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)
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!
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
This is a pretty cool international project: citybooks is all about stories on cities (you probably guessed that one already…). At citybooks they offer you free downloadable literary podcasts, e-books, and webtexts in English, French and Dutch. About? About interesting European cities like Graz, Chartres, Tbilisi, Utrecht, Charleroi, Oostende and Skopje. Cities you might know already but also cities you have absolutely no idea about.
The initiative for citybooks comes from the Flemish Dutch House deBuren. International authors and photographers are invited to particpate in a two week residency with one of the local partner organisations in European cities. The resulting citybook (stories, essays or poems) can be read, listened to and downloaded for free on the website of citybooks. The podcasts are also available via iTunes. For each city a photographer makes a series of 24 photographs, and a City One Minute video project gets made. Sounds mindblowing? It actually is! The 30 minute stories make you wander off, and the photos and the clean and modern website make you want to go travel to those unknown cities immediately. Plus, I like their map design very much!
When I spotted this jacket a few weeks ago I immediately bought it online, and luckily it could be shipped from the US to the Netherlands within a few weeks. I was quite pleased with myself for buying a practical -because rain and windproof- jacket, something I wouldn’t really consider without the nice world map print (although Dutch summers do call for a decent rain jacket). So, when we decided to visit the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime museum) in Amsterdam on this rainy Sunday, of course I put on my new jacket. Happy mapping in the rain!
Are you ready to see the city from another angle? The project ‘Here & There‘ by BERG London is just what you need. By combining a viewpoint from the air plus one standing on the street, this gives you Manhattan in a totally new dimension. An impressive one, if you ask me. There were limited prints available for sale, when Here & There was presented in 2009. Since February 2012 Here & There is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Clean design and maps go hand in hand. See these nice examples of FontMap: maps created by Richard Small, who graduated in Typography at University of Reading and now works as a communication designer at Sony. These maps have been a side hobby for him. Good news for us it that we can enjoy them also!