Winners Announced – “Re-Imagine the Map of the World” Competition

We are very happy to announce, in association with the Center on Contemporary Art, the three winners of our World Map Design Competition. The challenge was to “Re-Imagine the Map of the World”.

1st place
Stephen Rock
Seattle, Washington
“World Map”
$500.00 prize
A full-size giclée print on archival paper
An invitation to sell their winning piece in 1-World’s online store

2nd place
Larry and Debby Kline
Escondido, California
“The Alchemist Afloat in the Gyre”
$250.00 prize
A full-size giclée print on archival paper

3rd place
Brita Ness
Seattle, Washington
“Subdivision”
$100.00 prize
A full-size giclée print on archival paper

We also would like to thank the many other artists who submitted inspiring pieces for the competition. With their permission, we will be exhibiting some of their works on our website in June. Stay tuned.

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NASA called

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was created by Congress in 1958, purportedly to explore space and study aeronautics. Although part of its declared mission was to ensure that the space program would be conducted for peaceful purposes only, we now know that much of what NASA does is expressly military in nature. There have been many more manned and unmanned space missions than the ones the public has been told about. We can only guess at what they were designed to accomplish and whether they succeeded or failed.

But there is one mission that we know exactly what it was meant to do. The Kepler Space Observatory, named after German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler,  was launched on March 7, 2009 to look for Earth-size planets orbiting other stars.

And they’ve found lots of them. Over one thousand already.

Back here on Earth, we try to ignore all the telemarketers and spammers calling our shop during the day, but when NASA’s Ames Research Center calls, we answer the phone. They’ve called before, as have the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the White Sands Missile Range, and the U.S. Air Force on several occasions. They’re always looking for new maps and globes and we’ve got what they need at worldmapsonline.com and 1worldglobes.com.

This time, NASA needed us to create giant, custom inflatable globes of some of Kepler’s latest discoveries. They sent us the digital artwork they had created and we had it fashioned into a new family of globes – all thanks to the Kepler Observatory that’s still flying today in an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit through space.

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Earth Day 2017

What a day it was in 1970 when twenty-million of us took to the streets. Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator and Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson had had enough after seeing first-hand the devastating effects of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He was determined to do something about it. And he saw an opportunity, having witnessed the power of the civil rights and anti-war protests that had been raging, and slowly winning, for years. If he could co-opt the movement and turn its strength and resources towards saving our environment, then that was what he was going to do. And like that, the modern environmental movement was born.

We’ve come a long way. We remember the 1960s, when falling into almost any river or lake near a populated area could land you in the hospital. Every city in the country had its own special concoction of prophylactics if you fell in. Boston had the dreaded “Charles River Shot” that came at you in the form of a six-inch long needle. Spending a day in L.A. used to cause wheezing, sore throats, and red, burning eyes. You couldn’t even see the downtown from the hills surrounding the city, there was so much smog in the air. Sulfur-laced clouds filled the skies and acid rain poured down on us all, corroding everything it touched.

No more. As a result of all the hard work and persistence, people can fall in the Charles River today and not worry. California’s initiatives to force car companies to install pollution controls in their cars and remove lead from gasoline have gone a long way towards cleaning up our environment. And despite the relentless resistance from industry and short-sighted politicians that continues to this day, we can breathe again (almost).

There’s no turning back now. And you can help. The fiftieth anniversary Earth Day plans are already underway for 2020. Learn how you fit into the big picture here. And please take a moment on Saturday to tell your children the story of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.

 

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Projecting Our Dreams

If there were ever an apt analogy for the human habit of perceiving the world as we wish rather than as it is, it can be found in the mystery of cartographic map projections.

Things are not as they seem. The Earth, its neighboring planets, and our sun are careening through space at thousands of miles per hour in a spiraling race towards the end of time.

Back here on solid ground, we see that which immediately surrounds us and we leave the rest to mysterious scientists, presumably buried under a mountain somewhere analyzing satellite imagery and generating the maps we trust. Continue reading

Last Minute Delivery Saves the Day

A day barely goes by when we don’t receive a request for a custom map mural. It’s a great way for a business to make a bold statement in their board room or reception area. Companies will often request that we include their logo and perhaps all their satellite branches, franchises, development projects, mining operations, etc. We can even put a big red dot right on the family home.

We print the large murals in separate panels that are then bundled up and shipped off. To do that, we lay the map out in a computer program and slice up the image in the most efficient way to print on our machines with the least amount of waste.

Above is the print layout of a custom map mural we made for a company in Bellevue, Washington. They provide internet, cloud, and communication services. The map was for their lunch room and needed to be finished in time for an important guest.

This is a story about making a mistake and then making it right.
Continue reading

Why Cars Crash Into Us

Our office and warehouse are located on a hill in a mixed residential-commercial part of town in between Seattle’s International and Central Districts. It’s not a steep hill. The traffic is not particularly busy and the street itself is wide and accommodates one lane each for cars and bikes in either direction with parked cars along both sides.


