12 Maps That Changed the World

In June 2012, Brian McClendon, an executive at Google, announced that Google Maps and Google Earth were part of a far loftier pursuit than edging out Apple and Facebook in the map services market. Google, McClendon wrote in a blog post, was engaged in nothing less than a "never-ending quest for the perfect map."

"We’ve been building a comprehensive base map of the entire globe—based on public and commercial data, imagery from every level (satellite, aerial and street level) and the collective knowledge of our millions of users," McClendon noted. By strapping cameras to the backs of intrepid hikers, mobilizing users to fact-check map data, and modeling the world in 3D, he added, Google was moving one step closer to mapmaking perfection.

Best News Bloopers of 2013


The Devil in The White City

  1. A great book about the south side of Chicago. The author combines the stories of the development of the Chicago World's Fair led by City Planner and Architect Daniel Burnham and an evil guy who murdered many people. A strange combination but it works well.

    TransworldSep 30, 2010 - History - 496 pages

    The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and its amazing 'White City' was one of the wonders of the world. This is the incredible story of its realization, and of the two men whose fates it linked: one was an architect, the other a serial killer.

    What people are saying - Write a review

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    The vivid imagery and detail is eye-opening. - Goodreads 
    The second thing was that the ending felt abrupt. - Goodreads 
    And, finally, I would have liked more pictures. - Goodreads 
    I wasn't very impressed with Larson's writing style. - Goodreads 
    The author really did his research. - Goodreads 
    I only wish there had been more illustrations. - Goodreads

    Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

    User Review  - Delilah Howell steinbach - Goodreads
    I was fascinated by the story of HH Hughes, America's first known serial killer. Unfortunately this book is more about the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. I found myself reading only every other chapter ... Read full review

    Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

    User Review  - Chris Cosci - Goodreads
    An interesting read -- practically two books in one. The first is the story of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; the second is the story of a serial killer who takes advantage of women coming to Chicago ... Read full review

  2. The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson - Random House


    Taken together, the stories of how Daniel Burnham built the fair and how Dr. Holmes used it for murder formed an entirety that was far greater than the story of  ...

  3. The Devil in the White City - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Jump to Burnham and the architects - Daniel Burnham: the chief architect behind the World's Columbian Exposition (also known as the Chicago World's  ...

  4. The Devil in the White City Quotes by Erik Larson - Goodreads


    28 quotes from The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that ... For this buttoned-up age, forBurnham, it was a letter that could have  ...

  5. Daniel Hudson Burnham (Burnham Plot) - CliffsNotes

    www.cliffsnotes.com › Literature Notes › The Devil in the White City

    Note: The Devil in the White City has two distinct plot lines running through the novel — one for each Burnham and Holmes. The characters in this list are.

  6. Minor Characters: Burnham Plot Characters - Cliffs Notes

    www.cliffsnotes.com › Literature Notes › The Devil in the White City

    Margaret Sherman Burnham Devoted wife of Daniel Burnham, Margaret Burnham ... The Devil in the White City By Erik Larson Character List and Analysis Minor ...

  7. Book Summary - CliffsNotes

    www.cliffsnotes.com › Literature Notes

    The Devil in the White City is a literary nonfiction novel that spans the years ... One plot line centers on Daniel Burnham, the architect who builds the 1893  ...

  8. John Root (Burnham Plot) - CliffsNotes

    www.cliffsnotes.com › Literature Notes › The Devil in the White City

    John Root is the partner of Daniel Burnham; he accepts the challenge of building ... The Devil in the White City By Erik Larson Character List and Analysis John ...


Urban Planning and Design Course

One of my favorite City Planning Consultants Pete Pointner has developed an excellent Urban Planning and Design Course which he shares with City Planners.

I have developed a detailed outline for a course on urban planning and design. This course provides answers to questions addressed to everyone studying or working in the fields of planning, design, and the review of development projects. This includes those in public administration, urban geography, architecture, and landscape architecture as well as citizens serving on planning commissions and zoning boards or who are elected officials.

Click to read more:


Our First Public Parks

From tiny plots to wide-open "rural cemeteries" and modern "memorial parks," the evolving design of cities of the dead

"Before 1831, America had no cemeteries. It's not that Americans didn't bury their dead—just that large, modern graveyards did not exist. But with the construction of Mount Auburn Cemetery, a large burial ground in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the movement to build cemeteries in America began."

"In his recently released Cemeteries, Keith Eggener, an associate professor of American art and architecture at the University of Missouri, uses more than 600 archival photos to depict the evolution of American cemeteries from small family plots into these very first "rural cemeteries" and, later, the less scenic 20th-century "memorial parks." Alongside this visual tour, Eggener offers historical context, explaining how the living have interacted with these resting places for the dead. Eggener spoke with The Atlantic about what drew him to these morbid locales, and how the design of cemeteries has reflected America's feelings about death."

Utah Reduces Homelessnes

Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 78 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street and putting the state on track to eradicate homelessness altogether by 2015. How’d they do it? The state is giving away apartments, no strings attached. In 2005, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was $16,670, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be $11,000. Each participant works with a caseworker to become self-sufficient, but if they fail, they still get to keep their apartment.


The Chamonix Skywalk.

High up in the French Alps, on the top terrace of the Aiguille du Midi mountain peak, sits a new five-sided glass structure called the Chamonix Skywalk. The installation was inspired by the Grand Canyon's glass skywalk, but it takes the concept to the next level. Instead of looking out over a railing, visitors can hover 1,035 meters (3,396 feet) above the valley in an enclosed transparent box, surrounded on all sides by custom-made 12 mm (1/2 inch) glass. The skywalk will open to the public on December 21, 2013. [13 photos]


Recycle Yourself

The Greenest Things to Do With Your Body After You Die

"When I first laid eyes on it I was like, 'Oh my God, I have to have that,'" said Amy Cunningham, 58, as she ran her hand over a biodegradable, wicker coffin. It resembled a large, woven picnic basket lined with white muslin. "It was like seeing a beautiful dress on Saks Fifth Avenue," she added with a radiant smile. "