever, can all be placed into context and having a big map helps one with a sense of the world and it's many features and people. The pins bother me, but I stuck pins in mine too, and since he can reprint, no worries! I wonder if drawn tungsten or something might serve as a very small diameter pin? Could get a length of it, sharpen the ends, and dip into something to form the heads...