Vacationland: Mapping History in Maine, the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education’s latest exhibition, “looks at tourism through the lens of travel and transportation, quite literally the mapping of tourism in Maine from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. This exhibition invites you to think about the changing landscape interventions created by and for tourists, as well as the impact such changes had on people living in Maine year round, and upon the environment.” This exhibition opened on 15 June and runs until 11 October; reservations required for social distancing reasons to visit the gallery in person. It’s not yet online; the Osher usually gets an online version up a little later on.
Maps, guidebooks, travelogues, postcards, and more from the Newberry’s collection recreate travelers’ experiences along the northern and southern borders of the US, across the continent’s interior, and up and down the Mississippi River.
These cross-country paths have been in use for centuries whether by water, railroad, car, or airplane. And they’ve remained remarkably consistent despite changes in transportation, commerce, and the people who’ve used them.
But not everyone has experienced travel and mobility equally. The same paths meant “discovery” to the European explorer, freedom to the enslaved, and loss and removal for Indigenous nations.
Crossings shows how centuries of movement—from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the American road trip—have forged deep relationships between people and places that survive to this day.
Crossings opened on February 25 and runs until June 25. Free admission; masks required.
Markus Moestue’s Critical Tourist Map of Oslo turns the unremitting positivity of tourist maps on its head, painting the Norwegian capital’s landmarks and history in a bracingly negative light.
In most countries, what we are taught about our own nation in school does not correspond much to reality. And Norway is no exception. We are made to believe in myths surrounding our own nation and are given a perfect mirage of excellence and good intentions in our history lessons. Stories of abuse, greed and war are often swept under the carpet, and it seems that, by some twist of faith, we are born into the best country in the world, and that all other nations are beneath us. Is Norway really the most happy place, the most environmentally conscious, the most peace loving or the most ethical? Hardly!
In this map I aim to correct a few myths, point to some problematic aspects of Norway and Oslo. And I wish for this map to be a contrast to the mindless commercially motivated map you’ll receive at the tourist information centre.
In a short video, Markus tries to stunt-distribute the map on the streets of Oslo:
Urban Good’s London National Park City Map is a 125 × 95 cm paper map of Greater London’s green spaces that “includes all of the capital’s 3,000 parks plus woodlands, playing fields, nature reserves, city farms, rivers, canals and all the spaces that contribute to London’s parkland. Some of the most iconic walks through and around London are drawn, such as the London Loop and Capital Ring, along with symbols marking places to swim outdoors, climb hills, pitch a tent or go kayaking. It even shows front and back gardens, but not any buildings!” Shipping next month; the first 1,000 copies are free plus £4.75 in shipping (U.K. addresses only): see the order page. [Ordnance Survey]
Official highway maps—paper highway maps—are still a thing: the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot has a profile of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s sole cartographer, Dwayne Altice, who’s responsible for the biennial updates to that state’s official transportation map. Includes some interesting behind-the-scenes detail about how the map is made—and how it used to be made (layers and layers of film). [WMS]
Streetwise Maps, which has been publishing laminated maps of city centres around the world, is apparently closing up shop. In a statement posted to their website over the weekend (according to the Wayback Machine), Michael and Andrika Brown say as much:
Frankly, we’re pooped.
So now, after all the miles, all the notes, all the sketches and the reams of research material, it’s finally time to set aside the tools and retire (cue the band, release the confetti!!). It’s time for a new adventure.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this and to all of you who came along on the journey, this fiesta of a life. We are forever grateful.
No other details or word on how the business will be wound up. Streetwise Maps products are still available in stores (Amazon link), at least for the time being. [MAPS-L]