Mercator projection

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pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

Magellan and his crew were the first to circumnavigate the world (1519-1522), building on Cabral's impressions of the coast of Brazil and proving the vastness of the Pacific; the Italian Battista Agnese's 1544 map of the world was soon renowned for its beauty as well as its novelty; and the Flemish mathematician and cartographer Gerardus Mercator formulated a grid for the evolving map of the world that allowed navigators to plot a straight-line compass bearing, the Mercator Projection (1569). This was a momentous innovation, and the name Mercator remains famous to this day—as well as another of his inventions, the concept of the atlas (which he named after a Greek titan) as a collection of maps. 23 24 WHY GEOGRAPHY MATTERS It is well to remember, however, that Europeans were not the only map-makers of the time. The Chinese were making maps perhaps 3,000 years ago, and their fleets, larger than anything Europe had floated, were plying Asian and African coasts before Magellan made his epic journey.

So nonmetric practice continues here, grooved in-eradicably into the soil. MAP PROJECTIONS This brings us to the interesting topic of map projections. Earlier 1 mentioned Mercator and his milestone navigation-friendly projection, without saying exactly what a map "projection" is but pointing out that projections inevitably distort the reality on the ground (Greenland's huge size on the Mercator projection is a case in point). The fact is that you can manipulate map projections to exaggerate, diminish, distort, and otherwise modify any representation of any part of the Earth's surface. Countries can be made to look larger, compared to others, than they really are. Places can be made to look closer to you than they really are. Maps can be used for propaganda purposes, or worse. READING MAPS AND FACING THREATS 31 Fig. 2-2 They can be used to stimulate fear, intimidation, aggression, anger, or, at the very least, misjudgments among their readers.

You can imagine this by considering an open wire grid with a light bulb at the center and a cylinder of paper wrapped around it. The parallels and meridians would throw shadows onto the paper, creating a kind of READING MAPS AND FACING THREATS 33 projection—not a usable one, but now it becomes a matter of manipulating the light source or the paper. If you put a neon tube inside, pole to pole, you would get something close to the Mercator projection. If you made a conical "hat" of the paper and put it on the Northern Hemisphere, rather than a cylinder all around the globe, you would get less distortion—but only half the world. Indeed, some projections are called "cylindrical" and others "conical." If you want to produce a comparatively low-distortion map of the United States, you would use a conical projection (Fig. 2-3). Projections designed to minimize the distortion of shape are easier to devise for limited latitudinal areas like the coterminous United States than for the world as a whole, but some remarkable, inventive projections have been created nevertheless.


Python Geospatial Development - Second Edition by Erik Westra

capital controls, database schema, Firefox, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Mercator projection, natural language processing, openstreetmap, Silicon Valley, web application

Cylindrical projections An easy way to understand cylindrical projections is to imagine that the earth is like a spherical Chinese lantern, with a candle in the middle: If you placed this lantern-earth inside a paper cylinder, the candle would "project" the surface of the earth onto the inside of the cylinder: You can then "unwrap" this cylinder to obtain a two-dimensional image of the earth: Of course, this is a simplification—in reality, map projections don't actually use light sources to project the earth's surface onto a plane, but instead use sophisticated mathematical transformations to achieve the same effect. Some of the main types of cylindrical projections include the Mercator Projection, the Equal-Area Cylindrical Projection, and the Universal Transverse Mercator Projection. The following map, taken from Wikipedia, is an example of a Mercator projection: Conic projections A conic projection is obtained by projecting the earth's surface onto a cone: The cone is then "unwrapped" to produce the final map. Some of the more common types of conic projections include the Albers Equal-Area Projection, the Lambert Conformal Conic Projection, and the Equidistant Projection.

Proj Proj is a cartographic transformation class, allowing you to convert geographic coordinates (that is, latitude and longitude values) into cartographic coordinates (x, y values, by default in meters) and vice versa. When you create a new Proj instance, you specify the projection, datum, and other values used to describe how the projection is to be done. For example, to use the Transverse Mercator projection and the WGS84 ellipsoid, you would do the following: projection = pyproj.Proj(proj='tmerc', ellps='WGS84') Once you have created a Proj instance, you can use it to convert a latitude and longitude to an (x, y) coordinate using the given projection. You can also use it to do an inverse projection—that is, converting from an (x, y) coordinate back into a latitude and longitude value again.

We haven't yet encountered any geospatial data that uses a projection—all the data we've seen so far uses geographic (unprojected) latitude and longitude values. So let's start by downloading some geospatial data in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection. The WebGIS website (http://webgis.com) provides shapefiles describing land-use and land-cover, called LULC datafiles. For this example, we will download a shapefile for southern Florida (Dade County, to be exact), which uses the Universal Transverse Mercator projection. You can download this shapefile from the following URL: http://webgis.com/MAPS/fl/lulcutm/miami.zip The decompressed directory contains the shapefile, called miami.shp, along with a datum_reference.txt file describing the shapefile's coordinate system. This file tells us the following: The LULC shape file was generated from the original USGS GIRAS LULC file by Lakes Environmental Software.


pages: 385 words: 103,561

Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World by Greg Milner

Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, creative destruction, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, different worldview, digital map, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, Flash crash, friendly fire, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, land tenure, lone genius, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Mercator projection, place-making, polynesian navigation, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, smart grid, the map is not the territory

GPS therefore constructs its own version of the world, not a mirror image of “reality.” To represent geographic data, Google Maps uses the Mercator projection, named after the sixteenth-century cartographer Gerardus Mercator, which represents latitude and longitude as being perfectly perpendicular. Sailors and navigators liked this projection because a ship on a steady bearing was represented by a straight line on the map. As any user of etak (the ancient Pacific navigational aid, not the 1980’s proto-GPS car guidance system) will tell you, this is a view of the world completely at odds with the way parallels and meridians behave on the earth’s curved surface, and grossly distorts the size of land masses the closer they are to the poles. The Mercator projection remained popular throughout the centuries. In the 1980s, cartographical societies drafted a resolution that discouraged any further use of it, in favor of equal-area maps, which more accurately depict the relative size of land masses.

