This map is painted on a wall next to a petrol station in Redlands CA. Originally painted in the 1950s and recently restored. I pass it almost every day and love it. What particularly impresses me is that it’s right reading. When you’re stood looking at the wall you’re pretty much facing east. So the map is oriented that way too. East is at the top. You look left and see the mountains and that’s north. Any map in a public space should be oriented correctly. North is not always up!
I went to the Tolkien exhibition at the Bodlian Library in Oxford to see the amazing maps that he had drawn as both illustrations and planning for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Photography was banned but on the way out I spotted this massive tapestry map hanging in the lobby area.
“The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Worcester was created around 1590, one of four such tapestry maps commissioned by Ralph Sheldon. The map is woven in wool and silk. As a concept, these tapestry maps were unique in England, nothing else of this cartographic nature had been created at the time. The map content is almost certainly derived from the county maps of Christopher Saxon (1574-79)” – abbreviated notes from the Bodleian Library
During the UK Mapping Festival Ken organised an excursion to Bellerby and Co’s globe making workshop in Stoke Newington for a small group of map geeks. Peter Bellerby gave us a tour of the workshop, explained some of the processes involved in making these magnificent globes whilst trying not to give away the secret sauce that makes a Bellerby globe so special. Cartographers will be fascinated by the decisions that have to be taken to fit content and labels onto a globe.
Every globe is made by hand, carefully balanced and hand coloured. They take weeks of painstaking work to complete which explains the cost, a massive globe like the Churchill above costs of over £70k! If anyone is wondering what to buy for the map lover who has almost everything …
Seen hanging on the wall at the Four Points Sheraton in Bangor, Maine was this delightful elephant bust featuring a historic map. I liked it so much I went and bought one myself, though mine obviously had a historic map of London. You can buy one too…from Cardboard Safari.
posted by Ken
The nugget of the idea for Mappery occurred to us (well, Steven actually) during our Safari in Tanzania in 2018 (see About). But what’s a blog or website without a logo? It seemed obvious to me. We were seeing literally hundreds of magnificent elephants during our trip. Herds of them or parades of them if you prefer…I like thinking of the collective noun as a parade of elephants. And some, extremely close up. And, of course, the elephant is, to our knowledge, the only animal whose form mirrors its location. African elephants’ ears are roughly shaped like the continent of Africa. The smaller Indian elephant also has geo-located ears that mirror its range. They are shaped like the country of India itself.
So the Mappery logo was born – a rough, hand drawn logo of an African elephant to honour the magnificent animals we witnessed on safari, with the shape of Africa for its ears.