Maps are great, but boy, can they be boring! Those of us who are left-brain challenged often struggle to even read a map, let alone get anywhere using one. Here are some good alternatives, making use of artists who can make maps more interesting! We’ll end with a few gifts, made from recycled maps (the boring ones!) Also read how to find your way (without GPS).
An Atlas of Extinct Countries is a beautifully illustrated and timely history of countries that no longer exist. Countries die. Sometimes it’s murder, sometimes by accident. And sometimes because they were so ludicrous, they should not have existed in the first place. Occasionally they explode violently. A few slip away almost unnoticed. Often the cause of death is either ‘got too greedy’ or ‘Napoleon turned up’. Now and then, they just hold a referendum and vote themselves out of existence.
This is an atlas of nations, that fell off the map. The polite way of writing an obituary: dwell on the good bits, gloss over the embarrassing stuff. This book is borderline nonsensical with life stories of the sadly deceased involving a catalogue of chancers, racists, racist chancers, conmen, madmen, people trying to get out of paying tax, mistakes, likes, stupid schemes and General Idiocy.
An Atlas of Vanishing Places looks at how the world would look, if rivers and seas had not shifted the landscapes around them. What about cities that lie forgotten, under the dust of newly settled land. Voyage to all corners of the world in search of ancient seats of power and long-forgotten civilizations – from the Mayan city of Palenque to the mystery of a disappeared Japanese islet.
And uncover the incredible hidden sites like the submerged Old Adaminaby, once abandoned but slowly emerging. Includes beautiful maps and stunning colour photography. A fascinating guide to lost lands, the fragility of our relationship with the world around us.
Lap Maps are hand-drawn fun maps for various areas of England. These are how maps should be! These won’t get buried in the glovebox, each one features a fun map by Colin Shelbourn with tourist information including walks and places to visit. But instead of boring lines and squiggly bits, these have phrases like ‘mind the road here, it’s a bit hairy!) and diagrams to show how fit you have to be, to climb various hills etc!
This Map Bunting is made from old maps, that would otherwise go to landfill. The great thing about bunting is that it’s a nice wildlife-friendly alternative for celebrations, to balloons and fire lanterns, both of which harm wildlife.