Then and now. During and after the regrade of Jackson Street, Seattle.

But, there’s something wrong. We must admit that it’s a mystery that we’ve just learned to expect and accept without explanation. Cars keep crashing into our building. Continue reading

Panorama Maps of the 19th Century

Some of our favorite maps are Bird’s-Eye-View Panoramas, popularized in the mid-1800s and early 1900s. These views are a hybrid of cartography and art. The artists captured the character of neighborhoods using original maps, blueprints, and plans in conjunction with skillful sketching of a city’s features and buildings.

lithography-press-1855-rhoeco-sm

The lithography process that was used to reproduce these views was relatively new, having only been introduced in the early 1800s. The idea of printing on paper from an image placed on stone was quickly embraced. Rapid advances with steam-powered mechanics made the process ever more efficient and economical. The early lithography equipment and supplies were produced in Europe, with American printers importing the presses and supplies from Germany, England, and France. Only three American patents related to lithography were issued prior to 1860. As the process became more mechanized, American printers began demanding more of the powerful new presses. The R. Hoe & Co. of New York began to manufacture steam-powered presses as early as 1870 in New York. Further advances rapidly followed, such as the use of zinc plates that were easier to use than stone, and the development of photographic processes. The Centennial Exposition of 1876 exhibited the earliest examples of prints made using the photozincographic process at the Photographic Hall in Philadelphia. Continue reading

The Mapmaker’s Dilemma

Maps are historical novels. They embody the discoveries of countless generations of seafarers. They are the children of the great explorers. The mapmaker is powerless alone. He is completely dependent on others to bring him the means to practice his art: an original view; the most current calculation; the newest idea; or the latest scientific breakthrough. The more stories collected, the more accurate and detailed the picture that emerges. Each new piece of information added to the whole reveals an ever-changing, ever-evolving, living history of Man’s journey on planet Earth.

There’s a wonderful book called A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice: A Novel” about a cloistered monk at the dawn of the Renaissance who meets with visitors from around the world returning from extraordinary journeys and adventures in an attempt to glean the latest tidbit to add to his maps. Venice was a great world power at that time and considered by its cosmopolitan residents to be the center of the world. Its rulers controlled commerce and trade throughout the Mediterranean and beyond with vast fleets of merchant ships and war ships.

Continue reading

A gift to the Festival in Vancouver B.C.

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival called. They were looking for a map and found us online. All you really need to do to find us is type “map murals” or “classroom maps” in a search window and we’ll pop up. Usually on top.

It took a long time to get our websites humming so that people could find us easily. The process is a called “search engine optimization” or “SEO” and consists of using words and terminology on your website and in your product descriptions that correspond to the words and terminology that people might type into search engines like google when looking for something. The trick is to match the words.

Vancouver, British Columbia has a beautiful waterfront park where they hold many events and concerts throughout the year. One of everyone’s favorites is The Children’s Festival that started as a theater festival and can trace its roots back to a UN conference on housing and the environment called Habitat the city hosted in 1976. It has evolved into a much larger event since then, weaving inter-disciplinary arts, interactive arts, and performance art together for young people and their families from around the world. This year will be its 40th anniversary celebration.

Continue reading

Customers and the Crazy Things They Say

When the phone rings, we answer. We say something like: “1-World, how may I help you?” But sometimes the things people say back can be pretty confusing.

It’s actually hard to do customer service over the phone. It’s not the same as having a customer in your store where you can quickly get a feel for what they’re looking for by showing them things and gauging their needs by their reactions. Usually, the customer who calls is looking at one of our websites, and our first task is to find the item they’re looking at so that we’re both looking at the same thing. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

The fact is that people call us from any number of strange places. Like the beauty parlor. Probably not the most opportune time to make a large purchase, but why not? A very happy lady who knew exactly what she wanted called the other day while she was having her hair shampooed. All the other ladies in the place jumped right in. They were helping her measure, giving advice about which item to get, making sure she asked all the right questions, all while doing her hair and laughing and carrying on. She ended up choosing a historical bird’s-eye-view map of the California town where she lived. (see here)

That call went really well, but here’s a sample of some of the more confusing calls we’ve received:

“1-World, how may I help you?”
“There are no mountains in the ocean!” Customer had ordered a topographical map by mistake.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“The Globe.” Customer was convinced that we had called him and didn’t want to talk.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I need a map of the GTA.” I’m sorry, where? “The Greater Toronto Area.” Oh.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I’m trying to find my lost friend I spent time with in Micronesia.” We can’t really help with that.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I’m looking for the devil on my chair.” Ahhh…
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I’d like to sign up for the lunch series.” I don’t… we sell maps and globes…

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