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My 5 Favorite Maps: Bill Rankin

The first installment of a new series in conversation with mapmakers on the works that most inspire them.
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Fra Mauro

In the great data deluge that has sent publications from the old vanguard to the digital fringe, scrambling to bolster their mapmaking capabilities and beef up their data-visualization departments, Bill Rankin has one foot in each competing camp. His maps reflect a staid academic tradition of in-depth research and rigorous analysis, but deliver the viral pop that the web has come to expect from its maps.

Indeed, Rankin leads a bit of a double life: By day, he's a historian and professor in the History of Science Department at Yale University. By night, he's the guiding force behind the addictive and sprawling site Radicalcartography.