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  • 9 Vintage Maps of Chicago You Must See


    Chicago has always been one of America's most iconic cities. Sitting in the heart of the Midwest, since the dawn of the country the Windy City has always been a passageway for travelers traveling from coast to coast. The diverse city has been a nexus of American culture. Many consider it the metropolis that best exemplifies the national architecture, as the sky scraper was birthed there (arguably) and the country's most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, was based out of there for much of his career. Chicago is a city, like San Francisco, that very much has a unified architectural style. That is largely the result of the Chicago Fire og 1871. The fire completely decimated the city. And like the San Francisco 1906 earthquake, had to be practically rebuilt from the ground up. Here are 9 amazing maps--some before the fire and others fire from 1859-1938. Enjoy!


    chicago 1859 b

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  • Watch Hollywood Grow Through History in 9 Maps


    Hollywood was originally known as the Cauhenga Valley in the mid 19th century. However, in 1886 H.J. Whitley dubbed the area Hollywood and the name stuck. By the turn of the century the neighborhood had grown to become a small town. By 1912, major film making companies  had taken up shop in Los Angeles. In those days, Thomas Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company held many patents with film technology. It drove a lot of filmmakers out west, and coupled with the bright sun year round weather of Southern California, Paramount, Warner Brothers, RKO and Columbia all became headquartered in the neighborhood. After that, the rest is history, as Hollywood's reputation in teh 1920s as Tinseltown became solidified--rife with movie stars glamour and film industry hedonistic excess. Visualize the development if this particular patch of the world globe in the following nine beautiful maps.

    H.H. Wilcox & Co 1887 Map of Hollywood

    H.H. Wilcox was one of the very firs people in history to own property in the newly dubbed Hollywood area. Him and his wife Daeida named dubbed their ranch Hollywood after moving from the midwest. H.H. Wilcox & Co was his real estate company.

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  • 5 Stunning Antique Globes from the Globe Museum

    5. Julius Payer's Terrestrial Globe from 1875

    payer-globeThis extraordinary world globe, made in 1875, looks as if it could have been made today. The bright sky blue ocean design contrasts with the white landmasses that are outlined in a bold pink hue. The bright color scheme was hand drawn onto this desktop model by the cartographer, Julius Payer. The globe sits on an ornate base, made from multicolored fabric. The German globe is about a foot in diameter, and a couple of inches higher on the base. A standout in Austria's Globe Museum, this unusual globe startles with its contemporary design despite being made in the 19th century. Without place names, the sleek and colorful style of Payer's globe is one of a kind for an antique model.

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  • 5 Awesome Maps of Mars


    While we specialize in world globes, sometimes it is good to extend one's gaze into the heavens. Mars has been of particular interest recently, after NASA recently found water on the planet. Last year, The Martian, with Matt Damon highlighted the red planet as well. With the Curiosity Rover getting more and more pics of the planet, we are learning more about it than we ever had. With many planned missions to Mars on the horizon in the next decade or so, it is the next frontier for humanity to conquer as we venture farther and farther into space. Nothing will beat the beauty of our own special world globe here on earth, but Mars is a close second!

    Ordinance Survey

    The famous UK mapping agency Ordinace Survey created this beautiful map of Mars with their distinctive class and style. Using data from NASA, see about 3.8 million square miles of Mars surface with this colorful map. Be sure to bring this next time you venture to the red planet to find your way around.

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  • 7 Must See Old Maps of Los Angeles

    1639 Map

    This map was made by Johannes Vingboons of the Dutch West India Company in 1639. For most of the seventeenth century, California was thought to be an island. Find where the would-be Los Angeles would be located!

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  • 12 Dazzling Maps of London


    London, England is one of the world globe's greatest cities. Historic, enormous, diverse and innovative, this city has been one of the great hubs of human activity for almost 2000 years when the ancient Romans originally set up the city. Here are 12 amazing maps of the famous city to help deepen your appreciation of the metropolis.

    London's Daily Commutes

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  • 5 Maps That Will Change Your Perspective of the World

    The Oceans and Continents Swapped:


    The World if it Were in Super Mario Brothers: Continue reading

  • 3 Amazing Maps of Mythic Locations


    atlantisWhile maps and globes continue to all feature some spacial distortion, they are more accurate than ever due to satellite technology and GPS. However, maps and globes have not always been such responsible authorities on geography. Many ancient maps and globes are filled with wild geographic inaccuracies, in many cases going so far as to include entirely made up or mythic locations. To honor how far we have come with Columbus' exacting cartography, we wanted to look at some curious maps of mythical locations. The most famous of all is of these legendary locations, is of course, Atlantis. Created by Plato as metaphoric, the mythic island has grown in reputation throughout history. In Plato's works, Timaeus and Critias, the Atlantian navy besieged Athens. However, Athens won the battle over Atlantis, even though no other state in the west was able to withstand Atlantis' mighty army. The gods, in a fit of anger, eventually sent Atlantis to the bottom of the ocean. Although many conspiracy theorists across history have speculated as to the "real" location of Atlantis, Plato alleged it was situated "beyond the Pillars of Hercules." While Atlantis was clearly meant as a metaphor in his work, this mythic island has indeed been the subject of many ancient maps, such as this one from 1669, designed by Athanasius Kircher.


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  • A More Extended History of the Globe

    Globes in the 16th Century

    hunt lenoxIn our last blog post, we outlined a general history of the globe, from before people knew that the world was round to the present day. However, globe making itself was a preoccupation that really hit its stride in the 16th century. The Americas were still a very recent discovery at the beginning of the century, and much of world remained undiscovered and mysterious. The first globe that still exists from this era is the previously mentioned Erdapfel model from 1492. However, the Hunt-Lenox Globe, from 1510 (pictured left), is thought to be the second oldest remaining globe to contain the recently discovered New World. The globe is also one of the few historical maps to feature the phrase "HC SVNT DRACONES," which is Latin for "Here are dragons." Recently, a globe made from an ostrich egg and dating from around 1504 may be an even older globe than Hunt-Lenox, which also contains the New World. Other notable globes from the century include one by the famous cartographer Gerard Mercator from 1541, which features rhumb lines, enabling them to have a navigational appeal. However, it was also common around this time for globes to be given as gifts among world leaders, symbolizing power.


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  • A Brief History of the Globe

    The World Is Not Flat

    Fantasy map of a flat earthWhile everybody now knows that the world is a sphere, it is a relatively recent idea in the history of humanity, along with being a great and hard fought victory for reason. For tens of thousands of years, people generally thought that the earth was flat, having observed the apparent horizontal nature of the ground that they stood on. Still, some inconvenient truths appeared to be incongruous with the flat earth theory. For example, why did the sun rise in the east and set in the west day after day? Why do the stars appear to move in a circular direction around the night sky?

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