Love love love the work the historical ecology group at SFEI is doing. The Chron recently had an article highlighting the work of Robin et al in reconstructing the past landscapes of the bay area. Image from the SF Chronicle.
Eric Sanderson is visiting CNR next week: Chris G pointed me to his work. Imagining Manhattan before European contact through visualization. Gorgeous work, and appealing on many levels for geographers everywhere. Project site, and highlights from the New Yorker. The image here shows an aerial view of Manhattan as it might have looked in 1609, juxtaposed with the outline of Manhattan today.
Check this out: a site that has historical maps of US counties. It's really cool stepping through time and seeing how the county borders shift and change. Dead simple site, great data. It's a little more interesting for the older states, like Massachusetts, but California has some interesting changes too.
Via The Map Room: Historical Aerials from historicaerials.com. This is a great site. Look what I found for the campus in 1946. Where's our earthquake trap called Mulford? Obvi this is just a screenshot, haven't got the imagery yet, but the interface is good, and the bay area has tons of old imagery (interested yet, Tim?).
For those of you without at least a passing interest in Martian cartography, Giovanni Schiaparelli was one of the first astronomer's to map Mars using a halfway decent telescope. He drew exceedingly detailed maps of what he saw, depicting massive, linear trenches he called canali. He firmly believed these were too straight to be formed by any natural process, and that they must have been artificially produced by inhuman minds (perhaps even cool and unsympathetic ones). His maps were the state of the art for about 20 years. BibliOdyssey has a wonderful post showing some of Schiaparelli's maps, which are far more beautiful than I had imagined, having previously only seen crude reproductions in 2-tone print. Wonderful stuff. Via The Map Room
I am reinvigorating the mission to re-shoot the VTM photos. At least in the Bay Area. This was prompted by the recent Berkleyan article about the new UC reserve in Santa Clara County ("preserves oak-woodland ecosystem at urban/wildland interface"). I thought "I wonder if there are any pictures of the area from the VTM collection?" and had a search this weekend. Sure enough, there are some nice ones. So I've geo-located a few from around the bay to get us started. Any ideas on: automating the process; making an easy site to upload paired photos; an easy way to link Township/Range queries into gmaps... Any volunteers to do Santa Cruz County? Lots of great pics there. And check out the local logging history documented in the photos of the New Almaden quad.