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I hadn't thought of myself as a collector, but then I noticed how many different maps I have. I still have a Michelin map of Africa from the 1970s when I worked there. Click on any of these to zoom in, but many are large files, will need good Internet bandwidth --

Atlas Obscura Maps

Atlas Obscura is a website and set of publications about unusual places around the world. It's not surprising that their collections include unusual maps. 

Mapping City Smells

The English artist Kate McLean is trying to preserve our olfactory memory of cities. This is a map of smells around Amsterdam. See article on Atlas Obscura

Christmas Maps

The New York Public Library has a whole collection of Christmas maps. See article on Atlas Obscura

World Maps

These are my own maps now... 

Mercator Projections

It's amazing how many places you can find world maps with Mercator projection...  I'm waiting for the version done with tea leaves...
The cow sculpture is my photo; I've seen this twice now, at exhibits in Chicago USA, and Edinburgh Scotland. The next two were received in email.

Cow Maps of the World

Spilled Coffee Map of the World

and the most widely used Mercator map in the world... from Google

(this one's from 2007, it won't give directions
like these from New York to London now)


Horoscope of Projections

But Mercator's just one of many map projections. Here's a "map horoscope" that explains a few more of them -- Click on it two times (slowly, not double-click) to read it, or visit the original xkcd cartoon)

I first learned about Steve Waterman's "butterfly projection" from this cartoon - it not only has artistic appeal, but very high accuracy for both distances and areas. Check it out here. Waterman also wrote an educational poem about map projections, a bit kinder than the horoscope ;-)

Specialty Maps

Links Map

 Here's another xkcd cartoon -- linked muffins, money, vehicles, appliances, news clippings, all kinds of stuff...

Rail and Tunnel Maps

Here's a rail & tunnel map built as snack trays along the train windows (Interlaken, Switzerland)

...and a tunnel map for the inside of Jungfrau peak, highest observation point in Europe. Can you name the James Bond movie that took place here?

Nautical Charts

Here's a nautical chart of the Ionian and Aegean Seas, from a sailing excursion there...

Speaking of nautical charts, here's one of the first maps
I worked on when learning about GIS -- this is an excerpt from a Digital Nautical Chart of Norfolk Virginia (1995)

This map took about 8mb in file space, but this tiny bit of data required hundreds of little files in dozens of folders. I wrote a
Smalltalk program to edit that data format, but I can't show it to you any more...

Weather Maps

Here's where Météo-France works to make sense of the weather (2009, Toulouse) --

and one of their weather maps (for meteorologists not the public!) with insets showing vertical profiles at a point, and pressure along a path --

Ancient Maps

Climate Relief Map of the US - 1900

My most special map is the one below, acquired in October 2011 at an antique shop in central Texas. It's considered a climate map because it shows bands of annual temperature and rainfall averaged over a 30-year period, 1871-1901. It's considered a relief map because it has a plaster surface modeled to represent the mountains and valleys. There is no "climate relief" to be found here ;-)  It has a copyright date of 1894, but was most likely finished in or after 1902. It stands 18" high and 34" wide, plastered & painted on a section of globe that would be 5 1/2' in diameter. The photos really don't do it justice; the detail of this map and topographic relief are exquisite. The creator was Edwin E. Howell, Chief Meteorologist of the US National Weather Bureau, who made several of these in various sizes and themes (topographic, geologic, and climatic). This map cost $35 at that time, and was mainly intended for use in public schools. Larger ones (up to 18' diameter globe section) were also made. Many thanks to Melanie McCalmont from the Relief Map Restoration Project at the Univ of Wisconsin, for her help with this research. 

The Cassini Map of France - 1700s

"In 1747, King Louis XV of France ordered the cartographer César-François Cassini de Thury to draw a map of France using the 
Cassini Map of France
revolutionary new technique of geodesic triangulation. Cassini—the grandson of the astronomer who discovered several moons of Saturn and the division of its rings that bears his name—divided the country into 180 rectangles, each 80 kilometers by 50 kilometers, and started work on a map at a scale of 1:86,400.

So began one of the greatest feats in the history of map-making. The map took more than 50 years to complete and involved four generations of the Cassini family. The resulting work—now known as the Cassini map—consists of 180 plates showing the country at a level of detail that was unprecedented then and is still admired today." (see complete article in the MIT Tech Review Oct 8, 2015)  A longer & more dramatic version of this story can be found in chapter 9 of the book, A History of the World in Twelve Maps, by Jerry Brotton (2012).  The complete, digitally restored map can be browsed by clicking the map image or this link:  http://geoportail.fr/url/7F7dsq   

China's Evolution

Credits: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~chgis/data/chgis/downloads/v4/

Andreas Cellarius - 1600s

Cellarius rendered numerous fanciful drawings of the accepted cosmology in early 1600s, for instance these:

Plate 7. Scenography of the world’s construction according to Tycho Brahe.

Plate 24. The northern stellar hemisphere.

credits: Harmonia Macrocosmica of Andreas Cellarius

Oldest Maps - to 6200 BC

Here is a set of the oldest maps I could find easily (6200 BC to 400 AD)

Siebold, Jim; Index of Cartographic Images illustrating maps from the Ancient Period: 6,200 B.C. to 400 A.D. -- Ancient Maps, April 1998.