Latest Issue of Science News


A Better Distorted View

The physics of diffusion offers a new way of generating maps

A map can show much more than rivers, roads, and political boundaries. It can express an attitude. Saul Steinberg's famous New Yorker cover illustration, called "View from 9th Avenue," shows a foreshortened map of New York City and its environs. Beyond the city's avenues and the Hudson River, Steinberg's map looks westward toward vaguely defined regions: Jersey, the rest of the United States, the Pacific Ocean, and a barely visible Asia and Europe. The map neatly encapsulates a Manhattanite's self-centered perspective on the world.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.