Panjandrum’s blog post, below, about our predilection for base 10, and the fact that other analysis using different bases can throw up useful insights got me thinking, as usual. Another cognitive predilection is maps, and maps are pretty important for intelligence analysts. Yet maps drawn in interesting ways can startle us into thinking in different ways. We are pretty used to standard two dimensional Mercator projections on maps and google earth type images. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s a personal collection of links to some thought provoking maps:
- This is a map of the USA with the names of states replaced with countries of similar GDPs.
- This moon map shows the extent of Apollo 11’s moon exploration – about the size of a soccer field.
There are lots of other maps discussed on the strange maps blog too.
The big map blog has some great historical maps. Once section is devoted to “birdseye” maps – what the world did before google earth, I guess.
Be wary. I promise you if you start looking at the big maps blog you’ll not surface for several hours. The military maps alone are jaw dropping. Here’s my favourite, an interesting Victorian pseudo-visual map of Afghanistan, as if taken from a large mountain in Pakistan. Note to the two red-coated British soldiers in the foreground trying to decide which route in they will take (Don’t do it, guys!)
- This is silly, but fascinating – when you travel in the US do you ask for pop, soda or coke? What does this tell you about language differences within a single nation?
- This is an interesting interactive map, showing the potential of such things as intelligence analysis tools, on drug gang related murders in Mexico
- This isn’t especially good, bit it is powerful, and it really shows the potential of using maps in a video format – a map of all 2000+ nuclear explosions over time.
Finally, since it’s Friday, a very very rude map, NSFW.