Tharp with an undersea map at her desk. Rolled sonar profiles of the ocean floor are on the shelf behind her.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp
Born on July 30, 1920, geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean – not a featureless flat, but rugged and varied terrain.
White House Coronavirus Task Force members reference a misleading chart in a press briefing.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Visualizations can help you understand data better – but they can also confuse or mislead. Here, some tips on what to watch out for.
Maps shape our understanding of world events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's how to make sure they don't mislead you.
One nine-year-old chose his local supermarket as a place he valued because he could “spend time with mum and help decide what goes in our trolley”.
When primary school children in a disadvantaged part of Sydney were asked to map what they valued in the area, their choices were revealing and sometimes surprising.
Three very different maps, using the same deprivation data, for the same place: Hartlepool, UK.
Samuel Langton/MMU, using OS Data © Crown copyright 2019.
When mapping deprivation, using traditional boundaries can distort the data and distract readers from important information.
Flag of Kurdistan on military uniform.
Despite many attempts, the Kurds have never won and kept their own nation -- though, after World War I, they came close.
Where has your produce been?
Take a look at the first high-resolution map of the US food supply chain.
Very rarely, depending on where you are in the world, your compass can actually point to true north.
Recently, magnetic compasses at Greenwich pointed directly at true north for the first time in 360 years. This is currently happening in Western Australia too. But what does it mean?
Geologic map of the near side of the moon by Wilhelms & McCauley in 1971.
We have the Apollo missions to thank for a lot of our geological knowledge about the moon.
Maps that divide the world into 'no-go' and 'safe' zones has created a new politics of danger.
Demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, on March 26.
The US public is more aware than ever of partisan gerrymandering, and they're pushing local governments to make reforms.
Do you know where you are right now?
Ana de Sousa/shutterstock.com
Google, Amazon and other powerful groups are renaming American cities and neighborhoods. That may make the area more appealing to newcomers – but, in many cases, residents aren't happy.
Pollutants not shown.
Childhood asthma cases caused by traffic pollution are on the decline. But children in some parts of the country are faring better than others.
The orientations of the stone walls that crisscross the Northeastern U.S. can tell a geomagnetic tale as well as a historical one.
Scientific inspiration struck a geologist after many walks through the woods in New York and New England. These ruins hold the secret of where the compass pointed north when they were built centuries ago.
Inequality is one of the major issues of the modern age – but understanding where it happens is harder than you think.
The map that went viral.
Maps can show "the big picture" to lots and lots of people in an engaging and colourful way.
The world’s remaining wilderness. Dark blue = terrestrial. Light blue = marine.
Modified with permission from Protect the last of the wild, Watson et al, Nature (2018)
Zooming in on deforestation and other wild habitat loss can help us work out how best to protect wilderness.
Which is the right map for you?
If you want to really learn your way around a new place, paper maps still trump digital options.
Store closures in Swansea.
It's not just affecting areas in post-industrial decline – retail spaces are closing and losing value across England and Wales.
Wait – where am I?
Without their devices, regular GPS users take longer to negotiate a route, travel more slowly and make larger navigational errors.