You know I live in Amsterdam. A great city to live in, also because of the charming canals that give the city its beauty and historical feel. In the Stadsarchief Amsterdam, an exhibtion called Booming Amsterdam just opened. The expo is about the building of the canals in the Golden Age. In 1613, Amsterdam was growing quickly and expansion was needed to house all people living in and coming to Amsterdam.The city council decided to build city canals. Booming Amsterdam gives you a great overview of 400 years of urban development. You will find maps, architectural plans and cityscapes to tell the city’s story. And it is quite the story!
And of big importance to me: two books were also recently published: Kaarten van Amsterdam (Maps of Amsterdam), Part 1: Amsterdam from 1538-1865, Part 2: Amsterdam from 1866-2012.
Part 2 is an updated and extended version of a book published in 2002, Part 1 is completely new. I had the honour to speak with the author – Marc Hameleers- a few weeks ago and he told me the project has been a part of his life for the last 20 years. The base for these two books is a catalogue written by D’Ailly in 1934. Marc Hameleers: “A.E. d’Ailly was working at the Stadsarchief of Amsterdam (the municipal archives) and he wrote a very thorough, detailed catalogue of the maps of Amsterdam. Unfortunately not very exciting to read, but the content is impressive. Don’t forget: D’Ailly didn’t have the resources we have nowadays to research the existence and availability of maps. His research is really impressive.”
Obviously, there are some big differences between the catalogue from 1934 and these new books: D’Ailly included the maps in a chronological order of its content. This means a map from the 19th century would be found in the beginning of the overview because it presented Amsterdam in the 17th century). Hameleers decided to follow the chronology of the map itself, making the overview also useful to study the cartographical developments and focus. Another big difference: Hameleers included all different versions, fascimiles etc of one map in one catalogue number. This makes the overview the books offer much more useful and practical. The Stadsarchief Amsterdam has a huge collection of maps of Amsterdam, but research was also done in other collections worldwide to get closest to a complete overview as possible.
The result of these years of work by Hameleers? Two beautifully designed books (by Ronald Boiten and Irene Mesu) with almost 1100 images. The books are intriguing because of their massive amount of great content, super printing quality (the maps look great) and the information they provide about the development of my lovely city. A must have if you ask me!
Information about the exhibition Booming Amsterdam:
15 February – 26 of May 2013
Admission adults: 6 euros
Adress: Stadsarchief Amsterdam, Vijzelstraat 32 Amsterdam www.boomingamsterdam2013.nl
Information about the books:
ISBN: 978 90 6868 620 3 (part 1) and 978 90 6868 621 0 (part 2)
Price € 69,50 (per book)
Mappy Valentines Day! Do you happen to be searching for the love of your life in London? This Lovemap shows where London’s most active singles are, revealing London Bridge, Bank and Oxford Circus as some of the best places to find love in London.
Some fun facts about the Lovemap:
- The top five London love spots are: London Bridge, Bank, Liverpool Street, Oxford Circus and St. Paul’s
- There’s the least chance of finding love in All Saints, Mudchute, Rectory Road, South Bermondsey or Kilburn High Road
- The Lovemap can be accessed on your mobile phone (“so singles can plan a night out on the go, based on where they’re most likely to find love”, for the pragmatic approach!)
- If you’re looking for a last-minute Valentine you can get involved by tweeting hashtag #LondonLoveMap and your location
- This Lovemap is an initiative by online dating site Lovestruck, and mobile agency Fetch.
I already know KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) is pretty, pretty good in creating extra value for their customers. The social media activities of KLM are always spot-on. But this one is my favourite by far: the KLM Must See Map. This social media campaign enables travellers to create a city map that is customized with tips and suggestions from their friends. Ask your friends about the best restaurants and hotspots and receive your own high-quality printed city map at home. (Allow three weeks for delivery.) Oh, and it’s for free! From KLM (with some help of your friends) to you. Check it out!
