Worlds within worlds without worlds

Ron Blakey makes maps of the world as it may have looked hundreds of millions of years ago, tracing the rise and fall of continents:

During certain periods, like the Ordovician, the Devonian, and parts of the Jurassic—especially the Cretaceous—as much as two-thirds of the continents were underwater. But they’re still continents; they’re still continental crusts. They’re not oceans. The sea level was just high enough, with respect to where the landscape was at the time, that the area was flooded. Of course, this is a concept that non-geologists really have problems with, because they don’t understand the processes of how continents get uplifted and subside and erode and so forth, but this is one of the concepts that my maps show quite nicely: the seas coming in and retreating.

Kate Davies and Liam Young of Unknown Fields Division take students on research trips to places on the fringes of architecture: Madagascar, the Arctic Circle, Chernobyl, etc.:

We wanted to engage with the world and a critical part of that was getting out into the world, to tell a story about cities and landscapes that wasn’t being told. So often cities are conditioned by peripheral landscapes that are out of sight, out of mind. We wanted to get students out of the familiar comforts of architectural institutions and into landscapes to bear witness to them, and to re-imagine or re-map the city as a place conditioned by—and that conditions—a wide array of landscapes that architects normally don’t think about.

In Caracas, the Tower of David is an unfinished 45-story skyscraper that has become the world’s tallest squatter village.

Every time I think that crazy massive Minecraft projects can’t get any crazier, something comes along to remind me that I just don’t think big enough. The latest: a GIS-fed map of Britain in its entirety.

The world they've created is 22 billion blocks big, correlating to 224,000 square kilometers (86,000 square miles) of British terrain.... It was built using two of the Ordnance Survey's in-house mapping tools: OS Terrain 50, and OS VectorMap District. The former is a 3D image of the UK's geomorphic features to a scale of 50 meters; the latter a finer scale model of forests, waterways, and roads. One was layered on the other, and the results were recreated in Minecraft's blocks.

So games can be used to map physical spaces, but games are also spaces of their own. In a way, box art for Atari 2600 games served as emotional maps for early consoles: they didn’t tell you where to go, but they told you what to look for — and more importantly, how to imagine it — as you wandered through indecipherable forests of pixels and scanlines.

Lastly, via le: a heaping collection of misspelled street names in San Francisco.