In the 1980s, cartographical societies drafted a resolution that discouraged any further use of it, in favor of equal-area maps, which more accurately depict the relative size of land masses. Around the same time, the first mass-market computerized maps appeared. Some used the Mercator projection, others did not, and well into the 1990s there was no clear preference. For Google Maps, which appeared in 2005 and soon became the world’s most accessible GIS, the Mercator projection was an obvious choice. At every point on a Mercator map, “north” points in exactly the same direction, making it more suitable for panning and zooming. Although a Mercator map distorts large land masses, it accurately portrays more localized geography—the opposite of what occurs with equal-area maps. Since Google Maps is so often used as a local reference source—where is that restaurant, again?

In a strange city, with no map or GPS, we remember how many blocks we have ventured from the hotel; we locate ourselves in relation to prominent landmarks. But mostly, in the age of GPS, we don’t require the environment to locate ourselves. Imagine trying to convince a literal-minded Martian anthropologist—or the Carolinian navigator—why the first mapped image of the world many children study is the Mercator projection that is still a staple of grade-school classrooms, with its grotesque geographic distortions. Or why the X on a shopping mall’s map, labeled “you are here,” does not imply a belief that you are actually, you know, there, engraved on that map, anchored for eternity. Lewis suspected that Tevake used a reference system similar to etak, one that allowed him to conceptualize where he was in relation to islands in the region.


The Spirit of ST Louis by Charles A. Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh, intangible asset, Mercator projection

Sorry, we supply only Pacific shipping. You might get Atlantic charts at San. Pedro. We've never had a request for them before." That means a trip up north. I'll try to borrow one of the Ryan Company's monoplanes. 10 The store at San Pedro has drawers of charts that apparently cover all the earth's salt water. "I think these are what you want." The salesman pulls out two oblong sheets. They're Mercator's projections and --yes, I'm in luck -- they extend inland far enough to include New York and Paris. Then, like stumbling over a nugget of gold, I see a gnomonic projection covering them both. "A great circle on the earth's surface translates into a curve on a Mercator's chart, but it becomes a straight line on a gnomonic projection" -- I remember learning that in the Army's navigation class. Why? Because all maps are distorted in one way or another.

But there's enough room to spread out sheets of charts and drawings; and, locked in, we work in relative seclusion. My navigating problems have begun to clarify. I found, printed on the charts I bought, ample instructions for laying out my great-circle route. With the instruments Hall loaned me, I drew a straight line between New York and Paris on the gnomonic projection. Then I transferred points from that line, at hundred-mile intervals, to the Mercator's projection, and connected these points with straight lines. At each point, I marked down the distance from New York and the magnetic course to the next change in angle. I chose hundred-mile intervals as convenient distances to work with because, wind and cruising speed considered, it seems likely that the Spirit of St. Louis will cover about that distance each hour. Since there's no way to be sure, one might as well choose a convenient figure.

Even after I learn the procedure, it takes a long time to work out each position, and there are thirty-six of them in all. After spending several days at this task, I reach a point in the Atlantic twelve hundred miles beyond the coast of Newfoundland. My mathematical route and my charted route coincide so closely that it seems time wasted to continue with the calculations. I have satisfied myself that the headings I marked on the Mercator's projections are correct; and there are other problems which demand attention. Now that I have my courses laid out properly, I must be sure I can hold them -- over the ocean -- over fog -- at night -- and with unknown wind drifts. Should I buy a sextant and study celestial navigation? But could I handle a sextant at the same time I'm flying a plane? That at least is something I can ask the naval officers on North Island -- no one expects an airplane pilot to know much about celestial navigation.


PostGIS in Action by Regina O. Obe, Leo S. Hsu

call centre, crowdsourcing, database schema, Debian, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Earth, job automation, McMansion, Mercator projection, Network effects, openstreetmap, planetary scale, profit maximization, Ruby on Rails, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, traveling salesman, web application

The larger your area, the less accurate and potentially unusable your measurements will be. If you try to optimize for shape and to cover a large range, your measurements may be off, perhaps way off. There are a few flavors of projections you can use to optimize for different things: Cylindrical projections —Imagine a piece of paper rolled around the globe, imprinting the globe on its surface. Then you unroll it to make it flat. The most common of these is the Mercator projection, which has the bottom of the rolled cylinder parallel to the equator. This results in great distortion at the polar regions, with measurement accuracy better the closer you are to the equator, because there the approximation of flat is most accurate. Conic projections —These are sort of like cylindrical projections, except you wrap a cone around the globe, take the imprint of the globe on the cone, and then roll it out.

If you need to cover the whole globe and you use one of these, you’ll have to maintain about 60 SRS IDs. You can’t use them for the polar regions. Mercator —These are good for maintaining shape and direction and spanning the globe, but they’re not good for measurement, and they make the regions near the poles look huge. The measurements you get from them are nothing less than cartoonish, depending on where you are. The most common Mercator projections in use are variants of World Mercator (SRID 3395) or Spherical Mercator (a.k.a. Google Mercator (SRID 900913)), which is now an EPSG standard with EPSG:3857 (but for a time was EPSG:3785). This last one is fairly new, so you may not find it in your spatial_ref_sys table if your PostGIS version is older. Mercator systems are common favorites for web map display because you only have to maintain one SRID, and they look good to most people.

