Author Archive


July 4, 2013

Our Map Library now has a new set of Ordnance Survey Landranger maps that you can borrow. Here’s one view of why this “bio-optical knowledge recording and information dissemination system” is so great. But please don’t use ours as a handkerchief.

Persian rug patterns using Google Maps

May 30, 2013

Aerial photo images extracted from Google Maps have been pieced together to form images that look like complex Persian rug patterns.

Undulatus Asperatus

September 27, 2012

No, not the latest addition to the Hogwarts spell book. This is a new type of cloud that the Cloud Appreciation Society hopes will be formally recognised by the World Meteorological Society and added to the International Cloud Atlas, making it the first new class of cloud to be added since 1951.

There’s a fantastic picture of undulatus asperatus over Shiehallion, Perthshire, on this site:

and you can learn more about the Cloud Appreciation Society here:

If you thought Apple’s maps were weird…

September 21, 2012

There has been a lot of interest in the media following the launch of Apple’s new Maps app which comes preloaded with the new IOS 6 operating system. Many have complained that the app has significant towns missing and features in the wrong place or pooly labelled. Here’s a nice feature from the founder of Strange Maps that highlights just a few of the bizarre maps that have been produced over the last few hundred years.

City Symphonies

July 3, 2012

TOTD likes this front page to the Royal College of Art’s Design Interaction Show 2012.

Click on Mark McKeague to view City Symphonies. The designer has considered the synthesised sounds produced by electric cars and exlores an alternative approach in which the “sound that the cars generate changes according to its relationship to other road users and the environment”.

Britain from Above

July 2, 2012

Britain from Above is a project aimed at conserving photographs dating from 1919 to 1953 that form the Aerofilms collection.  The site is searchable or you can browse using a map of Great Britain. There is also an opportunity to try to identify images whose locations are not recorded.

The BBC has a nice video about the collection.

MaKey MaKey

June 8, 2012

Ever wanted to play a tune on a bunch of bananas, or use Play Doh as a gaming control pad? Well, it seems that now you can!


Scott’s last expedition

June 7, 2012

Further to January’s item about Scott of the Antarctic, Library staff today enjoyed an interesting talk about Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole. By coincidence, this comes the day after the anniversary of his birth on 6th June 1868.

Apparently the Scott’s Last Expedition at the Natural History Museum is excellent and well worth a look.

You may also be interested in The Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute, which includes two rather fine domed ceilings incorporating  representations of the Artic and Antarctic that were painted by Macdonald Gill in 1934.


Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

June 6, 2012

There has been much in the press about the BBC’s coverage of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. If, like TOTD, you were wishing that more could have been said about the boats themselves then you might be interested in this guide to the flotilla participants.


May 11, 2012

Artist Jon Rafman has been collecting screen captures of Google Street Views. Many of the images are remarkable and some just plain weird. They appear to be, as the artist states on his blog, “more truthful and more transparent” because of the unbiased manner in which they are recorded.

[Thanks to JS for this suggestion]