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Maps (the non-digital variety)

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 29 November 2012.
Planet PHP

Maps (the non-digital variety)

London, UK Thursday, November 29th 2012, 13:00 GMT

As you probably know, I am pretty much into OpenStreetMap and digital maps. I have always found (paper) maps, and different visualisations fascinating. I found myself at London GeoMob last Thursday where I encountered two types of non-digital, non-paper maps.

The first one, was a 1800s style rendering of London from Wellingtons Travel - fully hand-drawn. I found them quite beautiful, and would be happy to have one on my wall. Some pictures that I took of it are here:

I am even more excited about a second project: SplashMaps. At some point you probably have been in a situation where you were out and about walking somewhere in a city or the country and you had to find your way. In cities you can often ask people and/or get our your phone, but that doesn't cut it when you are on some remote hill in Scotland. You need a paper map (for more than one reason!). And of course, it is always raining (we're in Scotland after all!). Ordnance Survey will sell you laminated Explorer Maps for this, which have saved me quite a few times. However, they are bulky and the place that you are looking for is either always on a fold, or on the opposite site of the map!

At GeoMob a solution showed up in the form of SplashMaps-they are basically a map printed on cloth, water-proof, but you can still use a marker to mark out your route, wash it, and it is good as new again. Here is a picture of one of their prototypes of the New Forest:

The maps are specifically made with walking and cycling (in national parks) in mind, so it has all the features that are important: paths, bike repair shops, bogs and pubs (and a lot more!). They are currently running a funding round on KickStarter and I would urge you to check them out. I have backed the project and looking forwards to getting my maps for my favourite parks... I do need to think about which ones they are!