Tag Archives | Maps

A Map of Bohemian Grove, the Place where Masters of the Universe Play Summer Camp

Remember when Alex Jones, Jon Ronson and others took it upon themselves to sneak into Bohemian Grove to try to confirm rumors of all sorts of sordid activities by the so-called “elites”? Vox takes a look at a 1950s map that may have led to some of the hysteria:

Bohemian Grove is one of the most secretive places in the world, a Northern California campground that’s a play land for the rich and powerful, with lore that claims it holds Illuminati meetings. It also has a charming map just like Disney World.

grove detail

Detail from cartograph of the Bohemian Grove, Sonoma County, California, David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.


This 1952 map, created by Gus Schneider and available via the David Rumsey Map Collection, was handed out to attendees when they arrived at their Sonoma County, California, destination; the back included a helpful directory (you can zoom around the full map here).

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A Map Of The World’s Best Cheats, Fakes And Flat-Out Lies

The team at Atlas Obscura has customized an interactive Google Map with their choice of “The World’s Best Cheats, Fakes And Flat-Out Lies”:

Map of Frauds. Click to go to Atlas Obscura and interact.

Map of Frauds. Click to go to Atlas Obscura and interact.

From the “Bangkok gem scam” to the fake mining companies of Gold Rush-era San Francisco, if there’s one thing that’s stayed constant throughout history, it’s swindlers trying to make an extra buck.

But certain frauds have a home-grown craftsmanship about them—carefully constructed to best suit their surroundings. Such “artisanal frauds” are staples of a certain place, not found just anywhere. It’s email scams from Nigeria, which would be a joke except for the fact that they still work (and in fact because of the country’s poor reputation, actually better help fraudsters find gullible victims.) Or it’s hired wedding guests in South Korea who are bought by the hour to clap over matrimonial performances and fill church pews of those who want to outdo their friends…

[continues at Atlas Obscura]

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CDC Predicts How You Will Die Based On Where You Live

OK, this is creepy: the US Centers for Disease Control has released a map that predicts how you’ll die based on which state you live in:

death map

The authors of the study, Francis P. Boscoe, PhD and Eva Pradhan, MPH, explain:


Maps of the most distinctive or characteristic value of some variable at the state or country level became popular on social media in 2014. Among the most widely shared examples have been maps of state-level birth name preferences, music-listening preferences, and mortality from among the top 10 causes of death (1). This form of data presentation has a long history in economic geography, where the mapped values are known as location quotients (2). We use the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), List of 113 Selected Causes of Death file published by the National Center for Health Statistics (3) to present a more nuanced view of mortality variation within the United States than what can be seen by using only the 10 most common causes of death.

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World Map of Every UFO Sighting Since 1933

Christian Pearson explains why he decided to map every UFO sighting since 1933 at Quantbait:

Today my project was to visualize time series data in CartoDB. I discovered CartoDB about two weeks ago, read their blog (check out Fredo Baart’s water current simulation to see if the Alcatraz escapees could have survived) and fell in love.

Excited to get started I grabbed the UFO sighting dataset from the National UFO Reporting Center and went to work. It is very easy to get started with the software. Manipulating data within CartoDB wasn’t difficult and I was able to develop a basic torque visualization within 15 minutes. My very first CartoDB visualization can be found below:

The first thing that jumped out was the increase in sightings during the 1950s and 1960s. It turns out that the CIA’s U2 program may be responsible for several of these report. 

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Map of Police Violence

The Mapping Police Violence project has some shocking statistics to accompany this map:

At least 1148 people were killed by police in 2014. 304 (26%) were black.

Black people were nearly 3x more likely than whites to be killed by police in 2014.

o At least 100 unarmed black people were killed by police in 2014, more than any other race.

o Police killed at least 16 more black people in 2014 than in 2012an increase of 5%. Police killings increased despite a drop in crime.

