One of the latest additions to my map collection at home: this Leesbaar Amsterdam map of Amsterdam. Created by Yolanda Huntelaar, Louis Stiller and Erik Nieuwenhuis, this map guides you through the city through quotes from literature, poems and songs. It’s cleverly designed showing you streets, water, parks etc filled up with quotes that actually match the location on the map perfectly. It is possible to wander through literature by simply looking at the map. Or, to stroll down the streets of your city and learn more about authors or singers with a strong connection to your own neighbourhood.
And after the big success of the literary map of Amsterdam, the map of Bergen will be presented this weekend. Bergen is a small town in the Netherlands with a very rich local history filled with authors and poets. So, if you like literature and maps, this might be a perfect gift for you. Best to be combined with a trip to Amsterdam and/or Bergen of course, so this could be your perfect excuse for a city trip! You’re welcome.
Well, since the holidays are only 1 nod away (at least it feels like it when autumn kicks in) I thought it could be useful to help you with some map inspired gift ideas. We’re starting off with this beautiful book just published in Oxford: ‘Treasures from the Map room’. I know from first hand that the map room of the Bodleian Libraries holds some very beautiful treasures, such as the awesome map below (I wrote my thesis on cartoon maps during my masters programme in Oxford).
But, lets get back to the wishlist for the holidays this year. Check out this beautiful publication, edited by Debbie Hall. You might want to add this to your personal wishlist!
This is a great invention. Dénes Sátor, a design student from Hungary, was inspired by globes and created this egg-shaped map. If you squeeze the map it pops out and shows you details of the city of Budapest. So, if you are stressed out about finding your way around Budapest, this map could be of assistance in two ways: reducing your stress levels and showing you the right way! Great thinking.
Look at this. Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology, developed this NUKEMAP: the map shows the impact of nuclear detonation. NUKEMAP uses Google Maps info: you can select any location in the world. Also you can use presets such as detonations from the past (either pick that location or yield -in kilotons-. Imagine what the Hiroshima explosion would do to your hometown. Impressive to see, plus it is an interesting use of maps to visualise information.
The map screen shots below show:
1. The impact of the Little Boy (used in Hiroshima 70 years ago) on Amsterdam
2. The impact of the W-78 (in the current US arsenal) on New York
Looking for a website with a lot of mappy options in one place: try visiting Wallpapered.com. Obviously there are more websites where you can order wallpapers, but these guys really understand the beauty and awesomeness of maps. And we like that at MATC HQ! You can order various ‘standard’ map wallpapers, but you can also request information about a custom made map wallpaper, for instance with a map of your own city or region.
I’ve entered my information to request more information about a custom map wallpaper with specific measurements, and the quick reply I got seems prove of their high service level. The only thing left for me to do is figure out what map to choose and to convince my boyfriend we should really add some map wallpaper to our home.. Wish me luck!
And here’s a preview of the website when you request more information about your specific map:
Have you ever seen these maps by Emily Garfield? These are maps of imaginary places (and, also of existing cities). The structure of the drawings is ‘inspired by the visual language of maps and the fractal similarity that cities share with biological processes such as the patterns of cells and neurons’. I am really not an expert in biological processes but I immediately see what she means. And I love them: these seem to be cities you want to wander around en get lost in. Enjoy your (imaginary) city trip this Sunday afternoon!
Here at Maps and the City, we are a huge fan of map inspired fashion. Look at this great example: this scarf is Dutch design by Studio Geanne. The design is called ‘Ingepolderd’, paying tribute to the Dutch habit of impoldering (creating polders). The fabric is produced in California and the scarfs are made in the Dutch city The Hague.
Looking for something new in your interior? What about these great cushions by B/aR, by Dutch graphic designer Barbara Smit. Various maps of the Netherlands (for example maps of the water, forest or construction density) form the base for these colourful cushions. Check out her website for more info. I think they are a great addition of some map fun in your interior without going completely map nut.
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”