hand drawn maps
April 30, 2010 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Hand Drawn Maps "These humble maps can be beautiful. They can also be messy, indecipherable, inaccurate, and unattractive ... The crucial advantage of the handmade map is that it is designed for a particular person confronting a particular task. " [via]
posted by dhruva (16 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

These are oddly compelling. Thanks for posting!
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:03 AM on April 30, 2010

Okay, can I just say that attempting the Al Franken trick is one of the best party games ever? As I completely flubbed the goddamn Four Corners (thanks a lot, Oregon), my dad proudly outlined both Kansas and East Kansas.
posted by Madamina at 8:10 AM on April 30, 2010

You want to really impress people, do the Al Franken trick on the bar's Etch-a-Sketch. While blind drunk.
posted by notsnot at 8:12 AM on April 30, 2010

This article is awesome.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:25 AM on April 30, 2010

The Hand Drawn Map Association.
posted by cashman at 8:31 AM on April 30, 2010

The Paris map was crude yet accurate. I've stayed in the "GAYS + JEWS" arrondissement before (4e, Marais).
posted by desjardins at 8:31 AM on April 30, 2010

I always loved hand-drawn maps because I could always tell how a person felt about a place from it...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:25 AM on April 30, 2010

Dave Hoerlein draws the maps in Rick Steves' books and I really enjoy them.
posted by soelo at 10:27 AM on April 30, 2010

I actually just drew a map for a friend this morning. It pretty much did exactly what they say hand-drawn maps normally do: altered scale, gridded a non-grid, got rid of extraneous information. I pretty much always draw people maps if they'll let me, because more than anything I like proving to myself that I can do it.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:31 AM on April 30, 2010

Maps are magic. In the bottom corner are whales; at the top, cormorants carrying pop-eyed fish. In between is a subjective account of the lie of the land. Rough shapes of countries that may or may not exist, broken red lines marking paths that are at best hazardous, at worst already gone. Maps are constantly being re-made as knowledge appears to increase. But is knowledge increasing or is detail accumulating?

A map can tell me how to find a place I have not seen but have often imagined. When I get there, following the map faithfully, the place is not the place of my imagination. Maps, growing ever more real, are much less true.

And now, swarming over the earth with our tiny insect bodies and putting up flags and building houses, it seems that all the journeys are done.

Not so. Fold up the maps and put away the globe. If someone else has charted it, let them. Start another drawing with whales at the bottom and cormorants at the top, and in between identify, if you can, the places you have not found on those other maps, the connections obvious only to you. Round and flat, only a very little has been discovered.

- from Sexing the Cherry, Jeanette Winterson
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:21 AM on April 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

I was vaguely wishing these were interactive fiction players' hand-drawn maps of Zork et al, but this is cool too.
posted by Zed at 12:43 PM on April 30, 2010

See also, Seeing Through Maps.
posted by yoga at 12:57 PM on April 30, 2010

I really like the reference to LineDrive on MapBlast in the article. It makes a really simple and pretty map following some of those rules. What's great is that a 1000-mile and 100-mile trip take up just about the same amount of space to just about the same level of detail.
posted by Xoder at 1:17 PM on April 30, 2010

Yeah, this article was a lot better and more interesting than I expected. I mean that in a good way even though it implies I expected it to be boring.
posted by Justinian at 3:44 PM on April 30, 2010

I like the way one of them blurs out the description of where the map leads to, even though it's a map showing you how to get there.
posted by Dr. Send at 5:36 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

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