The Stories Maps Tell

Entertain the Elk talks about the history of real world maps and the design of the fantasy maps for Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia and Game of Thrones.

Throughout history, maps have always communicated ideas and stories to its audience, but what about maps of fictional worlds? In this video, I examine the maps of Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), and The Known World (Game of Thrones) in order to find the tiny details the mapmakers chose to include that point to their larger stories.

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Why this elbow is a Time Person of the Year

Vox: That elbow in the lower right-hand corner is attached to a young hospital worker from Texas, who anonymously reported her harassment for fear of the negative impact it could have on her and her family. It represents a much larger contingent than the women on the cover: the silence keepers.

Time's person of the year 2017

The Story Behind the Woman You Don’t See…

Time: The worker, who made a sexual harassment complaint anonymously, told TIME she remembers vivid details about what happened to her, and she couldn’t stop wondering whether she could have prevented the encounter. She said: “I thought, What just happened? Why didn’t I react? I kept thinking, Did I do something, did I say something, did I look a certain way to make him think that was O.K.?”

See also: Other posts tagged ‘equality’.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by Zen Pencils, a website where inspirational quotes from famous people are adapted into cartoons by Gavin Aung Than.

another beautiful story: In our latest episode, we speak to Melbourne based cartoonist Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils. “A lot of people think I’m just living an exciting life, thinking of ideas and drawing, but being a cartoonist is a lot of hard work”. And while it may be hard work for Gavin to continually push out good quality comics, the cartoonist reveals in this video why his readers feedback, has in-turn made him find his calling.

Progression and regression

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“I quit my job without any grand plan, it was a big risk and one of the scariest things I have ever done.” – Gavin Aung Than

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WEB Du Bois

WEB Du Bois: retracing his attempt to challenge racism with data

The Guardian: The civil rights pioneer and scholar is most famous for his book The Souls of Black Folk, but his use of data to show inequality is still profound today

Mona Chalabi has updated WEB Du Bois’ visualizations with recent data, while staying faithful to the design of the original illustrations.

I thought about DuBois while drawing these. Not just his outstanding craft (how did he manage to get those lines so straight? Those labels so neat?) but how he would feel to look at data 117 years later about the “present condition” of black Americans.

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Progression and regression

WEB Du Bois: Using data to show inequality, updated

The civil rights pioneer and scholar is most famous for his book The Souls of Black Folk, but his use of data to show inequality is still profound today.

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Anglo Saxon London Map

A map by Matt Brown at Londonist: In 2011, we put together a map showing the London area in Anglo Saxon times (roughly speaking, 500-1066AD). It’s pieced together from many resources, showing our guess at the roads, rivers, forests and marshland that characterised the region.

Anglo Saxon London Map

The main purpose was to highlight the many villages, hamlets and farmsteads whose names are still part of modern London. For example, the map shows ‘Wemba Lea’, the land belonging to a local chieftain by the name of Wemba. We know nothing about Mr Wemba, yet his name is familiar to millions, perhaps billions, through its continuation into our own times as Wembley. Similarly, Croydon is a corruption of Crog Dene, which meant something like ‘valley of the crocuses’.

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Progression and regression

Anglo Saxon London, mapped

The map comes with a few caveats. We’re attempting to show a period of several hundred years in one map. Some features might not have been present for the whole of that time span, and names changed.

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The Mammoth Pirates

Amos Chapple (RFE/RL): With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner – the tusker – into the Russian wilderness and creating dollar millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia.

The Mammoth Pirates

This 65-kilogram tusk, photographed a moment after it was plucked from the permafrost, was sold for $34,000. The two men who found it unearthed three more in just over a week, including one weighing 72 kilograms.

Ravaged landscape is the obvious result of the tusk hunters’ methods, but the impact on Yakutia’s waterways is far-reaching.

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Progression and regression

The Mammoth Pirates

On condition that he not reveal names or exact locations, RFE/RL photographer Amos Chapple gained exclusive access to one site where between bouts of vodka-fueled chaos and days spent evading police patrols, teams of men are using illegal new methods in the hunt for what remains of Siberia’s lost giants.

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