maps& atlases

30 Things You Can Add to Your Art Journal

Art journals can be decorated, simple, planned out, spontaneous, and a great outlet for stress. Here are some ideas for you to add to your own art journal.

1. Collage. Using magazines, newspapers, old books, posters, prints off the internet, you can make fabulously artistic pages.  

2. Sew-on Decor. Instead of using glue, Mod Podge, or tape, try using thread to sew pictures onto the pages. It will give it a vintage, textured look.

3. Tea Stain. If you take a tea bag and steep it in hot water for a little, you can stain the pages to make the pages look old. Different teas make different colors, so experiment!

4. Paint. Water-color painting, acrylic painting, finger painting, or whatever the medium of paint is that you choose. Get in there and paint the pages however you want!

5. Sketch. Not all pages have to be pops of colors and textures. You can have pages of beautiful simple sketches.  

6. Stamp. If you don’t have stamps, it’s easy to make your own. Search for some DIY stamps.

7. Nature. Tape or glue pieces of nature into your pages. Flowers, grass, leaves, or twigs. 

8. Masking Tape. Make a pattern on the page with masking tape and color, paint, or doodle over the pattern. Take the tape off when you’re done to see the amazing pattern underneath. 

9. Doodle. Draw anything and everything. Try using pens or markers instead of pencil. Make mistakes and live with them because mistakes are beautiful.

10. Outline Objects. Take a roll of tape, a phone case, pictures, or anything around you and outline them with pens, markers, or Sharpies. Overlap the shapes for an interesting effect. 

11. Washi Tape. Decorate the pages with borders, wrap it around the edges, or create shapes. 

12. Trace. If you have thin enough pages, you can trace shapes, images, and scenes. Just don’t claim that the tracing was your own art because that’s not cool. 

13. Blow Paint. Glob some paint with some water and use a straw to blow the paint around the page. 

14. Pastels. Experiment with pastels. Mix them with water, rubbing alcohol, or just smudge and mix them together. 

15. Stencils. Use stencils to design pages with shapes and images. You can experiment by using paints or by overlapping. 

16. Stickers. Plaster an entire page with stickers if you want or use them sparingly. It’s your call. 

17. Divide the Page. Use a ruler or a flat edge to divide the page into various sizes of shapes. Color each shape in differently. 

18. Etch. Etching is a technique in which you place an object under the page and shade over it. The final outcome is really amazing. 

19. Sharpies. Scribble, sketch, doodle or experiment by mixing the Sharpies with rubbing alcohol. 

20. Glitter. Throw some glitter (make it rain) on some wet paint, glue, or water-brushed pages. 

21. Scribble. Exactly what it says. 

22. Burn the Page. This one you need to be careful with because you could ruin the whole book. Take a lighter or a match and just gently burn the edges of the page to make it look old. 

23. Outline Your Hands. By outlining your hands, you are making a page that no one else can…unless they have the same size hand as you.

24. Sponge. Dip a sponge in paint and press it on the page all over. 

25. Make A Comic. Who says you have to draw out a comic? Collage it or paint it! Or just draw it because that’s pretty too. 

26. Zentangles. If you aren’t sure what these are, just look them up. They are fun and are said to help people calm down. 

27. Your Own Pictures. Add your own personal images of friends, family, yourself into your artwork. 

28. Quotes. You can write them yourself, print them out, cut them from magazines, or cut them from books. 

29. Maps. This might be difficult for those who don’t have maps or atlases. Mod Podge pieces of maps to the pages. 

30. Mixed Media. Combine any of the previous suggestions for a fantastic piece that you’ll be proud of.

Trap Streets

On maps and atlases, a “trap street” is either a fake, misnamed, or misrepresented street — the passage may be curved and shown as straight or vice versa. The intention is to “trap” cartography copycats, enabling the original artist to pin them down with unanswerable questions about the duplicates origins in a court of law (or field of battle depending on the region and seriousness of the crime).

Like so many human endeavors, mortal truth unintentionally parallels the Netherworld.

From tiny villages to immense cities, communities of all sizes gain sentience over time. Their movements and actions are typically too slow or subtle for human perception, creating the illusion of a space to be controlled and changed. In reality, communities adjust their features and layouts over time, much in the same way you or I adjust a garment to fit better.

For witches and other magic users, the street changes can be a source of communication. 

Ghosts and non-corporeal undead will notice but rarely take into account the changes. The ability to pass through walls means having to pay little attention to shifting landscapes and architecture beyond a passing curiosity.