Although the transformation process is fairly cheap, it can quickly become taxing with the more data you pull, the more users hitting your database, or the greater number of points you have in a geometry. Not as many tools support geography. In theory, though, any tool that just uses the ST_AsBinary and other output functions of PostGIS geometries will work fine with geography without any change. 3.2.3. Mapping just for presentation Although the basic Mercator projections are horrible for measurement calculations, especially far from the equator, they’re a favorite for web mappers because they look good on a map. The advantage of Google Mercator, for example, is that the whole globe is covered with just one spatial reference system. So if your primary concern is looking good on a map and overlaying Google Maps with something like OpenLayers, Leaflet, or some other JavaScript API, Mercator isn’t a bad option for native data storage.


pages: 124 words: 40,697

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow

airport security, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Buckminster Fuller, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, fudge factor, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Mercator projection, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Turing machine

As is well known, one cannot show the whole of the earth’s surface on a single map. The usual Mercator projection used for maps of the world makes areas appear larger and larger in the far north and south and doesn’t cover the North and South Poles. To faithfully map the entire earth, one has to use a collection of maps, each of which covers a limited region. The maps overlap each other, and where they do, they show the same landscape. M-theory is similar. The different theories in the M-theory family may look very different, but they can all be regarded as aspects of the same underlying theory. They are versions of the theory that are applicable only in limited ranges—for example, when certain quantities such as energy are small. Like the overlapping maps in a Mercator projection, where the ranges of different versions overlap, they predict the same phenomena.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

Kosterlitz, Hans Krebs cycle Kuhn, Thomas Kühne, Wilhelm Kundra, Vivek Laennec, René Lamarckianism Landsteiner, Karl Langton, Christopher Lanier, Jaron Lasers Lavoisier, Antoine Lee, William Leeuwenhoek, Antonie Philips van Lehrer, Jonah Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm Lenormand, Louis-Sébastien Leonardo da Vinci Lessig, Lawrence Libby, Willard Liebig, Justus von Life, origins of simulation of Light spectrum of speed of Lightbulbs Lightning rods Lilienthal, Otto Linnaeus, Carl Lion, Alexandre Lippershey, Hans Liquid networks Lithography Lloyd, Edward Locke, John Locomotives Loewi, Otto Logarithms London cholera in Science Museum University World’s Fair (1862) Long-zoom perspective Looms, mechanization of Loschmidt, Joseph Louis XIII, King of France Lovelace, Ada Lyell, Charles Magnetism Malthus, Thomas Maps Google Mercator projection Marconi, Guglielmo Marin le Bourgeoys Mariotte, Edme Marius, Simon Martin, Odile Marx, Karl Mason, John Mason jars Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Building Mass production Mathematical symbols Mauna Kea Mauritius Maybach, Wilhelm Mayer, Marissa McClure, Frank T. McGaffey, Ives W. McKeen, William McPherson, Isaac Mellotron synthesizer Mendel, Gregor Mendeleev, Dmitri Mendelian genetics Mercator projection Mesopotamia Metabolism, relationship of size to Michelangelo Microorganisms Microscopes Microsoft Building Windows Windows Media Player Microwave ovens Microwaves Milky Way Miller, Stanley L.

PENCIL (1560) In the mid 1560s, the residents of a small village in England’s Cumbria region stumbled across a massive deposit of graphite. The community first began using the substance to mark their cattle and sheep, and ultimately hit upon wrapping a wood casing around the graphite. It would take another two hundred years for the device to be completed with the invention of the eraser. MERCATOR MAP PROJECTION (1569) Flemish mapmaker Gerard Mercator developed the Mercator projection, a cartographical depiction of the world that allowed navigators to follow rhumb lines between two locations, thus accounting for compass bearing. SUPERNOVAS AND COMETS (1572—1577) The Danish nobleman Tycho Brahe’s observation of a new star forming in 1572, and his detailed proof that the supernova was not changing position relative to other stars, undermined the prevailing orthodoxy that held that the heavens were incapable of change.


PostGIS in Action, 2nd Edition by Regina O. Obe, Leo S. Hsu

call centre, crowdsourcing, database schema, Debian, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Earth, job automation, McMansion, megacity, Mercator projection, Network effects, openstreetmap, planetary scale, profit maximization, Ruby on Rails, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, traveling salesman, web application

The larger your area, the less accurate and potentially unusable your measurements will be. If you try to optimize for shape and to cover a large range, your measurements may be off, perhaps way off. There are a few flavors of projections you can use to optimize for different things:  Cylindrical projections—Imagine a piece of paper rolled around the globe, imprinting the globe on its surface. Then you unroll it to make it flat. The most common of these is the Mercator projection, which has the bottom of the rolled cylinder parallel to the equator. This results in great distortion at the polar regions, with measurement accuracy better the closer you are to the equator, because there the approximation of flat is most accurate.  Conic projections—These are sort of like cylindrical projections, except you wrap a cone around the globe, take the imprint of the globe on the cone, and then roll it out.  Azimuthal projections—You project a spherical surface onto a plane tangential to the spheroid.

If you need to cover the whole globe and you use one of these, you’ll have to maintain about 60 SRS IDs. You can’t use them for the polar regions. Mercator—These are good for maintaining shape and direction and spanning the globe, but they’re not good for measurement, and they make the regions near the poles look huge. The measurements you get from them are nothing less than cartoonish, depending on where you are. The most common Mercator projections in use are variants of World Mercator (SRID 3395) or Spherical Mercator (a.k.a. Google Mercator (SRID 900913)), which is now an EPSG standard with EPSG:3857 (but for a time was EPSG:3785). This last one is fairly new, so you may not find it in your spatial_ref_sys table if your PostGIS version is older. Mercator systems are common favorites for web map display because you only have to maintain one SRID, and they look good to most people.

