Once again, I’m a bit late with my annual gift guide. The idea of which is, if you have a map-obsessed person in your life and would like to give them something map-related—or you are a map-obsessed person and would like your broad hints to have something to link to—this guide may give you some ideas.
This list is a long way from comprehensive. Be sure to check out gift guides from previous years: see, for example, the 2021, 2019, 2018 and 2017 gift guides (in 2020 I focused on map stationery). Much of what’s listed may still be available. And even more books are listed on the Map Books of 2022 page.
Please keep in mind that this is not a list of recommendations: what’s here is mainly what I’ve spotted online, and there’s probably a lot more out there. In many cases I haven’t even seen what’s listed here, much less reviewed it: these are simply things that look like they might be fit for gift giving. (Anyone who tries to parlay this into “recommended by The Map Room” is going to get a very sad look from me.)
Finally, this post contains affiliate links; I receive a cut of the purchase price if you make a purchase via these links.
The Quarantine Atlas
The Quarantine Atlas (Black Dog & Leventhal): edited by Laura Biss, this is a book-length distillation of CityLab’s COVID-19 mapping project that includes 65 maps submitted by readers, plus essays by divers hands. Given the subject matter, probably something to be gifted with care. See previous entry. $32
Amazon (Canada, UK) | Bookshop
Peng Shepherd’s novel The Cartographers (William Morrow/Orion) is both a murder mystery and a fantasy novel that incorporates all kinds of map tropes. As I said in my review for Strange Horizons, “I have encountered many works of fiction that incorporate maps and map tropes into their storytelling, whether as paratexts or as plot elements, and I have never encountered a story, at any length, as thoroughly encompassed by maps as The Cartographers.” See previous entry. $28/£15
Amazon (Canada, UK) | Bookshop
The LEGO Globe
While there have been third-party LEGO globes before, LEGO’s own globe, which came out early this year, has 2,585 pieces and is 40 cm (16 inches) tall when assembled. See previous entry. $230/£200/230€
Amazon (Canada, UK) | LEGO.com
For the Coffee Table
The term of art for books like these is “lavishly illustrated”: books with pages and pages of beautiful maps. At least two were published this year: The Atlas of Atlases (Ivy), in which Philip Parker explores the most important atlases in history; and Maps That Made History (Lannoo), in which Martijn Storms presents 100 maps, covering a thousand years of history, from the collections of Leiden University Libraries.
- The Atlas of Atlases ($40/£28): Amazon (Canada, UK) | Bookshop
- Maps That Made History (79€): Amazon (Canada, UK) | Bookshop
For the Cartographer
Kenneth Field’s Thematic Mapping 101 (Esri), published in ebook in 2021, came out in a paper edition earlier this year. $72: Amazon (Canada, UK) | Bookshop
The 6th volume of NACIS’s biennial Atlas of Design has just come out. I’ve been sent a review copy, and a review is forthcoming; let me say right now that the examples of mapmaking in these pages are both diverse and stunning. See previous entry. Order here. $25
The GeoHipster Calendar is back for another year as well: order at Lulu.
(Be sure that the cartographer in your life doesn’t already have these: chances are good.)
For the Correspondent
I ordered map stationery from Pepin Press when one of my favourite pen stores got it in stock. I haven’t had a chance to review it or use it yet—I’m kind of reluctant to spoil it, I guess—but look for something along those lines in the future. See the 2020 guide to map stationery for more information and other options.
- Historical Maps A4 Notepad ($22.50/17.50€): Amazon (Canada, UK)
- Historical Maps A5 Notepad ($15/13€): Amazon (Canada, UK)
- Historical Maps: Labels, Stickers and Tapes ($15/13€): Amazon (Canada, UK)
- Maps Letter Writing Set ($34/25€): Amazon (Canada, UK)
(C6 and DL-sized envelopes are also available separately.)
For the Transit Geek
The Toronto Transit Commission gift shop has a number of transit-map tchotchkes, including laptop skins, pillows, a puzzle, an umbrella, a cap—and, get this, subway map skateboard decks. Also, don’t miss Cameron Booth’s gift guide at Transit Maps.
To Put Up on the Wall
When it comes to map prints, globes, puzzles, art, swag and other tangible materials, it’s often best to buy directly from the artist. Evan Applegate has assembled a very comprehensive gift guide linking to many artists’ stores.
While the Oxford Atlas of the World saw its usual annual update, and some of the not-quite-flagship atlas lines saw new editions, such as the National Geographic Concise and the Collins World Atlas: Essential Edition, this is the first time in years that there hasn’t been an update to the Times Atlas line, which is kind of concerning. See the 2021 gift guide for links to the various Times atlases, plus a guide to other flagship atlases that didn’t necessarily get new editions this year.
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