09 November 2003

Looking for a good birthday present for Almea, I came across (and ultimately purchased) a large wall map that looks something like this. It is very difficult to look at this map for a long time, as my head starts to spin. On this website and on the pamphlet that was enclosed with the map, they had some interesting historical anecdotes (they're not footnoted directly so I can't verify them, however). First off, most medieval maps had the east on top, because that was the direction of paradise (hence the word "orientation"). North-oriented maps didn't come into vogue until the advent of compasses, which pointed north themselves. Supposedly, there were a slew of south-oriented maps at that time too, before north won out as the conventional top.

Here is another map dreamt up by those plucky Canadians. It projects the world based on how far everything is from Toronto.

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