Map on a wall

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!

The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Worcestershire

The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Worcester was created around 1590. It now hangs in the Bodleian Library

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

Going global

One heck of a lot of globes

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.

A Churchill “aka massive” 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 …

Hand painting a globe

 

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro
Maps in the wilderness
As you exit the Serengeti Nature Reserve heading south you enter a wilderness containing the Ngorongoro Crater and game reserve. This map stands in the middle of nowhere helping you to orientate yourself. Ken Field recognised a couple of carto artefacts that indicated the map had been made with Esri software (give away default settings).
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Map
A man and a map in the wilderness

UK Cheese Map

A UK shaped cheese board loaded with over 20 regional cheeses – by Kenneth Field
Our first “Map in the Wild” because, well just because. GeoMob is a London based meet up group for geo geeks run by Ed Freyfogle. At the end of the UK Mapping Festival, Ken Field presented the UK Cheese Map, an exquisite carved cheese board in the of the UK with over 20 regional cheeses positioned over their places of origin. Ken carted the cheese board from California and arranged for over 20 cheeses to be shipped to his brother’s home and then down to London in time for GeoMob. I’d call that out as an incredible example of dedication to Mappery! BTW 60-70 geeks scoffed all f the cheese.
Ken Field (wearing a map waistcoat) takes a selfie of his UK Cheese Map

The Mappery logo

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.