Dad’s can be difficult to buy gifts for. As a broad rule, men are generally harder to buy gifts for than women. It’s often best to play it safe and buy your Dad something that will allow him to reassert his masculinity. Something like a Bosch Power Drill or a screwdriver with interchangeable heads. Chances are, though, he will already have all the things that he really wants. However, there might be some things he doesn’t even know he wants yet!
Maps can provide the perfect solution when searching for a gift this Father’s Day. Whether it’s an Executive World Map for the office, or a Personalised Postcode Map for the living room. Whatever your needs may be, Maps International can help you find the perfect map gift for your Dad. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Premium Executive World Wall Map
Our premium executive world wall map is perfect for the office and available mounted on a walnut style frame. Complete with political detail (countries shaded in different tones), country boundaries and cities shown, this really is the most stylish and practical map available.
Framed Historic British Empire World Wall Map
Our Framed Historic British Empire World Wall Map is truly stunning. The original print is dated back to 1896 when the British Empire was reaching its peak. The map details trade routes and uses shading to illustrate areas of the world under British control. A perfect historic piece for your historic Dad!
Board Mounted Personalised World Wall Map
Our Board Mounted Personalised World Wall Map is a unique take on our classic Political World Wall Map. With this map you can add a title and subtitle to your map, as well as being able to change border and text colours. Personalise your map to add a heartfelt touch to a top quality gift.
Give something unique this Father’s Day. Find the maps above, and more, at our online store.
The 1930’s was a period of immense change. The great depression caused markets to crash and resulted in economic downfall, whilst Adolf Hitler seized the opportunity to rise to power. Many major conflicts occurred across the world including the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chaco War and the earth changing World War II. The decade also saw a host of technological advances including television, radio and nuclear fission.
During World War II, it was assumed that Nazi Germany was trying to produce nuclear weapons. To counter this The United States, Canada and The United Kingdom gathered their best scientists to produce such weapons before the Germans. Their efforts were successful and in August 1945 two nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan which ended the war in the Pacific.
Since then, the USA produced the first Hydrogen bomb in 1952 and Russia countered this by building one of their own. Over time, both the USA and Russia continually built nuclear weapons based on the threat each country posed upon one another. By 1986 it was estimated that throughout the world there were 40,000 nuclear warheads. These weapons had the capability of destroying the world many times over.
Today, there are eight states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five of these are considered ‘nuclear weapon states’ under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This international treaty was devised to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, whilst promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Despite this, recent events have seen North Korea testing nuclear weapons and even threatening to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. North Korea have broken many UN sanctions and are also known to have exported nuclear weapons to countries with a history of corruption, which might harbour terrorist cells.
Nuclear Weapon States
We’ve created a map to illustrate where these nuclear weapon states are. The map is featured below, is colour coded and fully interactive. Clicking on a shaded country will display its nuclear weapon states status. To find out more nuclear weapon states click here.
We’ve created a Map of the World’s Credit Ratings based on Moody’s Corporation Ratings Data. On 22/02/13 the UK lost it’s AAA credit rating for the first time since 1978. This came as a result of a series of blows to the UK economy and speculation that UK economic growth will remain sluggish over the next few years.
The UK saw it’s rating drop to Aa1, which means it will take a long time for the government to reduce its budget deficit - the amount it has to borrow every year because it is spending more than it receives from tax revenue.
However, Moody’s stated that the UK’s creditworthiness was still “extremely high”. In particular, the UK has a good history of debt control and still has a highly competitive economy. Our Map of the World’s credit ratings provides a visual representation of each country’s credit rating based on Moody’s ratings data.
If you’re not sure of some of the country names then use the interactive map of the world’s credit ratings below. Click on a country to find out it’s name.
World Map of Horse Meat Producers
“Frozen-food company Findus is the latest culprit in a number of cases surrounding the use of horse meat in foods labelled as beef. A series of tests on Findus beef lasagne products found between 60 and 100 percent horse meat. Within the last month millions of burgers have been taken off shop shelves amidst findings of horse DNA. We thought it would be interesting to illustrate the top 20 countries in the world that produce horse meat. You can see from our World Map of Horse Meat Producers that China are by far the biggest producers of horse meat.
Horse meat is widely enjoyed around across much of Europe, South America and East Asia and is a healthier alternative to eating beef due to its lower fat content. So, why does Britain host a social stigma against the consumption of horse meat? It can be traced back to centuries when horses were seen as companions and used as cavalry in times of war. Similarly, today horses are considered as pets in a similar category to that of cats and dogs.