Max Roberts, expert on underground maps, has designed this new way to look at the London tube map. The commonly used map of the London Underground is becoming even more cluttered, hence this new circular approach. But besides this intruiging map there is even more: Roberts wrote a terrific book about metro/underground/tube (whatever you like to call it) maps: ‘Underground Maps Unravelled’ and is doing a lecture on February 19th in the Design Museum! I quote from their website about the talk by Roberts: “Since 1999, Dr Maxwell Roberts has been working on an ongoing research project to understand transport schematics, their effective design and how to evaluate them using objective methodology. In this lecture he presents his comprehensive catalogue of visual experiments and discusses his findings.” Go, go, go!
Furthermore: the book is very detailed and the book design is incredibly fresh and suitable for the subject: various tube lines running over the corners of the pages. It’s on my wish list!
While having a coffee at KOKO Coffee & Design in Amsterdam (great spot because of the way the place looks plus: the coffee is amazing), I noticed these T-shirts and shoppers with city maps. Designer René Tim is fascinated by cities and wanted to capture the energy of the city in these designs. The result is called TIMcity. High-quality T-shirts and shoppers with Paris, New York City, Barcelona or Amsterdam: a clean map lay out, soft materials. G-R-E-A-T! (you can buy them online and at various hotspots).
Have you seen the beautiful recent Atlas De Wit publication yet? This book should definitely be on the wishlist of map lovers. The Atlas De Wit is a historical atlas with 158 city plans and bird’s eye views of towns in the Northern and Southern Netherlands in the seventeenth century, by cartographer Frederick de Wit. The fascimile offers you the opportunity to wander through Dutch (and Belgian) cities: take a step back on these gorgeous handcoloured maps and get lost in the 17th century. The atlas was presented with the tagline ‘Discover the Google Earth of the Golden Age’, a smart move.
Atlas de Wit
M. van Delft & Peter Van Der Krogt
€ 119 (introduction: € 99 until 31/12/12)
ISBN 978 94 014 0189 0
Issued in three languages: Dutch, French, English
It is absolutely great that people share stuff with Maps and the City (thanks for this one Tomislav)! Check out these woodcut maps. Based on a specific location, you can order a woodcut map of a place of importance to you. Frame a composition around any special spot in the world, choose from the various exotic hardwood veneers, and preview your design instantly. Each map has a unique pattern of wood grain. It takes a few weeks but then you receive a hand-crafted wood-inlay map of your own design. Worth the wait I would say.
This is a true beauty and a great excuse to go back to Paris real soon. In the Bibliothèque nationale de France you can find this exhibition (until January 27th 2013): L’Âge d’or des cartes marines – Quand l’Europe découvrait le monde (The Golden Age of Sea Charts).
Not alone are the maps in the exhibition beautiful and gives the expo a great overview of the discovery of the world and this category of maps, the library did a great job on presenting the subject. The website looks stunning. There should be a free iPhone and iPad app for the exhibition any day now, the catalogue looks very promising and the design of the exhibition (by Véronique Dollfus et Jeanne Bovier-Lapierre) should give you the immediate feeling you step into a portolan chart. Plus: 350 maps are made available on Gallica (the digital ‘jewel box’ of the library). This expo is a must go if you ask me. And let me know if you’ve visited the BnF!
If you are interested in urban development, social history, transportation, maps or the city of Amsterdam (or maybe all of the above, like me), you will love A Millennium of Amsterdam. This beautiful book by publisher Thoth was high on my wish list and I have to say it did not dissapoint me one bit. The book covers the spatial history of this beautiful city in forty stories. The graphic design is beautiful (by Jos Stoopman/stoopmanvos) and the book is full of incredible photos and a lot of maps. The author Fred Feddes takes you on a city trip on every page, focussing on the landscape, the relation between land and water, landmarks in the city, cultural development and much more. How did the landscape now known as Amsterdam look before there was an Amsterdam? Why is the Jordaan so different from the ring canals? Is Central Station in the right place? Why did Amsterdam’s impressive planning machine grind to a halt around 1970, and what happened after that? Who owns Amsterdam, and, for that matter, how great is Amsterdam? The book takes you through time from the year 1000 to the present day. If you know Amsterdam this book is a great way to increase your knowledge on the city history, and if you haven’t visited Amsterdam yet, this book will make you plan a city trip immediately.