If you love cards, this blog is for you


Authors’ note: All Over the Map has been moved within National Geographic to the news section: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/all-over-the-map/. You can also follow us on RSS, or on @mapdragons on Twitter and Instagram.

There is something magical about cards. They transport you to a place you have never seen, from the ocean depths to the surface of another planet. Or a world that only exists in the imagination of a novelist.

Cards are also time machines. They can take you to the past to see the world as people saw it centuries ago. Or they can show you a place that you know intimately as it existed before you arrived, or as it might look like in the future. Always, they reveal something about the mind of the cartographer. Each card has a story to tell.

All Over the Map is now our place to tell these stories. We are science journalists with a common fascination with maps. Betsy enjoyed using geological maps in her previous career as a geologist. In college, Greg studied how the brains of animals map their environment. But we’ve both been map geeks for much longer than that. As a child, Betsy drew maps of her garden and rooms in her house. Greg spent hours poring over maps in the backseat of the car on his family vacation.

And like most kids, we loved the cards that arrived in numbers National geography. So write a card blog for National geography is pretty much our dream job. Here we will explore the history, meaning and possibilities of the cards. We will show you beautiful, interesting and provocative cards and introduce you to the people who make them.

If you’re joining us from WIRED, where we co-authored the Map Lab blog, welcome! We’re going to be continuing the same kinds of stories here, from secret Cold War military maps and self-driving car maps to maps from other worlds to our annual map lover gift guide. These are very exciting times for mapping right now, as new digital tools are opening up the world of mapping to more people than ever before. We’ll cover some of these developments as well.

We are not professional cartographers, and we are not employees of National Geographic. Our opinions and editorial decisions, including which maps to present, are solely our responsibility and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Geographic. That said, we hope to bring you some glimpses of the incredible mapping operation out there.

We are always on the lookout for interesting maps and can’t wait to learn more about the past, present and future of cartography. We hope you will join us for the ride. First stop: Greg’s post on an ancient manuscript filled with maps depicting the events of the Apocalypse.

—Betsy Mason and Greg Miller



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