Although the transformation process is fairly cheap, it can quickly become taxing with the more data you pull, the more users hitting your database, or the greater number of points you have in a geometry.  Not as many tools support geography. In theory, though, any tool that just uses the ST_AsBinary and other output functions of PostGIS geometries will work fine with geography without any change. 3.2.3 Mapping just for presentation Although the basic Mercator projections are horrible for measurement calculations, especially far from the equator, they’re a favorite for web mappers because they look Licensed to tracy moore <nordick.an@gmail.com> www.it-ebooks.info 72 CHAPTER 3 Spatial reference system considerations good on a map. The advantage of Google Mercator, for example, is that the whole globe is covered with just one spatial reference system. So if your primary concern is looking good on a map and overlaying Google Maps with something like OpenLayers, Leaflet, or some other JavaScript API, Mercator isn’t a bad option for native data storage.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

Mapmakers may make all these choices with the best of intentions, but the result is still, even if unconsciously, to reinforce some particular view of the world. I distinctly remember not believing, when my parents first told me, that Brazil was actually five times the size of Alaska. On the map of my bedroom wall, I could see with my own eyes that they were virtually twins! That’s because my map was drawn according to the venerable Mercator Projection. In 1569, the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator drew a world map using a cylindrical projection that would neatly render a rhumb line—a ship’s course in a constant direction, like west or north-northeast—as a straight line.* The problem is that this kind of projection inflates the polar regions way out of proportion—in fact, on such a map, the poles can never even be drawn, because they’re an infinite distance from the Equator.† Mercator maps were still used everywhere when I was growing up—classrooms, nightly newscasts, stamps, government briefing rooms—and so my generation grew up thinking that Greenland was bigger than Africa, since Greenland is oversized fourteenfold on Mercator maps.

The geographer Arthur Robinson compared Peters’s continents to “wet, ragged long winter underwear hung out to dry on the Arctic Circle.” But if Peters’s goal was to shock, it worked on me. I stared at the map endlessly, marveling at the big, muscular Africa dominating its center and the anemic Russia and Alaska hugging the North Pole. I’d been told that the maps I knew were lying to me about the globe, but it was quite another thing to see the evidence with my own eyes. You can trace the decline of the Mercator Projection by looking at the set changes on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” faux newscast. The world outline map behind the newscasters was an acromegalic Mercator back in the Dan Aykroyd/Jane Curtin era, but under Dennis Miller it was replaced with a less absurd, modified Mercator called the Miller (no relation) cylindrical projection. Today the map behind Seth Meyers is an equirectangular projection called the plate carrée, useless for oceangoing but popular among computer mappers.

Today the map behind Seth Meyers is an equirectangular projection called the plate carrée, useless for oceangoing but popular among computer mappers. But the Mercator map of our childhoods, though less visible today, is far from extinct. For example, use Google to bring up a map of your street or your city. Now zoom all the way out—yup, all the way, so the entire planet is on the map. See how Antarctica now looks bigger than every other continent put together? That’s right: Google Maps still uses a Mercator Projection.* The Mercator and Gall-Peters: Greenland’s favorite and least favorite map projections, respectively So it’s easy to quibble with McClendon’s assertion that everything on Google’s maps is unimpeachably true in some epistemological sense.† In some ways, it’s as full of judgment calls and compromises as any other map. What he really means is that Google Earth is more convincing, more compelling, than a paper map and that this immersiveness gives it a unique ability to change the way we see the world.


pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

With help from the tech support people in Germany, the pressman finally coaxed the giant machine to life, and its vibrations shook the door frames—un-cha, un-cha, un-cha. “I hear paper!” Krisetya cheered. A test print had been lain out on a large easel lit with klieg lights, like an operating table. Krisetya pulled off his thick-framed glasses and placed a magnifying loupe to his eye. I stood just over his shoulder, squinting at the bright lights, struggling to take in the world this map portrayed. It was a Mercator projection, with the continents drawn in heavy black and the international boundaries etched, like afterthoughts, by thin scores. Rigid red and yellow lines striped the Atlantic and Pacific, jagged around the southern continents, and converged in key places: north and south of New York City, in the southwest of England, the straits near Taiwan, and the Red Sea—so tightly there that they formed a single thick mark.

It was a hot day in the middle of summer when I met John Gilbert in the barrel-vaulted lobby of 32 Avenue of the Americas. Gilbert is chief operating officer of Rudin Management, the great family-owned New York City real estate company that in 1999 became only the second owner, after AT&T, of 32 Avenue of the Americas. He was an imposing figure in crisp white shirtsleeves and silk power tie—a startling change from the network engineers in their hoodies. He stood beneath a lobby mosaic: an ocher-tinged Mercator projection beneath which is written the building’s motto: “Telephone wires and radio unite to make neighbors of nations.” “Why is radio in there?” Gilbert asked rhetorically, still gripping my hand. “When this building opened, there were no transatlantic telephone cables, only radios on buoys. Then, in 1955, this was built.” He handed me a palm-sized copper cylinder, like a bloated penny, remarkably heavy and dense: a souvenir cut of the very first transatlantic telephone cable, called TAT-1, that connected the United States by wire to Europe for the first time.


pages: 400 words: 99,489

The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World by Sarah Stewart Johnson

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Astronomia nova, back-to-the-land, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Mercator projection, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, sensible shoes

Air Force, and it’s the same map that hung throughout the corridors of JPL a half century ago. The contrast couldn’t be more striking. Mars is smooth, awash in creamy pastels of peach and gray. Tracts of bright and dark areas are graced with names that curve and slant to fit the landscape: Thaumasia arcs over Solis Lacus; Mare Hadriaticum is horseshoed around the bowl of Hellas. Above and below the rectangular Mercator projection of the planet are smaller views of the curved Martian globe, six in all, floating against the blackness of space like a collection of holiday ornaments. Whereas the Mariner image is a set of static pixels, lingering alone, the planning map is a representation of a world. It’s hypnotic, suffused with meaning. Every position, every orientation, every shape, every shading—each indelibly captures a human interpretation of an observation.

