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Lucas Appelmann
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GNU Terry Pratchett
GNU Terry Pratchett

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Our latest SecureWatch release includes six new imagery layers derived from data captured by European Space Agency's Sentinel-2 satellite constellation.
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+Wayne Radinsky let me see this:

"In a 200-page decision released on 9 January, the three-judge court in Richmond, Virginia, said that the districting had unfairly favoured the Republican Party. Maths played a key part in helping the court to reach that decision, by demonstrating the unlawful use of partisan gerrymandering."

"Jonathan Mattingly, a researcher at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, used an algorithm that produced around 24,000 maps of marginally different district configurations that were randomly drawn on the basis of geographic criteria. The Republican-drawn boundaries, which had delivered 9 Republicans to the state's 13 seats in the House of Representatives in Washington DC in 2012, were more gerrymandered than practically every single one of Mattingly's algorithm-derived maps. Using the same voting data, his maps nearly all gave a larger number of wins to the Democratic Party and, in many cases, gave it the majority."
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How Far Can You Get in Ten Minutes?

Dual isochrone layers can help you find places to meet a friend that have an equal travel time for both of you.
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A map c. 1820 of the U.S. with great French intelligence for the frontier lands. Note the Arkansas territory and the "Northwest Territory" in the Great Lakes area. #oldmapgallery #wisconsinmaps #oldmaps
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Mapping the World's Favorite Songs

This map shows the favorite songs in 3,000 cities around the world. It also plays you all the songs.
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Important Dakota Territory map, annotated by a pioneer

An important and extremely rare map of the Dakota Territory produced during the Black Hills Gold Rush. With valuable annotations in manuscript by a Dakota pioneer, recording an expedition to establish a route from Yankton to the gold fields.

The map was originally printed by the U.S. Government for field use by high ranking officers and not intended for general distribution. This example was almost certainly used (and extensively annotated) by Dakota Territory Deputy Surveyor General George Henchel, during a privately sponsored expedition from Yankton, D.T. to the Black Hills Gold Region in early 1876.

The base map
Compiled by Captain D. P. Heap and Captain William Ludlow of the Army Corps of Engineers and printed in St. Paul, Minnesota, this was for its time the most detailed and authoritative mapping of the Dakota Territory. Rendered at a scale of 1 inch to 12 miles, it depicts major topographical features; towns, settlements and forts; newly-created Indian reservations, in particular those assigned to the Sioux by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie; the route of the Northern Pacific to its temporary terminus at Bismarck with alternative routes surveyed further west; and the routes of over a dozen government expeditions, including most recently Custer and Ludlow’s momentous Black Hills expedition of 1874. General Land Office (GLO) surveys are shown along the west bank of Red River, the Sheyenne [sic] River, and the route of the Northern Pacific Railroad, as well as north of the Missouri, with progress through late 1873-early 1874 (See William P. Dewey, “Report of the surveyor-general of Dakota Territory.” Yankton, Aug. 26, 1874.)

The first edition of the map was printed in February 1872 under the direction of Captain D.P. Heap, who shortly thereafter was re-assigned to duty in Charleston, South Carolina. Heap was succeeded by William Ludlow, who issued a significantly improved and updated March 1875 edition (the present map), with a final edition issued in 1878. The map is one of several regional maps of the western United States prepared by the Bureau of Topographical Engineers before the Civil War and updated thereafter, most of which are now virtually unobtainable. Their rarity indicates that they were issued for use only by senior military officials and officers in the field and circulated in very limited numbers. Our map is no exception, with OCLC recording two impressions of the first edition (1872) and four of the third edition (1878), while I have been unable to locate any other examples of the second edition offered here.

The map was intended for use in the field at a fraught period of Dakota history: Custer and Ludlow’s 1874 discovery of gold in the Black Hills sparked a gold rush into the Sioux reservation, whose boundaries were only inconsistently enforced by the U.S. Army, ultimately touching off the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. It would appear that every effort was made to render the map as up to date as possible, with the inclusion of Custer and Ludlow’s findings, the most recent work of the GLO, and no doubt other information.

