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Physical Map of the World

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#1
Tom Patterson

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I am working on a new physical wall map of the world that synthesizes a couple of my favorite terrain presentation techniques. It also uses a new pseudocylindrical map projection developed with Flex Projector. I will present the map at the ICA Mountain Cartography workshop in Switzerland next month.

The map is now in draft with preliminary labels compiled from a variety of often conflicting sources. I would most appreciate your comments on the map labels -- spelling, endonyms vs. exonyms, selection of labeled features, etc.

You can check out the map here: www.shadedrelief.com/world/

Thanks!

Tom

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Another stunning map, Tom!

Assuming you want the discussions/additions here...

- You've labelled "Bruxelles", but imho that should either be the bi-lingual "Brussel/Bruxelles" or, if you want to show only one language, "Brussel". The origin of the name is Dutch, not French (doing my bit to keep the Belgian language-feuds alive and kicking)

- Your label for "Ardennes" overlaps the "Eifel" region in Germany

- Your river dataset seems to omit the "IJssel" branch of the Rhine (running from just over the Dutch/German border in a northern direction to the IJsselmeer)

- What's your criteria for showing cities? Size or importance? Some national capitals appear to be missing.

- As far as I can tell, it's "Bulawayo" and not "Boulawayo".

- You've listed the Caspian Sea, at -28, as the lowest point in Europe, but slightly NE of that is an elevation of -56. Now, I understand this may actually be in Asia, but it is kinda confusing.

- Several times you appear to label a peak, but use the name of the entire region. E.g. Schwarzwald (highest peak is the Feldberg) and Tatra Mountains (highest peak is the Gerlachovský štít)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#3
Tom Patterson

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Hi Hans,

Thanks much for comments. Folks can either respond about the map labels on Cartotalk or send me email directly. I'll be keeping a file of the comments that I will implement next month all at once.

- You've labelled "Bruxelles", but imho that should either be the bi-lingual "Brussel/Bruxelles" or, if you want to show only one language, "Brussel". The origin of the name is Dutch, not French (doing my bit to keep the Belgian language-feuds alive and kicking)

Going with the conventional English name "Brussels" might be the neutral way of solving this.

- What's your criteria for showing cities? Size or importance? Some national capitals appear to be missing.

This was subjective. Because the map lacks country names and borders, which detract too much from the physical features that they often follow, I needed to show scattered populated places for general orientation. Besides the usual big cities and capitols, the map contains small northern settlements and even research stations in Antarctica. Filling in blank places was a consideration. If a populated place had a nearby physical feature with a similar name, such as Point Barrow, Alaska, I would opt to show only the physical feature.

- As far as I can tell, it's "Bulawayo" and not "Boulawayo".

Excellent catch, thanks.

- Several times you appear to label a peak, but use the name of the entire region. E.g. Schwarzwald (highest peak is the Feldberg) and Tatra Mountains (highest peak is the Gerlachovský štít)

In these cases I deemed mountain ranges (Tatra Mountains) more important than individual peaks (Gerlachovský štít) contained within them. The small map scale prevented me from labeling the ranges in the standard manner with curved type on a path, hence the point labels.

Tom

#4
Jean-Louis

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Beautiful map Tom.

I only checked my corner of the world. My only comment and it is entirely subjective is that I would expect the Gaspé peninisula (or Péninsule de Gaspé) to be a more important or more iconic physical feature name than Monts Notre-Dame.
Jean-Louis Rheault
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#5
sitesatlas

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Another great map, Tom. I really admire your work.

I'm also working on a physical map of the world, so I'll take a look at the labeling and get back to you.
Michael Borop
World Sites Atlas
http://www.sitesatlas.com

#6
frax

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Good work Tom, looks absolutely stunning.

I am curious about the projection - I have played a little bit with FlexProjector myself (but I find the user interface a bit odd) - what criteria where you looking for in your custom projection?