Monsters notice significantly more. With the innate ability to travel in plain sight without being perceived, they are masters of adaption. Most monsters are so in tune with their home that following, even aiding, the shifting of streets is as natural as breathing.

For witches and other magic users, the street changes can be a source of communication. After living with an area for a while, they can read and be warned of danger simply by wandering about and taking stock in movements of pathways and light sources.

Travelers and adventurers must beware, for while all of this may seem enjoyable and light hearted, it should be noted that some cities actively use trap streets to corner and destroy those that displease them. In these instances, they are quite literally trap streets.

Maps are ubiquitous in one sense, and completely missing in another. A lot of younger people don’t own maps and atlases and don’t have the knowledge a map gives you. We call things like MapQuest and Google Maps on your phone interactive… but are they? Are they interactive? It’s a system that largely gives you instructions to obey. Certainly, obedience is a form of interaction. (Maybe not my favorite one.) But a paper map you take control of — use it as you will, mark it up — and while you figure out the way from here to there yourself, instead of having a corporation tell you, you might pick up peripheral knowledge: the system of street names, the parallel streets and alternate routes. Pretty soon, you’ve learned the map, or rather, you have — via map — learned your way around a city. The map is now within you. You are yourself a map.

The race to map the human body — one cell at a time

The first time molecular biologist Greg Hannon flew through a tumour, he was astonished — and inspired. Using a virtual-reality model, Hannon and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge, UK, flew in and out of blood vessels, took stock of infiltrating immune cells and hatched an idea for an unprecedented tumour atlas.

“Holy crap!” he recalls thinking. “This is going to be just amazing.”

On 10 February, the London-based charity Cancer Research UK announced that Hannon’s team of molecular biologists, astronomers and game designers would receive up to £20 million (US$25 million) over the next five years to develop its interactive virtual-reality map of breast cancers. The tumour that Hannon flew through was a mock-up, but the real models will include data on the expression of thousands of genes and dozens of proteins in each cell of a tumour. The hope is that this spatial and functional detail could reveal more about the factors that influence a tumour’s response to treatment.

The project is just one of a string that aims to build a new generation of cell atlases: maps of organs or tumours that describe location and make-up of each cell in painstaking detail.

Okay, so random/weird question. Does anyone like maps? Anyone follow any map-focused blogs or groups or websites or anything like that? I joined a group on FB but there are a lot of jokes I don’t quite understand and there are a looooot of people, so I’m too anxious to really interact. I’ve mostly been staring at posts in confusion & anxiety. 

Some of my favorite fictional stories aesthetics

The Secret History: classical sculpture, messy paints, museums, umbrellas blown upside-down from walking in the wind, long midnight drives, stoplights in the middle of nowhere, handwritten letters, books in translation, running away and away and away again until you find the place you know is yours, wide windows, reciting poetry from memory, coats with pockets and cigarette afternoons, convertibles in the rain, the top floors of university libraries, needing to know

Doctor Who (RTD Era): space, the colors pink and gold and blue and brown, stargazing and memorizing the names of the stars, historical fiction novels, that feeling you get when you come back home after a long adventure, maps and atlases, dancing at two a.m., missing your best friend, remembering just how big the universe is, long road trips, exotic foods, are we there yet’s, blankets in the backs of pick-up trucks, sappy chick flicks and hand holding, shoes with their soles worn down, cups of tea gone cold, promising forever and meaning it

Harry Potter: winter scarves, believing in magic, clandestine meetings, not being old enough to do all the things you want, castles with secrets, wide staircases, the forest at night, making blanket forts with your best friends, dreaming about flying, skipping class to go ice skating on the lake, the frost on window-panes, seeing things out of the corner of your eye, pinky-swears, mugs of hot chocolate that keep your hands warm, leather-bound books on mythology, candles

The Song of Achilles: fig trees and laurel crowns, the colors white and gold and red, foot races, freckles, the vastness of the ocean, ships with billowing cream-colored sales, camping at the beach and waking up just in time for the sunrise, thousands of tiny flowers, being scared of the future but not scared enough to let go of the things you love, bonfires, acoustic guitars, cuddles and eskimo kisses, going through old journals, the end of summer when you don’t want to say goodbye, saying goodbye