As aforementioned, in many countries consuming horse meat is considered socially acceptable. To further highlight this, we have used data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation to make a map of all the countries worldwide that produce horse meat.”
The origins of language in humans has been a topic of scholary discussion throughout the ages. It has been documented in the Christian bible in the book of Genesis as a ‘confusion of tongues’ and has been deemed by some scholars as unsuitable for serious discussion due to a lack of empirical evidence.
In 1866, the Linguistic Society of Paris went so far as to ban debates on the subject. However, today, there are still many questions left unanswered and a growing number of professionals have attempted to address this mystery with new methods.
- French Artist Gustave Doré’s interpretation of the confusion of tongues
Further questions remain around dialect or accent. Received Pronunciation is considered the standard English accent in England although it is clear that around England and indeed Great Britain the accent can vary vastly. People from the West Country may have trouble understanding someone with a Geordie accent. Similarly, someone with a Cockney accent may have problems understanding someone with a Glaswegian accent. Dialect is usually interpreted geographically and split into certain regions.
Every dialectal feature has its own boundary line, called an isogloss and these features can be attributed to the division of certain dialects and associated with names of geographic regions, for example, Bristolian or Brummie accents.
Dialect also has some relation to a person’s social background. In many localities, dialectal differences are connected with social classes, educational levels, or both.
- Dialects from across Great Britain
It’s possible that we may see the diminishing of dialect in the modern era. The ability to communicate with people from around the world with ease may cause isogloss boundaries to blur and accents to become more similar.
On the other hand, it could be argued that despite the ease of communication individuals are no longer communicating vocally. In the 21st century people communicate more via email or by short message services (SMS) as oppossed to actually speaking to one another.
Do you think there is a future for dialect?
The London Underground is internationally renowned for being the third largest (in terms of route miles) subway system in the world. Today marks 150 years since the first London Underground journey took place between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan line in 1863.
One of the Tube’s most notable features is the design of it’s network map. It is characterised by a non-geographical layout and the use of colour coding for lines. The map is now considered a design classic; virtually every major urban rail system in the world now has a similar map and many bus companies have also adopted the concept.
There are many cultural references to the map, including parodies of it using different station-name. Here are a few of our favourites to celebrate 150 years of the London Underground.
Simple, but effective.
Local Life Expectancy
This colour coded life expectancy world map shows the incredible difference in life expectancy across the globe. It shows that the more economically developed countries such as the UK, Japan and Canada have a higher life expectancy than lower economically developed countries like Angola and Zambia.
Countries like Italy and Sweden have life expectancies of 80+ where as places like Chad and Afghanistan have life expectancies of lower than 50.
The country with the highest life expectancy is the city state of Monaco. It has the Worlds highest number of Billionaires & Millionaires per capita and the Worlds lowest poverty rate, as well as exceptional standards of state funded healthcare.
Of the top 5 countries with the highest life expectancies the only large country is Japan, with the rest being city states like San Marino and Singapore.
On the other end of the spectrum, Chad is one of the poorest countries in the World. 80% of the population of the country are living below the poverty line and as of 2004, it was estimated there were 3 physicians, 15 nurses and 2 midwives per 100,000 people.
Click the image below for a larger view.
Gifts are a staple part of every culture and are an symbol of affection from bearer to receiver. However, it is important to remember that a gift is not just that in itself. It is a demonstration of how well you know someone and understand their personality.
Unlike generic gifts, personalised gifts can last a lifetime and will always hold a special place in someone’s memory. For example, gift cards will get used, coffee mugs can break and tastes will change, where as a personalised world map could occupy wall space for years to come.
Personalised gifts can be given at any special occasion and, contrary to popular belief, they don’t have to be exceedingly expensive. The cliché phrase “it’s the thought that counts” is what makes the difference when it comes to personalised gifts.
Did you know? Maps International has a range of personalised world maps, personalised postcode maps and much more to excite and impress the people closest to you.
Personalised World Map
Here’s an example of a Personalised World Map. You can customise the colour of the border as well as the title and sub title. The Personalised World Map would make a perfect birthday gift!
Personalised Postcode Map
Here’s an example of a Personalised Postcode Map. These provide a detailed map of any area in the UK followed by a title and sub title of your choice. The Personalised Postcode Map makes perfect wall décor for the home!
