Monday, June 22, 2015

Catography - The Lost Art of Mapping Cats

Today I can't seem to get away from maps about cats. First thing this morning my Twitter feed was full of links to the Click-a-Cat map. This afternoon it is now full of links to the Basemaps for Cats map.

When you first open the Click-a-Cat there is one lonely cat on the map living somewhere up near Chicago. However our lonely cuddly feline friend doesn't have to remain alone for long. Click on the map and more cats are added to the map at random locations. Carry on clicking and you can help the cats conquer the world.

In the very early days of catography the only way to make a cat map was from the flayed hides of dead cats. Few catographers these days have the patience for the long process of skinning, drying and stretching cat hides. The endless wailing of the bleeding hearts at Peta on top of the caterwauling of skinless cats can be pretty off-putting. That means that in these more modern times catographers are increasingly turning to digital methods for creating their cat maps.

Now-a-days catographers content themselves with creating maps from photos of cat fur. Basemaps for Cats is a prime example of this more enlightened approach to cat mapping. I can assure you that no cats suffered in the making of this cat fur map.

Pictures of whole cats are really much cuter than cat fur maps. After all the Internet was invented so that lonely cat lovers would have a way to share their endless stupid pictures of cats with the rest of the world. If you you love maps and you also love photos of cats then you really should have a look at I Know Where Your Cat Lives.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives displays pictures of cats on a Google Map. The pictures of the cats come from popular photo sharing websites and the locations are based on the data hidden in cat photo metadata.  The map is obviously intended as a necessary warning against sharing your cat's personal data online. You can never be too safe in protecting your cat from roaming catographers.

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