Cherry Saturday, November 23, 2018

This is Map Reading Week.

I love maps, especially maps in books.  

There’s something about drawing out the image of a place too big to see that makes the world seem manageable, even if it’s fictional.  Especially the ones with dragon warnings.

But the ones that really fascinated me are the 3D versions.

To this day, I’d rather look at a paper map than use GPS.  

I love maps.

26 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, November 23, 2018

  1. Who doesn’t, all the fancy illustrations of mermaids and sea creatures alone make them worth reading.

    If you like maps the Vatican Map room is so beautiful

  2. I love maps too. When they’re included in books, I keep my finger in the spot so I can go back and review as I read through. (This works for both fiction and nf books.) When I was a teacher I liked to put up maps in the classroom as part of my decor.

      1. The maps are usually in jpg, or tif, or png format, and won’t rescale the way text will. It’s what makes an ebook version of Egyptian hieroglyphs so exasperating, they are also image formats and also won’t scale, which makes it a challenge to try to distinguish one of about fifty-six bird images — you can tell the birds standing from the ones flying from the ones roasted on a platter, but that’s about it. Undoubtedly the same with other non-Roman alphabet works such as cuneiform (Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic are usually in font form, happily). Oh, well.

  3. I keep seeing ‘The Writer’s Map: An atlas of imaginary lands’ by Huw Lewis-Jones in bookshops. I must look at it properly, but I’ve been fancying it as a Christmas present.

    I love my subscription to the Ordnance Survey. £20 a year gives me large-scale mapping, showing footpaths, field boundaries, springs, archaeological sites, etc., for the whole of Britain. If I’m going exploring in the hills, where there’s no mobile signal, I download that area and then GPS pinpoints me on the map. Which is very helpful when the path isn’t visible on the ground, and there are bogs and ravines to avoid. Of course, I also carry my paper version, annotated with my research and observations. I’m a mapaholic.

  4. I too am a map lover. GPS is fine for getting from Point A to Point B in the most efficient manner, but it doesn’t tell me where I am on the earth, in the town, whatever. When I travel, I make a point of studying paper maps so I can translate the layout of wherever I’m visiting into my head. It’s only then that the GPS makes sense.

  5. My publisher had a map of the farmers’ market included in the farmers’ market series, at least in part because the editor needed it to keep the various locations in the book straight and make sure that my words matched what was in my head. It’s a lot nicer than the one I drew to help the editor! You can see it in the Look Inside at Amazon, although you have to scroll up, because otherwise the excerpt will start at chapter one, and the map is right above there.

  6. Every day I see this map of films hubby has as poster. When guests come, they always find it fun to peruse.

    It is ironic that hubby has this poster because for real places, he likes gps-types and e-maps. Whereas I prefer paper maps and often print out routes we need so I can enlarge the view when travelling. Drives him nuts. But I’m okay with that. It’s a potato potato (patato) kind of thing:)

  7. My boss once said to me, “don’t you have a map in your head?” to which I replied NO!!!!!” maps and physical locations have very little to do with each other in my experiential universe. I know how to get places in my town, but looking at a map of it just confuses me. I do like them for longer trips though – it is nice to know which freeway you want.

    1. Me too! I can’t picture shit in my head as to where you are, what the street names are, or how to get from here to there when I can’t see there. So maps aren’t really something I can read and use.

      I do have a friend whose job is working with maps though so she loves them.

      1. That souns really strange. Although there are some places that mysteriously defeat me: Liverpool when I was a teenager, probably because you spiral round as you come up out of the Mersey tunnel; and Venice when I lived there for a coupke of months in my gap year – it’s just a maze.

  8. A couple years ago, my son gave me a fascinating book for Christmas: Miscellany of Curious Maps by Martin Vargic. It is a large picture book that includes such maps of the world as a map of stereotypes, a map of natural disasters, a map of internet search engines (already defunct), a map of Nobel prizes, a map of tractor distributions, and so on. A truly curious book. Very beautiful too.

  9. I used to draw maps for the places on stories I loved. Like maps of Narnia. I’d forgotten that until just now.

    Thanks for making those memories surface, Jenny!

  10. I was shocked to see Genua, which always sounded like a bustling and cosmipolitan city, probably culturally superior to Ankh-Morpork, stuck off in a corner somewhere with very little around it. This caused me to look up Discworld maps on Google images, and then Google maps (because, why not?).

    Nothing on any other maps seemed to support my mental image of Genua, which I stubbornly continue to hold in my heart of hearts, but I was surprised to find there is a shop in a town called Wincanton, which is south of Bristol and somewhat near Salisbury. That shop is called the Discworld Emporium, and it looks to have lots and lots of Discworldabilia. Which made me start wondering if Terry Pratchett himself might have lived in that neck of the woods (well, neck of the chalky grasslands would be more like it).