Annotations recording the Ash Black Hills expedition of 1876
The map bears a profusion of faint annotations in pencil, all probably in the same hand. One group records an unidentified journey south from Fort Seward to Yankton between September 13 and 26, though sadly the year is not given. Each day’s progress is shown, with “X”s mark camp sites and the location of “water in holes” indicated in several locations. Northwest of Fort Seward the writer has also sketched in a few additions to the township grid, while some arithmetical figures are sketched in the right margin of the lower sheet.

By far the most interesting annotations record an early 1876 expedition from the territorial capital at Yankton, the goal of which was to establish a viable route to the Black Hills gold fields. It was organized by the town’s business and political elite, in the hope that such a route, when combined with a planned rail link to Chicago, would render the town the most desirable gateway to the Black Hills. Experience elsewhere—at San Francisco, in particular—had demonstrated that by such means great fortunes could be made by those who “got in on the ground floor,” as it were.

“Seeking to lay claim to some of the economic benefits generated by this mass migration [to the gold fields], a number of western communities publicized themselves as the best starting and outfitting points for Black Hills-bound gold seekers….Yankton, the capital of Dakota Territory, sought to develop a combination rail-steamboat-overland stage network that it claimed to be the shortest and most advantageous route to the gold fields.” (Gold Rush: The Black Hills Story, p. 211)

The expedition departed on February 7 and consisted of 20-odd men under the leadership of Henry C. Ash, a deputy U.S. Marshal. An important member of the expedition was George Henchel, at the time Deputy Surveyor General of the Dakota Territory. Fortunately for us Henchel kept a journal, which was published in serial form in the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotaian on March 29 through April 1 of that year (and recently reprinted in Gold Rush: The Black Hills Story). When examined together, this annotated map and Henchel’s journal shed extraordinary light on this important expedition. Given Henchel’s position and his role as documentarian, he seems to be by far the most likely author of the annotations.

After leaving Yankton Ash & Co. followed the Missouri River northwest, stopping at Fort Randall where it was supplied with arms and Henchel was provided with two odometers to record mileage along the route (Gold Rush, p. 220). The group continued as far as Fort Pierre, from which point they headed west overland until they hit a trail laid by G.K. Warren in 1855. They followed Warren’s route southwest for several days until turning more directly west at Sage Creek and on February 28 arrived at Rapid City, where they spent several days. Henchel mentions this in his journal:

“February 27… we crossed Rapid creek… on arriving here, we found people (hardy looking men, black from the pine smudge and resembling the African race) busily engaged in the construction of buildings, and lots were offered us in the would-be town gratis… February 28… of course as well may be imagined, the starting of a town was discussed, and this was the general subject of all conversation. In the latter part of the day, steps towards organization of a board of town trustees was taken, and during a meeting in the evening… the new town was named Rapid City.”

From Rapid City the group turned south, passing through Camp Crook, Hill City and a nearly-deserted Custer City, all of which are faintly marked on the map. From there they left the Black Hills and headed south, crossing the Cheyenne and White Rivers before turning east on March 9 to return to Yankton. After suffering mightily from harsh winter weather and running out of food, the first members of the group made it back to Yankton on the 24th.

The manuscript annotations recording this journey begin at the oxbow of the Missouri upriver from Fort Thompson. The writer has indicated the route and the date, with “X”s to show where evening camps were made. Along the route are scattered other numerical annotations, somewhat indecipherable but likely indicating distances or times. The most significant are in the Black Hills, where the newly-risen Rapid City as well as Camp Crook, Deadwood, Hill City and Custer City are penciled in. The notations on the return journey are more fragmentary—particularly after the eastward turn on March 10 at Spotted Tail Camp—but the general outline of the route can be discerned. The incompleteness of the annotations, the scrawled handwriting, and the worn folds in the map itself all suggest that Henchel recorded them in the field during the expedition.

This new route from Yankton to the Black Hills is rendered in print on the 1878 third edition of the map, now labeled the “Territorial Highway from the Black Hills to the Missouri.” It should be said however that route’s importance declined within years, in particular once direct rail links to the Black Hills were opened in the 1880s.

In summary, an extraordinary rarity of early Dakota exploration, made all the more valuable for its extensive and substantial annotations.

See the details: https://bostonraremaps.com/inventory/map-black-hills-gold-rush/
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Poles of Inaccessibility

A pole of inaccessibility is the furthest point on the Earth from a point of accessibility. This map shows the furthest locations from roads in Germany.
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