Tagged: geotagging

Globe Corner Blog, BUR Geotagging, Cocktails in Liminal Spaces

The Commander Globe, available at Globe Corner BookstoreAs I contemplate driving 500 miles or so this weekend – more than I’ve driven in a month so far this year, I believe – my mind meanders back to cartographic matters. A random roundup of mappy clippings:

I. The Globe Corner Bookstore has a Blog.
I’ve been an unrepentant fan of GCB for as long as I’ve known about it. One of my first luxury purchases after a period of difficult cashflow was a globe from Globe Corner. When they closed I mourned, when they reopened, I rejoiced. The Globe Corner Blog delivers book reviews, travel tips, and news on a near-daily basis. It’s not as marvelous and awesome as Strange Maps, but it’s pretty cool.

IIa. WBUR’s Charles River flickr Group
I picked up this item via the ever-alert crew at Universalhub: WBUR’s Boston Radio is doing a show on the Charles River, and set up a flickr group for people to post their river pics and geocode them. That’s my kind of thing, so I dusted off some Charles-y pics from last month and uploaded and tagged them. Listen to the podcast and check out the photo map.

I continue to wonder if there’s a way to handle geotagging for pictures that are of a line rather than a point in space.  For example, my Acela collages.  I wonder if I can rig up a useful way to take similar photos as I drive this weekend without being too much of a traffic hazard.

IIb. On Point Radio: How the States Got Their Shapes
For a double dose of WBUR, I was listening in the background as I often do, and suddenly I was hearing a caller ask about an event in the early ’90s when Connecticut Governor John Rowland made an April fools day joke of annexing the small bit of Massachusetts that pokes down into Connecticut so that Mass might then be free to slide into the sea. I was in college in Connecticut at the time and thought that was pretty funny. On Point was doing an entire show on the origins of the peculiarities of the borders of the states. Good stuff. Here’s a pic from wikipedia showing the Southwick Jog aka Granby Notch.

IV. Liminal Spaces Between Cambridge and Somerville
This weekend I was hanging out with LKB and BEM at their Cambridge lair swilling excellent margaritas, and they asked me if I had ever resolved my Somerville parking ticket. I had in fact, not yet heard from the parking authorities of Somerville, but that didn’t stop us from speculating about various kinds of installation art that might be done if we could locate a strip of land claimed by neither Cambridge nor Somerville. I’ll summarize the discussion with “Smallest. Casino. Ever.”

Boston Blogs + Unmapped Boston = The Map With Two Backs?

Let me call to your attention two excellent maps that in my humble opinion should make sweet cartographic love and spawn a mashup of some sort. This confluence of maps, blogs and public transportation has got the limeduck quacking loudly.

First up, Boston Blogs’ map of Boston blog by T stop.

Still in beta, this excellent map is simply the MBTA’s official subway (and Silver line) map with a link at each station to blogs tagged with that T stop. It looks like Davis square is the belle of the ball with 25 blogs as of this writing, and my own dear Central has a respectable showing at 15 blogs. The Red line is not surprisingly the bloggiest MBTA line.

My second nominee is Unmapped Boston from Unmapped Cities.

This is a completely new view of the Boston area. It combines major streets, subway routes, and most importantly, a pretty comprehensive list of the squares that define Boston neighborhoods, all while remaining substantially but not literally true to geography. The map is available on paper ($20, get one today, I just did!) and is a beautiful work of design.

Here’s my immodest proposal: Unmapped Boston should hook up with Boston Blogs to create a cartographic listing of Boston area blogs by square, and not just the squares that have T stops. Sure, there’s lots of geotagging going on and you can find blogs by longitude and latitude, but I think I prefer a neighborhood-centric blog geography. It’s not so specific that it sets off privacy alarms, and it lets neighbor blogs self-identify their location to the area that suits them best.

So don’t forget, list your blog at Boston Blogs and check out Unmapped Boston, and if you like them, maybe encourage them to get together sometime for a coffee. No pressure.