The Lord of the Rings: potted plants, coffee in the mornings, the view from the tops of mountains, great rivers that seem to run forever, open spaces, walking boots, new cities and old maps, the sunlight glittering in the trees at dawn, exploration, rediscovering long-lost friends, those moments when the earth feels so solid beneath your feet, cranberry scones, UPS packages delivered to the wrong door, the English countryside, the glint of gold in the sun, old songs played on a Celtic whistle, not being able to go back to exactly the way things were, not being alone

Hamlet: mirrors cracked down the middle, premonitions, your shadow under the streetlights, empty cavernous halls, flowers on the surface of lakes, books with the words all jumbled together, wanting to escape, sitting in the back row at the theater, those times when you feel like you’re being followed, bare feet on cold tiles, crying quietly by yourself, soft tree branches shaking, the absolute silence of midnight, cemeteries, suit cases, love letters, hiding in your room when strangers visit, praying to whoever will listen

The Picture of Dorian Grey: carnations, the colors ivory and gold, fancy clothes, portraits with crumbling paint, heavy velvet curtains closing after an orchestral performance, people chattering over a meal, being scared to die, seeing your upside-down reflection on the back of a spoon, pearl necklaces, moodiness, the opera, that pang of something you first felt when you turned twenty, finishing a book and not being able to read another one just yet, stage lights, the concept of eternity, missing the last train home


General Atlas of All the Islands in the World

Islario general de todas las islas del mundo (General atlas of all the islands in the world) is the greatest work by Seville cosmographer Alonso de Santa Cruz (1505–67). The atlas was begun during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and finished in that of his son King Philip II, to whom it was dedicated. It consists of 111 maps representing all the islands and peninsulas of the world, and showing all the discoveries made by European explorers from 1400 to the mid-16th century. The atlas begins with a letter by Santa Cruz to the king, in which he justifies his work and explains different geographic concepts. Preceding the maps is “Breve introducción de la Sphera” in which Santa Cruz makes a cosmographic description, illustrated by 14 astronomical figures. The maps are organized in four parts: the first deals with the North Atlantic; the second, with the Mediterranean and adjacent areas; the third, with Africa and the Indian Ocean; and the fourth with the New World. The maps include scales in latitude and some in longitude and bodies of water with varied scales and oriented with compass roses. The Islario general is the earliest atlas in which paper is used, instead of the parchment that was previously most commonly used for such charts. The design of the maps is more functional, with less attention to aesthetics and more to geographic detail than in the late-medieval portolan maps and atlases. Scholars have determined, on the basis of the dates that appear in the descriptive texts on the islands, that the maps were made beginning in the fourth decade of the 16th century, around 1539, and that the entire atlas was completed circa 1560. It is highly probable that the Islario general was a part of a Geografía Universal that Santa Cruz never finished. Santa Cruz was one of the key figures of the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) in Seville. One of his first works was a set of the spherical charts of the New World. He created various other works on cosmography and geography, such as the Libro de longitudes; and on historical themes, including  Crónica de los Reyes Católicos (Chronicle of the Catholic kings) and Crónica de Carlos V (Chronicle of Charles V). Following Santa Cruz’s death, his successor, Andrés García de Céspedes, attempted to claim credit for this work. On the cover the name Alonso de Santa Cruz has been erased, García de Céspedes’s name is inserted as if he were the author, and the work is dedicated to King Philip III. In the manuscript itself, apocryphal texts have been superimposed over the originals, with the aim of disguising the real authorship and date of creation.

@blairwaldorfsgf tagged me to do a thing! that thing being, spell out your url with good tunes. ✌🏼

you told the drunks i knew karate - zoey van goey
almond milk paradise - milo
hungry ghost - hurray for the riff raff
old & gray - maps & atlases
once more to see you - mitski
art star - yeah yeah yeahs
not in luv - quarterbacks
sentence - weaves
with arms outstretched - rilo kiley
even in the dark - nasimiyu
real good case of the bads - yucky duster

i tag @eddyskippers @drdanielfaraday @lunarrinterlude @coolgurls and whoever else wants to do it!

This is so underrated…
5x11 when Liam and Mason are in the school library trying to find the Nemetons location. Liam says “Stiles said he and Lydia were looking at the intersections”. And it just makes me smile thinking that Stiles and Lydia spent time together during a spare period or after school doing the exact same thing Liam and Mason were doing. Sitting at down at the table searching endless maps, atlases for direction and then they actually go out to try and find this magical tree stump themselves (5x09)



Inside the walls of Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library, it’s like having backstage passes to Coachella. Yale’s historical library isn’t open to the general public, and is only accessible to students and faculty. We in here!