Even Eagle fit the convention, as it was also the name of the famous spacecraft that delivered Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. “FIRST NAVCAM FRAME” Squyres, Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet, p. 335. DRIVEN AND DRIVEN Ibid., p. 334. A NEW MAP Bruce C. Heezen and Marie Tharp, “World Ocean Floor Panorama,” full color, painted by H. Berann, Mercator projection, scale 1, no. 23,230,300 (1977). SAGAN BARELY SET FOOT Steve went on to work closely with other Cornell professors, including Joseph Veverka (his scientific advisor), Arthur Bloom, Steven Ostro, and William Travers, as well as Gene Shoemaker at USGS and several members of the Voyager imaging team. Steven Squyres, “The Morphology and Evolution of Ganymede and Callisto,” Cornell PhD thesis (1981).


Top 10 Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp & Ghent by Antony Mason

glass ceiling, haute couture, Mercator projection, walkable city

King Léopold I First king of Belgium (ruled 1831–65), popular for his total commitment to the task. King Léopold II Second king of Belgium (ruled 1865–1909) (For further details see King Léopold II). Paul-Henri Spaak Socialist prime minister during the post-war years, Spaak (1899–1972) played a central role in the creation of the European Community. < Top 10 of Everything Famous Belgians Gerard Mercator Most school maps of the world are still based on the “Mercator projection” – an ingenious way of representing the spherical globe on a flat page. Mercator (1512–94) is also credited with creating the first “atlas”, a word he introduced. Georges Simenon One of the world’s best-selling authors, Simenon (1903–89) was born and bred in Liège. His most famous creation, Inspector Maigret, appeared in 75 of his 400 novels. Queen Astrid Queen Astrid Prince Léopold of Belgium married the beautiful Swedish princess Astrid in 1926.


pages: 409 words: 129,423

Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World by Oliver Morton

Colonization of Mars, computer age, double entry bookkeeping, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, nuclear winter, planetary scale, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, sexual politics, the scientific method, trade route, undersea cable, V2 rocket, Works Progress Administration

The third is that though Mars is considerably smaller than the Earth—a little more than half its radius, a little more than a tenth its mass—its surface area, at roughly a third of the Earth’s, is quite similar to that of the Earth’s continents. When Mädler came to compile his observations into a chart in 1840, mathematically transforming his sketches of the disc of Mars into a rectangular Mercator projection, he declined to name the features he recorded, but did single out the small dark region he had used to time the Martian day as the site of his prime meridian, centering his map on it. Future astronomers followed him in the matter of the meridian while eagerly making good his oversight in the matter of names. Father Angelo Secchi, a Jesuit at the Vatican observatory, turned the light and dark patches into continents and seas, respectively, as astronomers had done for the moon, and gave the resulting geographic features the names of famous explorers—save for the Hourglass Sea, which he renamed the “Atlantic Canale,” seeing it as a division between Mars’s old world and its new.

With one exception—a small orbiter that would carry the last of the Mars Observer instruments to their objective in 2001—the future of Mars exploration was, yet again, a blank. But Mars itself was not. Just across the aisle from Pilcher’s attempt to share the pain of his bruised community was a special presentation by the MOLA team. As befits a geophysical instrument, MOLA is in the numbers game. If you put enough numbers together, though, you can get a pretty good picture. The MOLA team had taken their data set, arranged it on a Mercator projection, and printed it out as a map. The first version of this map, published in the journal Science the summer before, had been impressive. Garishly colorful, it had shown so much detail in its crater rims and mountain tops that many looking at it had assumed it was a colorful overlay superimposed on some sort of photomosaic or airbrushed map. But every last bit of the picture came from the MOLA data set, from simple measurements of the time it took for a pulse of laser light to reach the surface of Mars and bounce back to MGS.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Inspired in part by the war gaming that planners engaged in to prepare for the hot battlefields of World War II and the colder, yet protracted conflicts with the Soviet Union that followed, the World Game was a revamping of these strategies to think about how best to use resources to ensure planetary happiness. Often laid out on the unfolded polyhedron of Fuller’s own Dymaxion map, the game used a synergistic rather than competitive play strategy to determine ways to best harness the natural resources of the planet. Fuller’s map gives a better sense of the relative sizes of the continents than the usual Mercator projections, and even more subversively does not have a natural “up” or “down” that de-privileges people’s usual expectations of maps and the sense of space that they project. Fuller maintained that the goal was to “make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” The World Game was a product of postscarcity thinking and 1960s’ utopianism, played without benefit of networks and computer simulations, but its essential message—that humans working together have the 73 CHAPTER 3 potential to craft a better world—resonates, and more than ever looks like a prototype for the networked effects of simulation and participation.26 Running Room or Play Space?


pages: 250 words: 64,011

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day by John H. Johnson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Black Swan, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, obamacare, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, publication bias, QR code, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, statistical model, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thomas Bayes, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons, Yogi Berra

It did this by using straight lines to represent the path a ship could take without changing course—a novel approach that made it much easier for ship captains to deliver their goods. This mapmaking technique required some finagling on Mercator’s part, since a sailor’s direct path on a three-dimensional globe doesn’t automatically translate to a straight line on a two-dimensional map. But Mercator figured out how to do it, and enjoyed the fame and fortune that followed.1 FIGURE 6-1 A Mercator projection. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Created by user $200inaire on Wikimedia Commons. (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mercator_Blank_Map_World.png#filelinks) FIGURE 6-2 For comparison purposes, here’s a Winkel tripel projection. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Created by user Hellerick on Wikimedia Commons.