Where you live matters. A black person in St. Louis is 5x more likely to be killed by police than a black person in New York City. A black person in Florida is more than 2.5x more likely to be killed by police than a black person in Georgia.

o It’s not about crime rates. Despite the fact that Newark and St.… Read the rest

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Map shows the loudest and quietest areas in the US

National Park Service Division of Natural Sounds and Night Skies

National Park Service Division of Natural Sounds and Night Skies

Brad Plumer | @bradplumer via Vox:

Not surprisingly, cities tend to be very noisy, with background levels averaging around 50 to 60 decibels. And that’s just the average: heavy truck traffic can reach around 85 dB, while construction jackhammers can reach 95 dB if you’re standing less than 50 feet away.

By contrast, regions like Yellowstone National Park have background noise levels down at around 20 decibels, which, as Underwood reports, is about as hushed as things were before European colonization.

So who cares? For one, all the artificial noise and light that cities produce can have bizarre effects on humans and wildlife — effects we have yet to fully understand. Loud cities can interfere with the ability of owls and bats to hunt. And, because of urban noise, some male birds now have to sing at higher frequencies, making them less attractive to potential mates.

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Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) on Reddit

Screen shot 2015-02-12 at 11.42.01 AM

The folks at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) did a Reddit AMA yesterday. I’ve curated some of the more informative questions and answers, but you can read the entire thread here.

MAPS introduces themselves with this lengthy but informative opening:

We are the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and we are here to educate the public about research into the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1986 that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

We envision a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits.

Some of the topics we’re passionate about include;

  • Research into the therapeutic potential of MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and marijuana
  • Integrating psychedelics and marijuana into science, medicine, therapy, culture, spirituality, and policy
  • Providing harm reduction and education services at large-scale events to help reduce the risks associated with the non-medical use of various drugs
  • Ways to communicate with friends, family, and the public about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana
  • Our vision for a post-prohibition world
  • Developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines through FDA-approved clinical research

List of participants:

  • Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, MAPS
  • Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing, MAPS
  • Amy Emerson, Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Virginia Wright, Director of Development, MAPS
  • Brian Brown, Communications and Marketing Associate, MAPS
  • Sara Gael, Harm Reduction Coordinator, MAPS
  • Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, Research and Advocacy Coordinator, MAPS
  • Tess Goodwin, Development Assistant, MAPS
  • Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Research and Information Specialist, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Sarah Jordan, Publications Associate, MAPS
  • Bryce Montgomery, Web and Multimedia Associate, MAPS
  • Shannon Clare Petitt, Executive Assistant, MAPS
  • Linnae Ponté, Director of Harm Reduction, MAPS
  • Ben Shechet, Clinical Research Associate, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Allison Wilens, Clinical Study Assistant, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Clinical Research Scientist, MAPS

For more information about scientific research into the medical potential of psychedelics and marijuana, visitmaps.org.

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Late 19th-Century Maps Show Measles Mortality Before Vaccines


Via Rebecca Onion at Slate:

These maps of measles mortality appeared in three late-19th-century statistical atlases published by the Census Office. Experiments in data visualization, the atlases are modern in their scope and ambition. Since they were compiled in a time before the availability of vaccines for most childhood diseases (with smallpox being the exception), they are a good record of the former pervasiveness of measles.

In a brief history of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control writes that between 1953 and 1963, when the measles vaccine became available, “nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age.” Yearly, “400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.” (Writer Roald Dahl’s daughter, who died in 1962 and is the subject of this 1988 Dahl letter urging parents to vaccinate, was afflicted by this complication.)

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Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States


Philly based Hog Island Press has created this awesome map of various monsters allegedly found across the continental US.

Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States is possibly the first of its kind – a snapshot of American cryptozoology that brings together the Jersey Devil, Bigfoot, Mothman, Chupacabra, Shunka Warakin, Caddy, the Honey Island Swamp Monster and many more cryptids on one hand-drawn, hand-screened map.

Loren Coleman, the Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum, had this to say: “The cryptid-filled, cartographically accurate Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States should be on the walls of every museum, library, and researcher’s office interested in the science of as-yet-to-be-discovered animals. Hog Island Press has produced an informative, affordable, high quality collectible, which also serves as an educational tool useful for your next road trip, a future research trek, or everyday bibliographic study. There is not a fake on the map.

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