Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Tip My Tiara to You Other Map Crazy Bloggers

Call me myopic. Na├»ve. Unsophisticated. Or just your every day, average Baltimoron who cares more than anything, first and foremost, over and above, about ME and where I live. Charm City. The Monumental City. The City That Reads. The Greatest City in America. And I want my blog to reflect ME. I’ve been trying to make my posts have some Baltimore connection. I figured that would be a little different.

But, I know that there is a bigger, blogger world out there. So here are a couple of blogs I like and regularly check out. Now YOU check ‘em out. And tell them all that Her Majesty of Maps sent ya. -- the main man! -- yeah, it’s a company and not a person but it’s way cool. -- some neat-o stuff. -- more words then images but interesting nonetheless -- hmmmm, thoughtful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baltimore is a Mappy Place!

I’m discovering that Baltimore is a hotbed of mapping resources. I go to check out some
little-known neighborhood – I get a map. I’m not talking about some yellow pages map showing pizza places (all bad!) or Chinese food delivery (always late!) within five blocks of my abode, or some googled satellite picture of someplace I’ve been. I mean neat, unique maps of interesting stuff. For instance, I go to check out some neighborhood I just heard of, and I get a map -- the city version has a lot more detail). I’m trying to figure out what city district I live in (yes, I am that kind of geek) – voila, a map (albeit, not a very specific one, although this is pretty cool for other information). A bunch of people have told me about this – plotting crime in the city (although I’m not sure that much of the crime was, indeed, plotted.) The Sun is also doing that with more detail. And while I was looking for subway and Light rail routes, I found just what every 21st century gal needs – a map of streetcar routes from 1895!

Yeah yeah yeah… I know there are lots of other cool local maps out there – interactive, documenting the weird and the bizarre. I’ve seen some but certainly not all. Tell me which ones you like. I’ll keep posting them here. There. Everywhere.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Show of Hands, Please?

After traveling over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving, I was content to spend Black Friday on the couch. But, as luck would have it, I saw a picture in the Weekend Arts section of the New York Times that floored me.

It’s a picture of a map made on a glove…that’s right, a fashion accessory and a way-finding instrument all in one. It’s probably the missing link in how maps have taken over glove compartments all over the world…

Anyway, the map is actually very cool in that it’s a map of London that was created for the first modern world’s fair – the Great Exhibition – held in 1851. Festival organizers thought the out-of-towners coming to the fair would be of the glove-wearing middle and upper classes—and what better way to show them the rest of the city than putting it all in their hands?

You’ll be able to see the actual glove at the Walters this spring, but until then check out these other apparel-related map links.

Is this is pile of clothes, or a clever mapper?

Here is a French artist who makes clothes from maps…

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Map o’ Leonardo’s

Ok, so here’s the scoop: There’s going to be an exhibit that will open at the Walters Art Museum here in Charm City in March that’s all about maps. Naturally, I can’t contain myself, and I’m going to share things with you as I find them out.

The exhibition is called Maps: Finding Our Place in the World, and will have tons of rare and important maps that people like me freak out about. The exhibition’s going to have maps from ancient Rome, Benjamin Franklin, JRR Tolkien, and even Leonardo da Vinci.

I know when most people think of Leonardo they think of the Mona Lisa or Dan Brown’s book, or at worst, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

While its true that he is best known as an inventor and painter, turns out he was also an accomplished surveyor and mapmaker. His 1502 map of northern Italy illustrates his groundbreaking idea to use color to indicate changes in elevation, and when the exhibition opens, you’ll be able to see that 500 year old masterpiece up close!

Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s on loan from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II? Apparently, yours truly isn’t the only Majesty of Maps.

If you want to learn about more cool stuff that Leonardo did, you can check out these sites:

Leonardo da Vinci’s 10 Best Ideas

Leonardo da Vinci Blog

Maps by Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, November 19, 2007

At first I thought it was just me. I love maps. When I have nothing else to read, I pick up an atlas, turn to a random page and figure out which route I would take from Point A to Point B. At a bookstore, I'm drawn to the section with guidebooks - not because I've ever been to Prague or Mozambique but because it's neat to see where landmarks are located. I'm the gal who will draw detailed maps rather than recite directions, and whose little attic is filled with maps from Chicago and London and Cecil County --places I haven't been to in years but whose maps I wouldn't dare discard.

And then there's the Internet. Don't get me started! My bookmarks are filled with obscure sites devoted to maps. I threw a party when Google Maps was launched. I'm up late into the night checking out mash-ups and round-ups.

And guess what I discovered? I'm not alone. We ALL love maps. When I tell people what weird unique map site I discovered, they've been there too. When someone introduces me to a new acquaintance as "Her Majesty of Maps," the response is often, "Oh, do you know..." --someone else who gladly gawks at graphic guides. I may have run out of new websites to check out local food or people who drive the same car as me, but I have yet to run out of new map-related websites. I may have read all of William Trevor's novels or listened to every NIN CD or made every recipe on made with marshmallows and chili peppers...but I never run out of maps to peruse because there are so many of us putting stuff out there.

So here's my contribution to our little community of map friends and map fiends, map finds and map features. Enjoy