I’m finishing up a very neat book called You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination that was a Christmas present (which could explain why I haven’t written anything here in so long due to a lack of time). It’s written by Katharine Harmon of Tributary Books and I’m having a great time exploring it.
I first realized that I loved maps when I worked for a summer in a library many years ago. There was a map room which was filled with neat maps and I was lucky enough to be able to design some maps for the library. I didn’t know much about maps or design, but being in a library I was able to look up some stuff. I wanted to use symbols for the map so I look around and found a book of symbols that I used for the map. These were in the days before more visually oriented computers (and in the early days of the Mac before I had used one) so I photocopied and typed and pasted things together to make things. Now I have access to tools to make all sorts of graphics and maps and I don’t have time to do it…but I do have to right, so that’s what I’m doing now.
The book has over 100 maps that tell more about the people who made them than the places they describe. It’s a great way to think about mapping in a different way from simply describing the physical or geographical arrangements of things on the surface of the earth. It also reveals the amazing creativity and distinctive ways of looking and thinking about things that exist. It makes me think about my perception of the world in a different way.