Personalised Postcode Map for Couples
Here’s an example of a Personalised Postcode Map for Couples. Choose two different locations and merge them together followed by a title and subtitle. These areas could be childhood homes, where you first met or favourite destinations.
You can find many more personalised world maps over at Maps International UK or Maps International USA.
Old Maps have been part of human history for thousands of years, and are said to date back as early as 16,500 B.C. However, The oldest known maps are preserved on Babylonian clay tablets from about 2300 B.C.
It was not until the early 16th century that the first world maps began to appear, Gerardus Mercator from Belgium was the leading cartographer of the mid-16th century. He developed a mapping projection based on mathematics, which was much more accurate than any other up until that date. He published a map of the world in 1569 based on this projection.
Mercator World Map 1569 - Source: wikipedia.org
In light of this, many other map projections were soon developed and in 1570 the first modern atlas was published by Antwerp cartographer Abraham Ortelius.
Ortelius Old World Map 1570 - Source: wikipedia.org
The Nova Orbis Tabula In Lucem Edita is a similar but more ornate version of the Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula. The latter was published in 1630 and was the first dated map to be published in an atlas.
Nova Orbis Tabula in Lucem Edita 1689 Old Map - Source: mapsinternational.co.uk
In 1740, German map publisher Matthias Seutter used the Vertical Perspective projection which placed the map observer at a 12,750 km distance. This type of projection is the same as is used today for Google Earth.
In the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries, explorers mapped trails and army engineers surveyed government lands. The old map pictured below was released in 1858, after the US had been thoroughly explored and mapped.
The World on Mecrators Projection 1858 Old Map - Source: mapsinternational.co.uk
Many more accurate projections were developed over the course of the 19th and 20th century. Digital mapping in the late 20th century made old maps like these somewhat obsolete, but they still provide an intriguing insight into the evolution of cartography and can make a timeless addition to the home.
Many of us will already be aware that we can explore space using the wonders of Google Earth. The ability to roam Mars on Google Earth was something that was introduced in 2009, but images were only available in low resolution.
Now, thanks to Context Camera (CTX) on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter we are able to see the red planet in much more detail.
In addition to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter there are four other active probes on or in orbit around Mars. This includes two orbiters and two rovers. This includes 2001 Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Opportunity rover, and Curiosity rover.
The Curiosity rover is one of the more advanced probes and has already transmitted some intriguing information back to NASA. Curiosity was set down in the Gale Crater, which Google Earth users can zoom into for a 3D view.
Up until recently the mission controllers overseeing NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover mission had been working in shifts aligned with Martian time for the first 90 Mars days, or Sols, of the mission.
The start of the Sol is always changing relative to Earth time which meant the team’s start time for daily planning had to be moved a few hours later each week.
To view these fantastic images download Google Earth
Click on this icon in Google Earth to view Mars >>>
There is always significant debate when it comes to the best movies of all time. Ratings can be deceptive, critics can be challenged and hype can play a significant part in shaping a social, collective reaction.
Watching a movie can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions, both good and bad and like riding a rollercoaster, the best ones are always the ones we remember for years to come. Many people will label and cast assertions about specific genres.
Many men for example, will judge a romantic film as being a ‘chick flick’ which men may only watch when with a female companion. Similarly, many women will judge an action film as being nothing but ‘explosions’ and ‘fast cars’, things which naturally appeal more to men.
So what happens when genres collide? You get the likes of Avatar producing a cocktail of action and romance, admidst a war torn climate with highlighted themes of greed and corrpution. You get the brilliantly acted Forrest Gump which mixes heartfelt drama with comedic elements, creating an unlikely blend of humour and sadness.
A lot of the best movies do not tie themselves to one genre and allow themselves to reach a larger amount of viewers by incorporating influences from different genres. Obviously, if a movie was to take extracts from every genre then it’s likely that it wouldn’t be very successful, however, in moderation a mix of genres can go a long way in creating a cinematic masterpiece.
Vodkaster.com has attempted to create a visual representation of this phenonemon in the form of a subway map. The concept behind this is that each genre is represented by a subway line, while each movie is represented by a station. The points at which these lines meet is where the film has adopted a position between two genres.
Do you agree that these movies are the best of all time? Do you feel that more of these movies have a cross section of genres? Tell us in the comments.
