Map Couture

Abi Page pointed us at these stunning dresses made from mappy fabrics which appeared on Women’s Art site and twitter.

Susan Stockwell, Empire Dress, 2005, Victorian style dress made from maps of the British Isles to highlight issues of Colonialism, communication and global power relations #womensart

Malena Libman

Yesterday the open source and open data geo communities were devastated by the tragic news of the passing of our friend and colleague Malena Libman. There was an outpouring of grief and celebration of her zest for life, humour, warmth and contribution to open geo.

Jody Garnett posted this picture of Malena’s tattoo which is truly a Map in the Wild today.

I met Malena in 2018 in Dar es Salaam for FOSS4G, the first time you met her you knew that she was something different, a force of nature. She wanted some advice about chairing a global FOSS4G event because she had a plan to host FOSS4G in Buenos Aires in 2021, by the end of the conference she had convinced me to advise her.

I’m struggling to find the words to express how tragic it is that Malena will not be with us to celebrate FOSS4G 2021 but I know that her co-chair and close friend Maria Aria de Reyna and the rest of the organising team will make this a special event to celebrate her memory.


We have seen a lot of maps as art since we started Mappery, but when Arnaud showed me these maps by Ed Fairburn I was blown away.

I reached out to Ed who gave me some great images and a little explanation of the images.

“‘Edgware’ (above) utilises the road layout of the map, with the aim of preserving the shape of the network of roads and streets, by working in the spaces between. The idea is to compliment the general composition created by the network”

BTW, I lived in Edgware as a kid nav the north west corner of the map.

‘Fountains Earth’ is a prime example of the technique which I’ve coined as ‘topopointillism’ – a direct combination of topography, and pointillism. Like any kind of pointillism, the perception of the subject will change depending on how closely the work is viewed. At close range, the viewer is unlikely to see the portrait, but will see the map details – when viewed from a distance, it’s the other way around. Lines of elevation are used as the pattern base, or vehicle for the subject. Line widths and proximity to one another are altered to create a tonal range. 

‘Denver Southbound’ broadly combines the above two techniques – it uses lines of elevation, but also the very small spaces between the streets of Denver, as an area for crosshatching. 

This is some of the most amazing map art that I have seen and I am certainly going to be buying something from Ed. His online shop is here.