Map Project

“Every map is someone’s way of getting you to look at the world his or her way.
Lucy Fellowes

So, for this task I have to create a map. But not some ordinary map, it has to be some special map, related somehow to me. It can be geographical ot political map, cultural or personal, or maybe some psychogeographical map. The essential part here is that my map has to express my experience at the University for the first three weeks. Well, it sounds very complicated, because yes, everything is new for me, not only the University, but also this way of thinking. I’ve never made something like this before and I really don’t know how to convey my experience through map. So, probably I need a serious research for this project and I will upload part of it here.

A study and practice of making maps is called cartography. It is a complicated process, combining science, aesthetics and technique. The first maps were manually constructed with brushes and parchment, but now contemporary atlases can be made of almost everything and especially, they can be created through modern specialized software. That allows present maps to be more precise and intriguing.

This is the first interesting map which I found. That is a part of a collection of strange maps of Frank Jacobs. This drawing is named “Really, Miss Henderson!”. Although the author likes maps, he thinks that most ot them are too boring and predictable. So, he collects all kind of strange maps, not only real, but also fictional. And this atlas is a great example. That is a part of a children’s adventurous book from 1945.

There are few reasons which make me feel impressed by this map. First, I like it because it’s simple. There are just some drawing without even colours and they are very simple, only outlines. Second, this map carries extremely positive message, actually it’s a funny message, very appropriate for children, but not only. In my opinion, it can be appreciated equally by a child and by a mature person. And the third reason – I love this little signs next to each image. Obviously, there are needless. When you have a drawn duck, you don’t need a label “a duck” near to it, but in this case I think all these labels perfectly add the whole picture.

So, I don’t think this map is strange indeed. I find it curious, impressive and funny, especially because of these little humorous details.

This map has surprised me. Actually, this is “Solving Global Warming Infographic”. The sad face in the centre is our Earth and all branches and arrows show us what we can do to not cause this to our planet. Well, everybody talks from time to time about Global Warming, how dangerous is that and what we can do to stop it. Each person cares and at the same time doesn’t care. People know it’s important, but nobody likes serious subjects indeed. Therefore, in my view, this map is excellent instrument to pay human’s attention. That is a fun and child-like graphic picture for a very serious issue. And it’s again just a simple drawing with signs and messages and I like that because this is the best way to remember something. You know how when people don’t want to forget something, they put sticky notes over their desk or refrigerator. Well, this map reminds me something like this indeed.

This is one very interesting map of London, generated by Eric Fisher. He made this atlas using geotagged photographs from public servers as Flickr and Picasa. He shows where these photos were taken and whether photographers are local people or tourists.

“Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).

Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).

Yellow points are pictures where it can’t be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist” – Eric Fischer

Very interesting idea and good way of expression. This map looks as a huge network between different people.

So, this map is again as map of a fairy tail and again there are some simple drawing of objects (for example image of a rose over “Shrewsbury” or a wolf head next to “Wenlock”). I love that there are a lot of symbols. And I like the type too. When I see this map, I really feel as if I’m lost in some enchanted old forest. I love tales.

And again I found one very simple and very clear map. There is no need more explanations or signs. It is shown the main roads and the main buildings, but again with cartoons. The picture is interesting because of the drawn places. But here I think there is a little problem, because the atlas is big and the houses are small and the labels too. So, it is impossible someone to read the signs when he or she looks the whole picture. It has to be zoomed in to be seen the details. But still in my opinion this map is impressive.

A symbolic map again. The drawings are very simple, but clear. It looks as if the paper is old which is common method, but still efective.

This map is incredible. Obviously, this is South America, but it’s expressed in one amazing way. This map is a part of a process how some artists turn the world of trash into art. This process is named “Artistic Recycling”. That is extremely inspiring way of mapping – to use garbage and to create art. And how can some person to see artistic media when he or she looks at trash?! This piece is titled “South America” and its author is Susan Stoskwell. It was made in 2000 out of used coffee filters stitched together. The three dimensional nature of the coffee filters gives this map an almost topographical feel.

Somehow it seems as a honey hive. And because of the different shades of brown colour it looks even more natural and as an atlas. There are and other examples of “Artistic Recycling”, but I think this is the most extraordinary part or at least is my favourite piece from this group. The idea is just brilliant – simple and very impressive at the same time.

This is another example of Frank Jacobs’ collection of strange maps. It’s titled “A Map of State Movies” and, obviously, provides an overview of state films. That means each movie has to be relevant to the concrete state in some way. For instance, it has to be set in said state or its location must be recognisable from. As a huge fan of cinema, I find this idea extremely exciting and particularly because I’ve already watched most of these films. “Dances with Wolves”, one great feature was shot in South Dakota in 1989. Everybody knows Dorothy, the farm girl from Kansas and “The Wizard of Oz”. “Robocop” is old, but very famous fiction-action film and the storyline has been developed in the near future in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan. Stephen King’s “Children of the corn” is a story for a boy preacher who goes to a town in Nebraska and gets all the children to murder every adult in town. ”Remember the Titans” which is one of my favourite films, “First Blood”, “Raising Arizona”, “No Country for Old Men” – all they are related somehow with the states. Honestly, this is my most admired map.

There is the same map, but for TV series. I didn’t upload it because I’m not so familiar with the American series. Besides the origin is this image with the films.

After my research I decided to examine my university. I remembered that there is a map of Mansion site of Avery Hill campus in one of the corridors near to the reception. So, I found it and took some pictures.

Looking this maps I became aware that this building has a weird structure. I said “weird”, but only because I don’t understand anything of architecture. In addition I realized that some places are already very familiar to me while others are totally unknown. So I chose my map to display my experience in this site and particularly to mark the rooms and halls which are well-known for me.

After that I took a walk with my sketchbook through entire building. I made some sketches how I see every place. Then I initialed each area with some sign, exactly as in tales’ maps.

I have to admit I like drawing maps very much and especially these with little signs, but unfortunately I’m not very good with pensil, so I’ll make my map using software.

My map is simple. It expresses my experience for the first weeks at my University. I used orange colour for the places which I visit mostly, green colour for the parts which I visit from time to time, blue colour for almost unknown areas and lilac for sections where I have never been. Obviously, I still don’t know well my university. I prefered to use this technique with signs, because visually it is remembered easier and because that is my way of expression. Besides I wanted to show where are my lectures. For example, in Tower building (I know very well this area) I have Typographic studies, Art and Design in Context classes and Photoshop lessons. Also in this part of the mansion is the canteen where I usually buy coffee or have lunch. After that there is a Workshop displayed by tools and TV Studio, then School Reception portrayed by sign for information. PC is symbol for Mansion Lab, books are indication for Library, plant marks the place for Winter Garden. “Group Work” label is for Common room, music note is for Music room and the last section is South Studio where I have Graphic Design Principles lessons every Friday. There are no other captions or labels deliberately.

Well, that is my map and also my humble experience at University of Greenwich so far.


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