The Christmas season is just around the corner. Up until now, the thought of Christmas may have seemed like a far off event but now we are seeing it in magazines, shopping malls, restaurants and in almost every ambient environment.
It won’t be long before Bill Nighy is gracing our screens in ‘Love Actually’ with his rendition of “Christmas (love) is all around me”. With the Christmas Season comes the prospect of buying Christmas gifts for friends and family and, as is often the case, the difficulty in knowing what to buy.
We’re here to help. We’ve got -15% off everything in our online map shop up until 4th December. That’s right, everything. Here’s a few ideas of Christmas gifts to start you off:
Our HUGE politcal world map is even bigger than resident map maker Kev and is one of our best sellers (the map, not Kev). This map will make a brilliant Christmas gift for the budding travel enthusiast or Geography obsessive and it’s now just £32.60.
Our Glow-In-The-Dark World Map is the perfect Christmas Gift for the kids’ bedroom and will help them learn valuable geography skills. This map is now just £32.60.
The Nova Orbis In Lucem Edita is a perfect Christmas gift for the historians amongst us. Its fascinating ornate detail will give a real ‘blast’ from the past! Buy this in our medium size for only £24.65.
Scientifically, every star in the night sky is just an enormous glowing ball of gas held together by gravity. But humans have always interpreted the stars as something beautiful and for years they have provided inspiration to explore, to dream and to learn. They have played their part in historical religious ceremonies and in navigating over land and sea. Since the beginning of astrological study, astronomers have grouped the stars into constellations, and to this day, these constellations have been retained and respected.
A group of professional astronomers, collectively known as the International Astronomical Union, list a total of 88 constellations. These are based on those listed by Ptolemy and were devised in the 2nd Century. However, Ptolemy’s catalogue of constellations are informed by early astronomical theories dating back as far as the Bronze Age.
For city dwellers, it can be hard to see constellations due to light pollution. For those living in rural areas, star constellations can be seen more clearly. Britain’s National Parks, The Scottish Highlands and parts of Mid-Wales are amongst some of the best places to view the true beauty of the night sky.
But you don’t necessarily need to leave the house to see the stars. Maps International’s newest arrival, the Glow in the Dark Star Map, gives you an accurate and clear depiction of star constellations which are all clearly labelled. This vibrant and stylish map is currently on sale through Groupon UK for a bargain price of £12 until 00:00am Thursday 14th May 2013. Buy one now!
Maps present a dynamic art that is constantly evolving as time goes by. Last October, we wrote about the history of cartography and it’s progression over the years. We’ve also added an entire collection of historic maps to our online map shop. However, Since the advent of Google Maps and other digital mapping solutions, some might say that the art of traditional cartography has been lost to the digital age.
Historic Map collector David Rumsey, fuelled by cartographic passion, has used a digital copy of his historic maps within Google Maps to create a refreshing perspective on digital cartography. Over 120 historic maps from years 1680 to 1930 have been layered over World Locations giving an insight into the evolution of cartography.
His collection consists of more than 150,000 historical maps which he has been collecting since 1999. Over 17,000 of these have been scanned to create a digital copy and are available in the free public library at www.davidrumsey.com. Rumsey believes that everyone should have access to these maps and they are available to download in high resolution for personal use.
Check out the project here.
Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first female Prime Minister and served three consecutive terms in Office. She was the driving force behind a broken Britain, and a lot of her actioned policies were greeted with heavy opposition. She was responsible privatising state-owned industries, reforming trade unions, lowering taxes and reducing social expenditure across the board. Thatcher’s policies reduced inflation, but unemployment sharply increased during her years in power. Thatcher was a strong character and there is still a public split as to whether she was a successful leader, or a ruthless dictator.
It came as a surprise, then, when last week she was pronounced dead after suffering from a stroke. The public reaction was explosive as deep seated emotions of the past roared back into life. Many celebrated her death and purchased the song ‘ding dong the witch is dead’ from the ‘Wizard of Oz’, which reached number 2 in the music charts. Others mourned her existence, admiring her as one of Britain’s great leaders.
Her funeral will be held in London at St Paul’s Cathedral and will be attended by a number of top names, from BBC radio presenter Terry Wogan, to Her Majesty The Queen. The funeral service will be preceeded by a procession through the streets of London. The coffin is currently at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster and during the procession will follow a to St Paul’s via St Clement Danes Chapel.
Image via lbc.co.uk