Did you ever just come across a blog, or a website, or even a Tweet, that captures your attention? Well, I recently came across Maptia and I was mesmerized. What is it? In the most general of terms, it is a collection and comparison of maps. Every day there’s another concept; another way to see the world. Actually, I’m not sure exactly all that Maptia is, but it sure is beautiful. I love exploring the website….
One Maptia project that caught my eye, involves collecting hand-drawn maps. It is called “The World As It Isn’t“:
From sketches on the back of a napkin to beautiful hand-illustrated posters, subjective and personal maps often convey the emotions and quirks of places much better than maps that aim for an accurate and objective portrayal of the world. Most maps are designed so that you can find your way and view the world as it is, but sometimes the most delightful and interesting maps are created when we use them to tell stories of the world as it isn’t.
With this in mind, today we are starting a new hand-drawn maps project called ‘The World As It Isn’t’ to explore and collect people’s unique perspectives on the places they know and love.
Here is one such hand-drawn map. It is of a Moroccan town called Taghazout.
Maptia is asking you to join in:
Step 1 | Imagine Your Place
It could be anywhere in the world, but ideally somewhere that you have a relationship with. Somewhere you feel at home, or somewhere something meaningful happened to you. Imagine yourself walking down a familiar path or at the beginning of a journey. What do you notice? What stands out for you? Are there any distinctive smells or interesting sounds? In short, what exists that you wouldn’t find on a traditional map?
Step 2 | Draw A Map
Put down a sheet of paper, pick up your pencil (or pen) of choice and begin. You might surprise yourself as your pencil sets sail across your paper, as you rediscover places you didn’t know were stored in the corners of your imagination. Fill the outlines of the map with the unique things that mean something to you. Tell your story of a place.
N.B. Prior experience is not necessary, neither is an extraordinary level of detail or coloured inks – you don’t have to draw Middle Earth. In fact, simpler maps often tell clearer and more interesting stories. Feel free to use the back of a napkin or ‘mapkin’ (please excuse the pun) and sketch your map in just five minutes. What matters is that it represents your perspective of the place, your personal geography.
Step 3 | Send it Over
Done? Now scan or photograph your map along with a description (this can be anything from a couple of words to a fully fledged story) then send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet it to @Maptia.
So, what does your world look like?