maps

Archie’s Press’ Circular City Maps

Here’s another map I stumbled upon and loved, this week: Manhattan, as interpreted by Archie Archambault, a designer from Portland, Oregon.

Manhattan map, by Archie's Press

My eye was drawn toВ the clean lines and the simplicity of the circles. Plus, he did a nice job calling out most NYC neighborhoods. (Though he could have included my own little ‘hood, Hudson Heights, in that blank spot between 180th and 190th, between the river and Broadway!)

On his site, Archambault explains why he uses circlesВ in his maps:

New research indicates that GPS’s are hindering our ability to create mental maps of our surroundings. My maps aim to install a “Map from the Mind” for each city, simplifying structures and districts in the simplest terms. The circle, our Universe’s softest shape, is the clearest graphic to convey size & connection.

Archambault has also mapped San Fran, DC, Boston, PortlandВ and many other cities. See them all on his Etsy shop.

(Image viaВ Archie’s Press; found via Pinterest)

Spotify’s Awesome Serendipity Map

I got such a kick out of this Spotify project: Serendipity is a digital map that displays instances in which one song was played by two people, anywhere in the world, within one-tenths of a second.

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The songs aren’t being played in real time. (That would be so much cooler.) But they were culled from a recent one-hour period, so it’s indicative of what’s happening around the world, at any given time.

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Most songs are, not surprisingly, current pop hits: lots of Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Ariana Grande.

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But there are also some throwbacks, like Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova.”

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I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve clicked on a random song—usually some 80s or 90s jam I can’t get out of my head—and wondered whether anyone else in the world was also listening to the same thing, at the same time. Now I know that chances are, someone may have been.

(Screen grabs viaВ Serendipity)

A National Parks Checklist Map

When I was growing up, national parks weren’t really on my radar. I come from a very-NYC family—i.e. not outdoorsy—and our summer vacations usually involved relaxing on an east coast beach, rather than hiking trails.

And as I got older, I preferred to spend my vacation days exploring new countries rather than stateside attractions.

But over the past few years, I’ve found myself wanting to visit more national parks. I’m astounded by the diverse landscapes that exist in this country—everything from beaches to volcanoes, mountains to deserts. I’ve started to make up for lost time by visiting some, like the Grand Canyon, Acadia, Volcanoes National Park.

I’d like to see many more. Which is why I’m loving this National Parks Checklist Map by ElloThere, an awesome, Brooklyn-based, husband-and-wife design team.

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The map shows all the national parks, which are denoted by numbered green trees.

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It comes with numbered gold tree stickers—so after you visit one, you can mark it off.

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A cool whimsical extra: The map also comes with a little explorer’s patch!

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I feel like I may need to plan a national park trip soon…

(Images via Ello There)

New Orleans-Themed Toms

I don’t often blog about products, but I couldn’t resist posting about these Toms. The design is a map of New Orleans.

NATURAL TOMS X MAKE IT RIGHT WOMEN'S CLASSICS

You know how much I love maps. And Toms are pretty much the only shoes I wear.

This particular pair is a collaboration between Toms and Make It Right, a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt to build affordable, LEED Platinum certified homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward—which never fully recovered from Katrina.

I visited New Orleans for the first time, a year and a half ago, and loved the city. I was only there for a few days, but didn’t go to the Ninth Ward. To be honest, I didn’t want to be one of those “disaster tourists” who gawk at places hit by unfortunate events.

I would like toВ see the Make It Right houses, on my next trip, though. Some, like this one, are designed by firms based in New Orleans…

Waggoner and Ball Architects are located in New Orleans and designed this home.

…or nearby Baton Rouge.

Trahan Architects are based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and designed this home.

Others were designed by architects from Tokyo…

Shigeru Ban Architects are based in Tokyo, Japan and designed this home.

…and Ghana.

Constructs Architects are based in Accra, Ghana and designed this home.

Frank Gehry’s firm designed one, too.

Frank Gehry and Partners are based in Los Angeles, California and designed this duplex home.

At first, I was jarred at how starkly modern these homes are. I especially loved New Orleans’ historic architecture, and these houses seem to contrast so much. But after looking at the photos a few times, I could see design elements often found inВ more traditional NOLA homes—slatted wood, vibrant colors, porches.

Either way, Make It Right’s mission is undoubtedly rooted in good. I’m reserving my final opinion on the homes’ aestheticsВ for when I see them in person. 😉

(AndВ here’s one more pair of travel-worthy TomsВ I stumbled across.)

(Images via Toms and Make It Right)

Modern World Map

Speaking of fernweh, fewer things stoke mine more than maps of the world. (Last week, I went to LA for work. I spent half of the 6.5 hour ride there zooming in on different places on the map on my seatback screen.)

Recently, I stumbled upon this Modern World Map.

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Though not all the countries are labled, just looking at it is enough to get theВ fernweh flowing.

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I especially love the gold and aqua color scheme—so cheery, yet soothing, especially in the midst of thisВ endlessВ winter!

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(Images via These Are Things)

Runways of the World

This is pretty astounding.

Using data from ourairports.com, James Davenport,В a Ph.D. candidate in astronomy at the University of Washington, plotted the locations of 45,132 runways around the world. The result: a map of the world.В (I know it’s a little hard to see, so please click on the image to view the high res version.)

airports of the world

As Davenport puts it:

Think about that number for a moment: there areВ at leastВ 45,000 places to land an airplane!В These range from small dirt fields to LAX, and the data seems to be more complete in the USA. Still, runways on every continent, seemingly every country.

Incredible!

I wholeheartedly agree.

(Image by James Davenport)

Subway Maps You Can Wear on Your Wrist

This is genius.

When Tiffany Burnette was researching women who travel solo, for her master’s project, sheВ stumbled upon one voyager’s gripe: Having to pull out a map to navigate the NYC subway—thus clearly branding herself a tourist. Inspired, Tiffany came up with a simple and stylish solution: subway maps embossed on cuff bracelets. While wearing them, female travelers can navigate a transit system with a discreet glance at the wrist.

So far, her company, designhype, has cuffs for NYC

nyc metro cuff

London

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Paris

paris metro cuff

…as well as Milan, Berlin, Chicago and Brooklyn.

As a woman who’s often traveled solo, I can attest to how many times I could have used these! One safety measure I always take when traveling alone is to look like I know where I’m going. And nothing blows your cover more than when you have to study a subway map, whip out a guidebook or consult your smartphone—if you’re in a place where you even get service. These cuffs could have helped me out in several cities.

Plus, I love how the bracelets are very understated, so you wouldn’t be flashing around expensive-looking jewelry. I actually just want the NYC one to wear every day!

Here’s to hoping city map cuffs will be designhype’s next project!

(Photos via designhype; found via Scoutmob)

P.S. — I had an amazing time onВ EleutheraВ and I’m looking forward to posting about it, in a few days!