Adjacent to Sterling Memorial is also the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which is one of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts. We weightlessly floated through several floors of endless resources, including authentic atlases and maps of historic times. Here are some shots from the archives.



States ranked according to the Human Development Index, 2012


Similar map divided into quartiles

Full article (goes into great detail)

Some notes:

The biggest changes in rank between the 2013 report to 2011 report were

Belarus, rising 15 ranks to #50

Liechtenstein, falling 16 ranks to #24

The World average was a score of 0.694, ranking it at #103 under Turkmenistan and above Thailand were it a state

The most developed nations according to the HDI in 2013 were

  1. Norway
  2. Australia
  3. United States
  4. Netherlands
  5. Germany
  6. New Zealand
  7. Ireland (tied with Sweden)
  8. Sweden (tied with Ireland)
  9. Switzerland
  10. Japan

The least developed nations according to the HDI in 2013 were

  1. Niger
  2. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  3. Mozambique
  4. Chad
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Mali
  7. Eritrea
  8. Centreal African Republic
  9. Guinea (tied with Burundi)
  10. Burundi (tied with Guinea)

The Mountains of Kong, right in the center of West Africa, were first drawn by English cartographer James Rennell. Or rather, first invented. You see these mountains don’t exist. It didn’t stop them appearing on maps until 1880, when someone, you know, checked. (It was French explorer Louis Gustave Binger if you care about that sort of thing.) The mountains of Kong were apparently popular, though, or cartographers were lazy, because they continued to appear on maps and atlases. Goode’s World Atlas showed them until 1995!


How Maps & Atlases Drummer Chris Hainey Carved Out a Second Career as a Photographer

To see more of Chris’ photos, check out @chriscreature on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

Chris Hainey (@chriscreature) likes to be precise. As a photographer and drummer, it comes with the territory. His images often capture movement and energy — intentional blurs and all — while his percussion provides a taut backbone for the progressive indie rock group Maps & Atlases.

“When I started playing drums, I would try to write parts that were really showy and flashy, but as a partial observer, it just sounds like too much,” says Chris. “When you’re writing music, the vocals and the lyrics are definitely the subject and everything else is there to guide and frame it. That can be related to photography as well — trying to be thoughtful about space.”

While the band is slowly working on its follow-up to 2012’s Beware and Be Grateful, Chris has been pursuing photography, both as a hobby and a profession. He initially shared his work with just his friends. But after he noticed others taking notice, he began putting more thought into his compositions and what he posted.

Chris honed his talents at Chicago’s Columbia College, where he studied cinematography. These days, he’s working on photo and video editing at Studio 6, the in-house production company of the advertising firm Havas Worldwide. “It’s interesting how much I had to re-learn from my college days,” he says of all the new technology that didn’t exist a decade ago.

Another area Chris had to get more comfortable in was taking portraits. Thankfully, he had a lot of assistance from his girlfriend, Leslie Ann Bembinster, who’s both a model and a molecular biologist at the University of Chicago. “She had never modeled before she met me and I wasn’t comfortable or used to taking pictures of people,” he says. “I didn’t like feeling intrusive in people’s space, but I think we helped each other. She got more comfortable in front of the camera and she helped me get comfortable taking pictures of people. It’s definitely a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Like any good musician, Chris has a knack for improvising when it comes to setting up a shot. For example, one of his best photos shows a pair of red stoplights shrouded in fog in front of a dark building. “We don’t really get fog like that too much in Chicago so low to the ground,” he says. “I didn’t have a tripod or anything — I was just doing long exposures, propping the camera on the pavement with my wallet.”

He repeated the same procedure while photographing Leslie on “the world’s largest indoor carousel” at the House on the Rock, a Wisconsin tourist attraction that features all sorts of architectural oddities. “It’s a terrible habit — I’ve lost a few wallets like that,” he says. “It ended up being an interesting, dreamy scene. There are just so many lights that filled the space in a magical way, so it was cool.”

With his current work at Studio 6 and the band hopefully having a new album ready soon, Chris keeps churning out shots on a near-daily basis. He claims that almost every new photo is temporarily his favorite, though he cites a high-speed capture of a horseshoe shattering a mirror as particularly special – one he’d love to see in print someday. At the moment, though, he’s still humbly hesitant to publish any sort of physical collection.

“I’m still at a point where I feel like, ‘Why would people want this?’ So I just haven’t done it. But yeah, there might be a demand for it — Someday. Someday I will.”

We can wait.

— Dan Reilly for Instagram @music