    Do any of you know that?

    1. Just looked it up for you: he lived in Broad Chalke, west of Salisbury in Wiltshire; Wincanton’s 40 minutes’ drive further west, in Somerset. Although they did live in Somerset earlier on, according to Wikipedia. I shouldn’t have thought geography that significant for the shop’s location – or at least, I’m sure it’s important for them to be near potential customers, but not particularly to be near where Pratchett lived.

  11. First: Yes, I love maps in books and maps on the screen and old Gulf folding maps with routes marked in highlighter.

    Second: Maps in books are wonderful because ANY illustration (there are, of course, exceptions) enhances the reading of any book. I’ve mentioned loving the Wearing the Cape series by M. Harmon. Volume 1 was re-issued with illustrations, and I wanted to put words to OMG. John Ringo wrote a series, Legacy of the Aldenata (aliens invade earth. It’s a meme and a trope and his was different) The maps in his books were mostly battle maps, with squares for positions and arrows and all that. LOVED it. The maps in Bujold’s Sharing Knife series are glorious!

    Third: Ebook maps. Okay, my Kindle Fire (I named it Joe) is big enough to make out a little detail. I also do Kindle for PC on my 23″ screen, which helps. Sometimes I cheat, and further deponent sayeth naught. OTOH, with the proper cable, I can use my TV to read. Third hand, it’s a 24″ TV, so not much advantage there (but the rest of you have big screens, right?)

    Fourth. Google Maps and Google Earth. Yay?!? If I don’t already know how to get there, that’s what MapQuest and Google are for.

    Fifth. Roadmaps. When I was a kid, I was The Navigator. Why? Because I was the one, the only one in my family, that didn’t get carsick from reading while moving. I was obsessed. I could tell you how far between the town we were passing through to the next town, what interesting sights were noted on our route, anything. I was obsoleted by interstates, but not until I was on my own anyway.

    Last. I don’t navigate anymore. When I take my daughter to dinner tomorrow, she won’t navigate either – her car has GPS and she is susceptible to motion sickness, and I don’t text, read maps, make phone calls or anything that distracts from driving – too many close calls. But I google it before e go, so yay maps!

    1. I used to map-read, too, but partly because I’d be sitting in the front, because I’d feel queasy in the back. But it helped to justify my position, since neither my mother nor my brother were any good at it. Luckily, it only required me to glance at the map and then back at the road. Dad, of course, was driving – and required quite a lot of his navigator, since he was good with maps too.

  12. I like to make maps, which is good since it is a large part of my job, but I’m not a big map groupie. Alot of the people I work with have lots of maps and globes decorating their offices. I still have my usual flowers and sheep.

    1. I’ve immediately got a romantic vision of you drawing beautiful picture maps with a fine pen. Probably adding colour washes. I really fancy a job like that.

      1. I hate to ruin the image but the job is much more prosaic and all computer based. Since I work the military, it is not even very creative, just functional.
        The appeal to me is much the same as solving a puzzle. And I get to make people happy, most are very grateful for functional maps.

  13. When our children were small before they turned into dreaded teenagers we took a month’s long vacation from the east coast to the west coast and used AAA’s Trip Tic. It mapped out the route with a red marker in a spiral notebook from Massachusetts to California and back. Some highway and some back roads for side trips. From sites like Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and my husband’s choice for us to see The Big Rock Candy Mountain. We went along the northern route going out and the southern route returning seeing as much as we could squash in. I don’t know if AAA still makes these maps but it worked before GPS.

  14. I love maps and I’m fascinated by mapaholics, mapaphobics, intentional wanderers, perennial get lost-ers, and the lot. I think placing oneself in space is a basic part of one’s character.

    Someday I want to write a story about a (medieval) girl who imagines maps which then come into being, with raised mountains and such. (The premise doesn’t work — Westerners didn’t picture the world in that way until much later.)

    A reference (but not a reading book) is The Lost Art of Finding Our Way. It’s not something I enjoyed reading, but I liked the bits about how people orient themselves in space.

  15. The American Geographical Society is housed at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and has fantastic materials. During a recent open house I got to see an original “here be monsters” map, a world map drawn on animal skin in the 1400s, globes dating back hundreds of years…stuff that gave me goosebumps and caused me to bring my husband back later that day.

    At the same time, I am so grateful for GPS; I inherited my mom’s sense of direction, and since she had none…

  16. I love maps and I’m always delighted when there’s one included in a book! And along the same lines, I enjoy a family tree diagram also, when it fits with the story.


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