Crap maps

If you’ve read Edward Tufte’s stuff, you’ll know that the Japanese used to be good at cartography. So were the British, the Dutch, the Swiss…, but since WWII the Americans have made the running in terms of technological and graphical innovation, as well as putting together some wonderful resources–just think of the University of Texas’ Perry-Castañeda collection. It’s a bit sad, then, that one of the chief motivators for this interesting but still underdeveloped Fool’s World Map seems to be to give some Japanese bloke and the comment crowd a chance to express contempt for The Disorientated American.

There are lots of good dud map stories around–including this one of a tourist (American, I’m afraid) who got hopelessly lost while using a 1914 guide book to find his way around the outskirts of Bayreuth–but my favourite is the observation that the map used in the UN logo is the same as the one that used to hang on the wall of Charles Johnson, president of the Flat Earth Society.

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