Weird, but I don’t have any map song posts yet on Maps and the City! So, what better way to start with this one. Thank you Melle for introducing this classic to me (so you should thank him for my music education). Enjoy Map Ref. 41°N 93°W by Wire (1979).
“An unseen ruler defines with geometry
An unrulable expanse of geography
An aerial photographer over-exposed
To the cartologist’s 2D images knows
The areas where the water flowed
So petrified, the landscape grows
Straining eyes try to understand
The works, incessantly in hand
The carving and paring of the land
The quarter square, the graph divides
Beneath the rule, a country hides
Interrupting my train of thought
Lines of longitude and latitude
Define and refine my altitude
The curtain’s undrawn
Harness fitted, no escape
Common and peaceful, duck, flat, lowland
Landscape, canal, canard, water coloured
Crystal palaces for floral kings
A widespread waving span of wings
Witness the sinking of the sun
A deep breath of submission has begun”
Something awesome for a Friday: check out this ‘Can you identify the book from its map? – quiz’ by The Guardian. Worth your time. I must admit I only scored 6 out of 10.. Go go go! Here’s one of the questions to get you warmed up:
Looking for a good reason to visit Amsterdam this Spring? The Amsterdam-based maritime museum Het Scheepvaartmuseum just openend a great exhibition on their Atlases. Very high on my to do list, as you can imagine.
If you can’t really book tickets to Amsterdam anytime soon, you’re still lucky: today the museum launched the website Straet View (think Google Street view goes seventeenth century). Great fun to wonder around seventeenth century Amsterdam.
I’ll keep you guys updated about when I’ve visited the exhibition because there will be a lot more map fun in The Atlases (so be careful… that post might still trigger you to visit Amsterdam real soon!).
Great idea if your interior could use some mappiness. Roomed.nl suggests you chop a globe in half and turn the halves into lamps. Awesome if you ask me. Don’t know whether my boyfriend can actually take more map stuff in our place, but there’s only one way to find out!
From next week on, there is an exhibition on show in the Chazen Museum of Art called Marginalia in cARTography.This exhibition (February 28 until May 18) explores the visual discourse between marginal artistic images and the maps where they appear, as this marginalia sheds light on the content and purpose of the maps, their authors and patrons, and on the historical period when they were made. The exhibition also explores cartography as an art form, with a focus on the representations in the map margins. Guest curator is Sandra Sáenz-López Pérez, an Spanish art historian who specializes in the iconographical analysis of maps and the artistic interest of historical cartography.
If you don’t happen to be around the corner of Wisconsin (like me), you might like the fact that the catalogue is downloadable here.
Map: Blaeu, Willem Janszoon, Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula, Map, Amsterdam, 1635, 41 x 54 cm., Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Looking for a special gift for a friend who’s crazy about Amsterdam? What about this limited edition art print? This Amsterdam city map by Coen Pohl measures 100cm x 100cm (limited edition 1/100, €680,-). Check out Zart design.
Cool map alert! These Neon Maps City Posters by Jay Powell might be the perfect map for your living room or office. They are suitable for framing and there are various cities to choose from: Moscow, New York, Melbourne just to name a few. Ah, and countries too! And… if your region/city/country/favourite intersection is not on the list yet, you might just get it by backing the project on Kickstarter! Check it out, you only have 6 days left.
As you may know, I work at the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam, and I was lucky to get involved with a project called ‘Atlas der Neederlanden’. This atlas is in fact an impressive factice atlas from the collection (nine folios with maps of the Netherlands from several centuries up until approximately 1816, when the Kingdom of the Netherlands was shaped). The maps in the Atlas were restored and they are now on show in an fantastic exhibition, until 9 February 2014. (OK, I’ll stop promoting now).
With this project I also got into georeferencing a little: still quite a new field for me but this website by UvA-researcher Jan Hartmann gives a great idea of the possibilities. The technique behind this website is really far ahead. On the left, you can browse through all the maps in the nine folios of the Atlas der Neederlanden, and on the right you can project the map onto various maps of the Netherlands as we know the country today. You can easily zoom in and out of the various maps on a very high speed. Great way to see how accurate the maps in the Atlas are, or to see how they are oriented. Or: just to marvel at the beauty of these old maps, because they are incredibly pretty.