Ever heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well Nathan Yau truly believes in this for he focuses on his work and his tweets on effective ways to transform what would be textual data into graphs, pictures, and in this case maps! I know this sounds like I am mocking one of the books we will be reading, Graphs, Maps, and Trees by Franco Moretti, but Yau recently tweeted about Watercolor Map Tiles. This article tells about how interactive maps, heavily designed by Stamen Design have been improved from maps that simply used the color “yellow.”
A link I encourage you to follow, interactive map with watercolor map tiles, from the original link shows the cleverly named town of Stamenfrom three different perspectives: terrain, toner, and watercolor. Toner is ” high-contrast B+W (black and white) maps [that] are perfect for data mashups and exploring river meanders and coastal zones.” You can also choose between three “flavors”: normal, no labels, only labels. Terrain is described as, the way to best “orient yourself.” The terrain maps featur[e] hill shading and natural vegetation colors. These maps showcase advanced labeling and linework generalization of dual-carriageway roads..” Yet the innovative technology that helps demonstrate the city of Stamen through computer generated images that look ”hand-drawn by a skilled artist slash cartographer” to show “organic edges” and give texture to the map.
This technology reminds me about the other mapping technology we have learned about previously in th semester of “Advanced technology similar to Google Earth, MapQuest and the GPS systems” in the article, Geographic Information Systems Help Scholars See History. Not only does this new Stamen technology help give information about the place itself but it also displays the useful thing that graphs and maps can tell so much about a certain something can be said with little or no test. I believe that this effective presentation will play a role in not only the future of digital humanities but the world in general.