FP is very cool by the way - for you that haven't checked it out already.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#7
Tom Patterson

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I am curious about the projection - I have played a little bit with FlexProjector myself (but I find the user interface a bit odd) - what criteria where you looking for in your custom projection?


The Natural Earth projection, as I call it (predictable, I know) was designed specifically for presenting world physical data centered on 0,0. It is essentially a combination of the Kavraiskiy VII (with less polar exaggeration) and Robinson (not quite as landscape in format and with less bulging on the sides), plus it was given rounded corners to suggest that the Earth is indeed a sphere. The Natural Earth projection compares favorably in the distortion rankings to other pseudocylindrical projections. I expound at length on the virtues of the Natural Earth projection in an article with Bernhard Jenny that is currently out for peer review for Cartographic Perspectives. In the meantime, you can open the Natural Earth projection in Flex Projector (www.flexprojector.com) by downloading the text file below.

http://www.shadedrel...tural_Earth.txt

By the way, the most recent version of Flex Projector now reprojects raster images and shape files on Windows systems. Also, check out the new "Mixer" feature (the tab for it is on the right side of the distortion panel at the bottom) that Bernie added. It allows you to create a hybridized projection from two other projections. Sliders control the various parameters. The Mixer feature, which is in early development and a tad buggy, shows great promise.

Tom

#8
Hans van der Maarel

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In these cases I deemed mountain ranges (Tatra Mountains) more important than individual peaks (Gerlachovský štít) contained within them. The small map scale prevented me from labeling the ranges in the standard manner with curved type on a path, hence the point labels.


I see your point, but it is kinda confusing. Perhaps you could try to introduce a little bit more visual separation in those cases, or omit the elevation alltogether?

Some other things I found:
- I've always known the "Pinsk Marshes" as "Pripyat Marshes", but it looks like both names are okay.
- This is a little bit of geo-trivia that I'm quite fond of, maybe you'd want to add it: the summit of Chimborazo is the point on the Earth's surface where you're furthest away from the core.
- Clipperton Island (off Mexico) is missing.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#9
Tom Patterson

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I've always known the "Pinsk Marshes" as "Pripyat Marshes", but it looks like both names are okay.


Pripyat Marshes is what I recall this area as from history class, but a couple of recent atlases use Pinsk Marshes instead, suggesting that Pripyat has perhaps gone out of fashion. However, I am leaning toward changing the label back to Pripyat.

This is a little bit of geo-trivia that I'm quite fond of, maybe you'd want to add it: the summit of Chimborazo is the point on the Earth's surface where you're furthest away from the core.


Several people have privately asked me to add other geo-trivia topics, such as the terrestrial and oceanic poles of inaccessibly, Decade Volcanoes, world weather extremes, and so forth. I think that these are good suggestions and am considering making a second, smaller map with plan oblique relief and fewer reference labels that focuses on geo information. Perhaps a project to do next winter...

Tom

#10
Melita Kennedy

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Tom,

Cool map.

I noticed "Eniwetak" in the south Pacific. I think it's supposed to be "Eniwetok".

Melita

#11
MapMedia

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Always thrilled to see your work Tom. Thank you for making this available to the public.
Will look for the upcoming article!

#12
ernesto_carreras

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Great map Tom!!! I am a fan of your work. I just revised the Caribbean region since is where I am from. I found that the island of Guadalupe (Lesser Antilles) is misspelled. You have it as Guadelupe; it should be Guadalupe. I’ll keep you posted if I find anything else.
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#13
sitesatlas

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I found that the island of Guadalupe (Lesser Antilles) is misspelled. You have it as Guadelupe; it should be Guadalupe.


Guadalupe is the Spanish name of the island, but in English, it is referred to by its native, French name: Guadeloupe.
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#14
Lui

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Hello Tom!

Your Natural Earth I is on the front wall in my office and I think that I have to find another wall where Physical Map of the World by Tom can coexist. Natural looking at its best.

Lui


#15
MapMedia

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I looked over my areas (SW US and Italy and they look great). I really applaud the use of endonyms vs exonyms on this map - The way it should be.




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