How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Albert Einstein, book scanning, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, citizen journalism, City Beautiful movement, clean water, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, friendly fire, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Howard Zinn, immigration reform, land reform, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, urban planning, wikimedia commons

It also noted Quezon’s private admission that war would find the populace “unprepared and unprotected.” That report was sent on November 30, 1941. A week later, Filipinos noticed some unfamiliar planes in the sky. 11 WARFARE STATE “War,” the comedian Jon Stewart has observed, is “God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” Certainly the Japanese attacks on December 7/8, 1941, were an education. For those used to the Mercator projection maps that placed Japan on the right side (in the “Far East”) and Hawai‘i on the left, Pearl Harbor offered a textbook lesson in the perils of representing a round world on a flat surface. Even territories that weren’t struck, such as Alaska, popped out with unsettling clarity once Japan had shown the extent of its ambitions. War planners could finally see what Ernest Gruening had been trying to tell them for years: Alaska extended precipitously into the Pacific, its Aleutian Islands forming a bridge to northern Asia.

Marvin Martin, George Maryland Massachusetts massacres; in Philippines Mayo, Katherine Mazda McAuliffe, Dennis, Jr. McCain, John McCartney, Paul McCormick, Katharine Dexter McDonald’s restaurants McKinley, William; assassination of; reelection of; during war with Spain McLaughlin, Donal McNutt, Paul Mead, Margaret measles medical experiments Medicare and Medicaid Melville, Herman Memorial Hospital (New York) Mercator projection maps Merseyside (England) metric system Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) Mexican Americans Mexican War Mexico Mexico City Miami (Florida) Miamis Michigan; University of Micronesia; Federated States of; strategic trust territory in, see Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Middle East; rebellion against empire in; see also specific colonies, nations, and regions Midway Island military bases; al-Qaeda; Japanese; see also U.S. overseas bases Miller, Orville H.


pages: 220 words: 75,651

The Lunatic Express by Carl Hoffman

airport security, low cost airline, Mercator projection, out of africa, Rubik’s Cube

The Siguntang, I soon discovered, was packed with people just like him. “I need a break,” he said. “I’ve been working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight, and I quit because they weren’t paying us enough. We were supposed to have one day a week off, but we didn’t.” He’d been working on a dredging barge creating The World, a miniature land of islands in the shape of a Mercator projection of the world’s continents on which vacation villas for the rich would be built, with a crew of Iranians and Filipinos. “In Dubai I never saw an Arab,” he said. “Indians, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Indonesians only.” Over the years he’d worked in Singapore, in Brunei, on oil rigs off the island of Kalimantan, and he straddled worlds. He was a Toraja, a once fierce race of seafarers who lived in stylized wooden houses with upturned roofs, carried out elaborate funeral rituals and interred their dead in family caves.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, Kickstarter, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

A marquee at the entrance gave top billing to the Cowboy Country Saloon, and below that it was the usual south Los Angeles mix: a liquor store, a pawnshop, a nail salon. And one more that was less usual: UBuyWeRush—the only retail sign in Los Angeles that was also a handle on CarderPlanet and Shadowcrew. He walked into the front office, where an empty reception window suggested the sixty-cent-per-square-foot space had once been a medical clinic. On the wall a Mercator projection map of the world bristled with pushpins. Then Chris was greeted warmly by UBuy himself, Cesar Carrenza. Cesar had come to the underground by a circuitous course. He graduated from the DeVry Institute in 2001 with a degree in computer programming, hoping to get an Internet job. When he couldn’t find one, he decided to try his hand as an independent businessman on the Web. From an ad in the Daily Commerce, he learned about an upcoming auction at a public storage facility in Long Beach, where the owners were selling off the contents of abandoned lockers.


pages: 302 words: 91,517

Baghdad Without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia by Tony Horwitz

Ayatollah Khomeini, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donald Trump, Farzad Bazoft, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, Mercator projection, trade route

Mahn at the Information Ministry in Baghdad: a small glass globe containing an inch of dirt and a tiny Iraqi flag, commemorating Iraq's “liberation” of a strategic peninsula called Faw. The globe's wooden base bore an inscription that read: “The Earth of Faw Mixed with Blood of Iraqi Martyrs.” It was destined for the mantelpiece in London. I hit on the television to keep me company while I packed. The English-language news began as it always did, with a crude Mercator projection of the Middle East and an off-speed medley of Arab tunes. An anchorman began reading the AP wire in halting English. There was shelling again in Beirut. Something about hostages in the Bekaa Valley. A new American plan for Middle East peace. And the Israelis had shot dead two more Palestinians in Gaza. I wondered for a moment if Egyptian TV, through oversight or impoverishment, had simply rebroadcast a tape of the news from two years before.


pages: 349 words: 27,507

E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, British Empire, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mercator projection, Nelson Mandela, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Thorstein Veblen

