If you’re not a map nerd, move along.

8 05 2012

I’ve decided to let you in on a secret…. I am a fully fledged map nerd. The nature/nurture debate has been thrashed out and I am happy to say this is based purely on genetics and I can’t help it. I blame my fairy godmother (love you!).

Okay, so being addicted to maps is hardly earth shattering but it is terribly, terribly (and beautifully) time consuming. If you aren’t sure whether you are a fellow map nerd, here is a short quiz I’ve put together from years of experience…

1) you’d rather read the Atlas than The Womens’ Weekly.
2) you think maps are works of art and science and you’d probably frame one and hang it on the wall
3) when you give directions to a friend, your map-on-a-napkin contains the North point and you pay attention to scale
4) you think that looking at maps is time ‘invested’ rather than time ‘wasted’
5) you know about contour lines and ordnance surveys
6) you think car SatNavs are for idiots
7) you even appreciate maps that are fictitious and contain places like “The Shire” and “Mordor
8) you pore over maps of places you’ve never been to and marvel at the terrain and place names

How did you go? 🙂

My latest find…
Okay, so here is the latest groovy map nerd find. It’s a “live” traffic map of all the shipping in the world. Do you wonder where that Ocean Liner is cruising? How about where that fishing boat has been? Or where that tanker is going? Well, wonder no more.

MarineTraffic.com has a fantastic ‘live’ map of the world. You can select a region and see what marine traffic is active, anchored, underway etc.

Shipping Regions of the World (from MarineTraffic.com)

I’m in Western Australia which has a number of active ports with regular fishing, cargo, tanker and passenger traffic. I can see what is coming and going, which route it has taken etc.

Shipping off Western Australia (from MarineTraffic.com)

If you’re interested in a particular vessel, you can get more information about the name, destination, home port, photo etc.

Pick a vessel for more details

Have fun!!

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19 responses

8 05 2012
Madhu

Yes to all the above 🙂 Thanks for the link!

8 05 2012
Louise

Haha, I might have known. 😉

8 05 2012
Libby

I think I’m only a minor map nerd. The first part I’m OK with – but the ocean traffic is perhaps a step too far for me!

9 05 2012
Louise

Yes it’s crazy isn’t it? Libby, you might like this better as it summarises the movements across the globe. It’s one snapshot of shipping routes with low frequency in blue, to high in red. 🙂

9 05 2012
Libby

I’ll take a look!

9 05 2012
Lynne Ayers

Ohhh I have to send the link over to my husband’s computer! I like maps too map nerd. Thanks for the link.

9 05 2012
Louise

Haha, you’re welcome Lynne!

9 05 2012
My Perfect Weather

Your secret is safe with me. Love the live map.

9 05 2012
Louise

(shhhh!!) Thanks!

9 05 2012
dadirri7

fascinating, and yes i love maps too … wanted to be a navigator with my father driving in the redex trials long ago 🙂

9 05 2012
Louise

Amazing to think those competitors were hacking through Australia in Mercedes and Morris minors (among others). 🙂

10 05 2012
Northern Narratives

I like maps. My husband loves them. He will enjoy this post 🙂

10 05 2012
Gilly Gee

I love maps and have since I was very tiny. My favourite is one of my city in 1618 which is on my wall, but any maps will do!

10 05 2012
Louise

Very cool. I knew I’d be in good company!

10 05 2012
Leanova Designs

Haha, you know my husband stares at maps for fun 😀

10 05 2012
Louise

Haha Rasha – That’s because it IS fun!! 🙂 😀

11 05 2012
whitt88

Hi Louise. Madhu kindly linked your site and led me here. What fun, I’m short on time 🙂 so I’ll be back, but wanted you to know I couldn’t move along without complementing you on your fine efforts. We in the watery world are accustomed to pouring 🙂 over charts. Do you know the Pilot Charts ? They are as fascinating as land maps The “Wind Rose” gives wind speed, direction, current, temperature, storm tracks, and baro pressures averages on each 5° square of ocean anywhere. Perfect for nerdy hours of contemplation, planning and other creative pursuits. Glad to know we have sisters with similar interests. Thanks for the interesting stuff.

11 05 2012
Louise

Hey, great to meet you Whitt. I’m glad you liked my post and thanks for the homework – I’m off to find those now and have a good look. Weather AND maps, now that’s really got me going. Throw a few knots and flags in there and I’m hooked!! Thanks for stopping by – fair winds and following seas…

13 05 2012
whitt88

Well thank you too, Louise. I’m not sure the Pilot Charts are available online, but printed versions can be found in nearly every sailing worldwide (like, ‘can’t leave home port without ’em.’) If I had to pick the one type of ‘map’ that created more plans, preparations, dreams and successful voyages than any other, it would be the ‘Pilots.’

As a kid, were you told to hold a seashell to your ear to hear the sea?

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