We have been blind to the fact that the First Nations were already here living on these lands long before the European settlers arrived. It is important to recognize that we have not been passive in our blindness but brutally deliberate. First out of malice and then later out of negligence and more recently out of shame.
I wrote a post over on the Mapzen blog that I think came out nicely.
The territory means different things to different people. Depending on your perspective, the kinds of data that are captured about places may be missing, insufficient, or downright hostile. Who’s On First is opinionated—like all datasets, no collection is truly unbiased—but we hope to be aware of when we’re asserting our own opinions about places and create a framework where a polyglot of place-feels will be welcome.
The multifaceted maps we make simply reflect the weird and wonderful territory they represent.
I’m going to be adapting this as a talk at csv,conf. If you’ll be in Portland May 3, come out and say hello. (Bring your CSVs!)
Web Mercator has been the default projection for the web since Google Maps first popularized it in 2005.
Though it is ubiquitous online (and historically useful to navigators), Mercator doesn’t get much love from the modern cartographer. And in general, Mercators are unsuited for cases when you want to compare the size or shape of anything that isn’t near the equator. So while Web Mercator is useful, we’ve been using Tangram to explore other options.
Tangram draws maps in real-time in your web browser, using a hotline to your graphics card called OpenGL.