Earth Watershed “Children” Maps

This pair of maps is the inverse of each other. That may not be correct English–this pair of maps is the inverse of itself?–but the red system of lines in each map’s central continent(s) divides that land into its constituent watersheds, and is used to make the edge of the other map. Each map is a “child” or offspring of CSNB map #2 because they use only a portion of the boundary of that map. If the boundary of csnb map #2 is a tree when viewed on the globe (or when flattened as a stick figure) these maps may be thought of as prunings of that more interrupted, more intricately branched map. It takes only a moment to realize that there are a great many different configurations beyond just these two. Indeed there is a map continuum that flows from csnb map #2 into this pair and beyond, all they way down to a single point, but we won’t go there in this post.

copyright 1999 Chuck Clark, all rights reserved

Note the scales at upper rights. They indicate the amount of shrinkage (about 2:1) in area from each map’s edge to each map’s middle. Each map carries a flaw of the cartographer. My mistake is not to have shrunk the middle more than I did. Thus each map has a squirrelly district — above in the south Atlantic; below in the north Atlantic — where I had to jam in more surface than I had room for, so to speak. I’ve since learned how to control that (I’ll fix these maps later, as well as describe the control methods).copyright 1999 Chuck Clark all rights reserved

To me the interesting use of these maps would be for display of weather patterns, because a much larger field of view than is customary for meteorological reporting, in fact the entire field of view, may be entertained here, respective of course, to the boundary of the map, which is the highest topography, there very topography expected to turn and stop advancing weather fronts. And in each map, the complete northern jet stream, that which stirs the weather, would be visible in its true circular shape. With these maps the search for large scale meteorological and climatological patterns, something which now is done only abstractly with statistics, so-called teleconnections, would get a visual boost.

And this without yet attempting to exploit the natural contours of weather patterns, barometric highs and lows, for tree-like systems of ridges and valleys which could not only fashion their own family of constant-scale natural boundary maps, but the edge, the outline of those maps could be made to change as the weather pattern changes. A cartographic animation of a weather sequence. a seasonal change, let’s say, as a mass of cold air heads toward the equator and a mass of hot air moves north to replace it in the spring. This year’s animation different from last years. May be you begin to see how useful this novel mathod of making world maps might be?

One Response to “Earth Watershed “Children” Maps”

  1. suz Says:

    I justi discovered your musings and designs. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing all this. And yes, I see and totally agree that “this novel method of making world maps”, would be very effective! Wow!

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