. : Textbooks usually say that a speeding car’s length will be contracted, shrinking to the thickness of tissue paper. But although a direct application of the contraction factor from the note on page 249 would suggest this to be the case, what actually occurs is more subtle, due to such effects as the way light coming from different parts of the car must be emitted at different times. Distortions are similar to the way the three-dimensional Earth gets skewed when it’s converted into two-dimensional Mercator projections for maps. 83 The Global Positioning System . . . : Along with the corrections applied to GPS satellite signals that do stem from special relativity, substantial effects are also due to general relativistic considerations, as is well surveyed in Clifford M. Will, Was Einstein Right: Putting General Relativity to the Test (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). I love the idea that millions of people, holding GPS receivers at one time or another, have wrapped their hands around devices that contain miniaturized transpositions of the logical sequences that once occurred in Einstein’s brain. 84 . . . the label relativity . . . : Einstein never used the phrase theory of relativity in his original 1905 paper; this was only suggested by Planck and others a year later.


pages: 414 words: 105,153

Ringworld by Larry Niven

dark matter, gravity well, Mercator projection, supervolcano

It looked like something done with a Build-A-City set, by a child too young to know what he was doing. Nessus had been steering when they left Zignamuclickclick. Later he had turned the fleet over to Speaker. They had flown all night. Now, overhead, a brighter glow along one edge of the central shadow square showed that dawn was near. Sometime during these past hours, Louis had found a way to visualize the scale of the Ringworld. It involved a Mercator projection of the planet Earth—a common, rectangular, classroom wall map—but with the equator drawn to one-to-one scale. One could relief-sculpt such a map, so that standing near the equator would be exactly like standing on the real Earth. But one could draw forty such maps, edge to edge, across the width of the Ringworld. Such a map would be greater in area than the Earth. But one could map it into the Ringworld’s topography, and look away for a moment, and never be able to find it again.


Beautiful Visualization by Julie Steele

barriers to entry, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, database schema, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, index card, information retrieval, iterative process, linked data, Mercator projection, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, QR code, recommendation engine, semantic web, social graph, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, web application, wikimedia commons

Each type of transition is independent; it should be possible to change just the one element without changing any of the others. Many of these are applicable to both presentation and exploration of data: Change the view Pan over or zoom in on a fixed image, such as a map or a large data space. Change the charting surface On a plot, change the axes (e.g., change from linear to log scale). On a map, change from, for example, a Mercator projection to a globe. Filter the data Remove data points from the current view following a particular selection criterion. Reorder the data Change the order of points (e.g., alphabetize a series of columns). Change the representation Change from a bar chart to a pie chart; change the layout of a graph; change the colors of nodes. Change the data Move data forward through a time step, modify the data, or change the values portrayed (e.g., a bar chart might change from Profits to Losses).


pages: 309 words: 100,573

Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections by Patrick Smith

Airbus A320, airline deregulation, airport security, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collective bargaining, inflight wifi, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Maui Hawaii, Mercator projection, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, race to the bottom, Skype, Tenerife airport disaster, US Airways Flight 1549, zero-sum game

These routes won’t make sense if you’re looking at a traditional flat map, because when the earth is crushed from its natural round state into a horizontal one, it becomes distorted as the divisions of latitude and longitude stretch apart. (Depending on the layout used—what cartographers call “projection”—the distortion can be grotesque. Kids grow up believing that Greenland is about ten times larger than it really is, thanks to the preposterous polar dimensions of the commonly used Mercator projection.) If you have a globe handy, however, the logic of great circles is very apparent. Measuring with a piece of string, it’s obvious that the shortest distance between New York and Hong Kong, for instance, is not westerly, as it would seem on a map, but pretty much straight north, up into the Arctic, and then straight south. Over the top, in other words. That’s the extreme, but the principle applies to many long-range pairings, and this is why passengers between America and Europe discover themselves not just high up, but high up—over Newfoundland, Labrador, and occasionally the icy realm of Greenland.


pages: 370 words: 129,096

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

addicted to oil, Burning Man, cleantech, digital map, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, global supply chain, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, money market fund, multiplanetary species, optical character recognition, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

Lockheed and Boeing, which fly $1 billion spy satellites for the military from Vandenberg, didn’t care for SpaceX’s presence, either—in part because SpaceX represented a threat to their business and in part because this startup was mucking around near their precious cargo. As SpaceX started to move from the testing phase to the launch, it was told to get in line. They would have to wait months to launch. “Even though they said we could fly, it was clear that we would not,” said Gwynne Shotwell. Searching for a new site, Shotwell and Hans Koenigsmann put a Mercator projection of the world up on the wall and looked for a name they recognized along the equator, where the planet spins faster and gives rockets an added boost. The first name that jumped out was Kwajalein Island—or Kwaj—the largest island in an atoll between Guam and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean and part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This spot registered with Shotwell because the U.S. Army had used it for decades as a missile test site.


pages: 650 words: 155,108

A Man and His Ship: America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S.S. United States by Steven Ujifusa

8-hour work day, big-box store, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, interchangeable parts, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Mercator projection, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, trade route

Marckwald, who derided what she called the traditional “elk horn” style, could not panel the walls with oak or mahogany, nor could she hang its windows with heavy velvet curtains. Plus she abhorred “muddy” colors. On United States, she had the smoke room walls painted jet black and covered the windows (which overlooked the enclosed promenade) with plaid drapery. For the room’s centerpiece, William King created a simple aluminum Mercator projection of the world for the forward bulkhead. Small clocks positioned above each meridian showed the times of day around the world. A well-stocked bar was placed on the opposite side of the room. Chairs and couches upholstered in red leather—fireproofed, of course—completed the clubby look. It was not quite New York’s University Club or London’s Royal Automobile Club, but it was close enough considering the restrictions.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

BOX: Rivers over Borders How to Negotiate with Nature BOX: Measuring the Supply Chain’s Footprint Location, Location, Location CONCLUSION: FROM CONNECTIVITY TO RESILIENCE A New Moral Compass Networks That Run Themselves Building a Borderless World Recommended Sites and Tools for Mapping Map Insert Dedication Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Map Credits and Sources By Parag Khanna About the Author PROLOGUE The natural consequence of any obsession is passing it on to one’s children. I’ve been collecting globes, maps, and other geographic artifacts since my itinerant childhood. Thus it is hardly a coincidence to have been writing portions of this book while methodically assembling a thousand-piece world map with my daughter. The map is a Mercator projection, named for the sixteenth-century Flemish geographer who sought to make maps more useful for navigation but in the process massively distorted the scale of the extreme latitudes. Hence my daughter exclaiming, “Greenland is so big!” (While also wondering why it was colored orange.) Africa was the easiest continent to piece together: With fifty-four countries, each little jigsaw shape was full of clues such as contrasting national colors and city names.


Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mercator projection, Mont Pelerin Society, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Pearl River Delta, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, quantitative easing, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, statistical model, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

In the text, he called it an icon of “the freedom to sell in the market place.”82 The fact that Rivera was a card-­carrying Communist best known for his workerist murals was no obstacle to Petersmann’s misrepre­sen­ta­tion of Rivera’s work to reinforce his own dedication to market rights as the most fundamental of ­human rights.83 A more fitting choice was made by Lamy for his book on the Geneva Consensus: one of the newer paintings that decorated the WTO’s walls, from the Danaé World Suite, 2001 by Jean-­Claude Prêtre. The painting shows a Mercator projection of the world beneath a grid of crosses and flecks of 282 GLOBALISTS The world at the edges of repre­sen­ta­tion. Pascal Lamy, The Geneva Consensus: Making Trade Work for All (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). ­Reprinted by permission of the publisher. colorful paint. Barely vis­i­ble under­neath are the outlines of the continents. The image suggests something closer to what the institution was built on.


pages: 570 words: 151,609

Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Her by Rowland White, Richard Truly

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, Mercator projection, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Ronald Reagan, William Langewiesche

Soon Young and Crippen would be the only two people who knew whether or not they were alive or dead. His movement restricted by the layers of his Nomex pressure suit, Young reached forward to the coaming above the instrument panel and punched a button to switch the orbiter’s body flap from manual to automatic. SIXTY-THREE Houston, 1981 Inside Mission Control there was tension you could chew. The Mercator projection world map that had recorded Columbia’s orbital track around the globe on big screens in front of the consoles was taken down. In its place went a graphic showing the Shuttle’s velocity and ground track across the Pacific toward the West Coast. The former was also included in the flight dynamics data displayed in front of Joe Allen and Rick Hauck at CapCom. But for sixteen minutes, from the point when hot plasma gas engulfed the Shuttle, there was nothing.


pages: 542 words: 163,735

The City and the Stars / The Sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke

British Empire, Colonization of Mars, Mercator projection, Stephen Hawking

He knew that Phobos, the inner moon, had been used as a base ever since the first expedition had reached Mars. Only 6,000 kilometers from the surface of the planet, and with a gravity less than a thousandth of Earth’s, it was ideal for this purpose. The Ares was due to dock in less than a week, and already Mars was a small disc showing numerous surface markings even to the naked eye. Gibson had borrowed a large Mercator projection of the planet and had begun to learn the names of its chief features— names that had been given, most of them, more than a century ago by astronomers who had certainly never dreamed that men would one day use them as part of their normal lives. How poetical those old mapmakers had been when they had ransacked mythology! Even to look at those words on the map was to set the blood pounding in the veins— Deucalion, Elysium, Eumenides, Arcadia, Atlantis, Utopia, Eos….


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American ideology, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, God and Mammon, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, jobless men, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

The historian’s distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker’s technical interest is obvious (“This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation—for short-range, you’d better use a different projection”). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations.


pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, commoditize, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, social intelligence, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Loth to goe up the hill, or labour thus To goe to heaven, we make heaven come to us.82 European world maps placed Europe at the centre, but when the Chinese were shown a world map by Matteo Ricci and complained that China should be at the centre, he promptly produced a new map which did just that.xix Mercator’s projection (1599), when used to produce a world map, shrinks countries close to the equator and makes the northern countries appear much larger than they really are, but this is an entirely accidental consequence of constructing a projection which enables a course plotted on a chart to be used directly for navigational purposes; the Mercator projection, which shows a three-dimensional globe on a flat surface, distorts distances in order to preserve accuracy when it comes to directions. These maps were originally intended as tools for sailors, not assertions of European supremacy; they look like ideological statements only to people who do not use them for navigation. Moreover, until the eighteenth century, cartographers were mainly interested in producing maps for the purposes of navigation.


pages: 1,773 words: 486,685

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, friendly fire, Google Earth, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, sexual politics, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

The Ming emperors ruled over far more subjects than anyone else (Fig. 16).4 Nevertheless in spring 1644 the dynasty's northern capital, Beijing, fell twice: first to an army of rebels from the northwest, and a few weeks later to Manchu invaders from the northeast, who drove out the rebels. The victors then undertook campaigns of conquest that eventually created a state twice as large as Ming China and endured for two centuries. No other political change in the mid-seventeenth century affected so many people, caused so much damage, or created such lasting consequences. 16. Ming China and its neighbours. Most maps of East Asia use Mercator's projection, which increases the size of Ming China compared with the steppes where the Manchu dynasty achieved dominance in the early seventeenth century. In 1644, the Great Wall failed to protect Beijing (the Ming northern capital) from capture, first by a bandit army from the west and then by the Manchus from the north. Nanjing (the southern capital) fell the following year. Manchus versus Ming The late Ming regime suffered from three endemic weaknesses.