Femme Fatales of Cartography

Femme Fatales of Cartography

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Embark on an imaginative, and occasionally inaccurate, adventure of the world with this series of creative maps.

Text: KIOSK Writers             Images: Gestalten

Despite the seductive title, we don’t mean temptresses of the literal kind, but rather of a cartographic nature. As useful and comprehensive as Google Maps is, its wealth of information understandably leaves little room for imagination. Reminding us of the creativity and whimsical medium that maps can be is ‘A Map of the World According to Illustrators and Storytellers.’ From cover to cover, the book is filled with beautiful maps reminiscent of the ones depicting fictional lands found at the beginning of childhood fantasy novels.

As editor Antonis Antoniou writes in the book’s preface, “Here, mapping is a personal affair, and like in portraiture, can be caricatural, abstract, mysterious… These are maps you shouldn’t trust yet cannot help but fall for – they are the femme fatales of cartography.”

Well said, Mr. Antoniou.  While some maps are quirky interpretations of geographically accurate locations, some, like Dorothy’s ‘Film Map’ are probably not to be trusted on a road trip. Hers in particular, is a celebration of film titles with cartographic representations of film favourites like Reservoir Dogs and Mean Streets. Others, like Borgarmynd’s detailed illustration of Reykjavík, Iceland, would actually be very informative to anyone visiting the area.

This new form of illustrative cartography is useful in ways that Google Maps can never be, bringing us back to a childlike view of an exotic world full of wonderment. Whether you’re looking for a journey of a physical or imaginative nature, looking through the delightful maps of this book is sure to be a memorable adventure


Website: http://shop.gestalten.com/a-map-of-the-world.html


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  1. […] aren’t surprised if you’re feeling an itch for adventure since reading our feature on A Map of the World According to Illustrators and Storytellers. We felt the same, so we were delighted to come across Mia A. Johnson’s equally inspiring thesis […]

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