My Map Obsession
Posted February 6, 2011on:
One of my enduring obsessions is maps–especially political maps. I exercised that obsession this weekend with a piece over at CT News Junkie about Connecticut’s fifth congressional district, which will have no incumbent running in it in 2012! Open congressional seats are the Loch Ness Monsters of Connecticut politics, so this is going to get interesting.
The maps are pretty cool for this one. I’ve put a bunch of Connecticut political maps up on my Flickr photostream.
Maps help me think about a place. I have many maps of various places in the BROKEN universe, as well as several of the fantasy worlds I’ve written about from time to time. I sometimes sketch maps for fun when I’m bored. I also find that when I’m reading a book, maps often help me visualize the world of the story. Christopher Tolkien’s maps of his father’s world are the stuff of legend, not only because of the quality, but because of the scope and style.
Maps also help me think about things politically. Sometimes maps can reveal patterns we didn’t know were there, and tell us something about why people are voting the way they are and how they might vote in the future. The 5th district maps in the CTNJ piece show a volatile district that sometimes–if not always–responds strongly to national political winds. An open seat in this district is really a toss-up, as I think Connecticut’s voters will come to realize more over the coming cycle.
How about you? Do you find maps, political, fictional or otherwise, to be useful? Do you have any favorite map sites (mine is Strange Maps)?