If you love the functionalities of online mapping services such as OpenStreetMap and Google Map, but you are fed up with their graphic design, the company Stamen Design has developed something for you: three background maps that you can use to render your own OpenStreetMap mashup. These three maps are: (1) Toner, a sharp high-contrast black and white that reminds me futuristic urban planning maps; (2) the more conventional Terrain which looks more like a shaded relief; (3) and the beautiful watercolor (my favorite) which is described as follows: “Reminiscent of hand drawn maps, our watercolor maps apply raster effect area washes and organic edges over a paper texture to add warm pop to any map.” Since these maps use Open Source data (from OpenStreetMap) and are licenced under a creative commons licence, it would not be surprising to see them (and others) more and more frequently on the web, which would be great!
Recently the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, bought a work of Mona Hatoum, interesting Lebanese artist raised in UK. This artist is multifaceted in the sense that she has worked a variety of disciplines including installation, sculpture and performance. Maps have been widely used in different formats in many of her workpieces. Just type in Google Maps Mona Hatoum to check it out.
(From wikipedia) Mona Hatoum (born 1952 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a video artist and installation artist of Palestinian origin, who lives in London. Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Palestinian parents in 1952. Although born in Lebanon, Hatoum does not identify as Lebanese. “Although I was born in Lebanon, my family is Palestinian. And like the majority of Palestinians who became exiles in Lebanon after 1948, they were never able to obtain Lebanese identity cards.”
Lately I’ve liked these maps called “3D Cities”: Regular ordinance survey maps, their two-dimension modified by a number of geometrical cuts forming paper depressions and elevations. We do not know what they signify, although we can guess that these are probably localized spots of violence.Image from http://personal-geographies.blogspot.com
Here you are a video by Tate Britain, “Mona Hatoum, studio visit.”
The working group of Art & Cartography had a very creative and inspiring workshop at the International Cartographic Conference (ICC) in Paris. During this activity, 26 people from all over the world with different backgrounds and interests related to arts and maps came together to walk through five Parisian areas in order to map the visible and unvisible frontieres. This was a very stimulating event as illustrated by some the following pictures:
Joost Grooten is a dutch artist, book designer, with a special focus on atlases: http://www.grootens.nl/2/10/11.html
His publication have recently be called “grosse Buchkunst” (great book art) by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung.
You will enjoy to browse through his website: http://www.grootens.nl/2/10/11.html
There is an intriguing exhibit at University of Alberta Libraries that runs until the end of August 2010: Journeys beyond the neatline: expanding the boundaries of cartography.
This exhibit presents 25 works of two University of Alberta affiliated artist/cartographers who have documented their personal journeys through text and maps. The title of the exhibit — Journeys beyond the neatline — reflects their personal journeys beyond the traditional boundaries of the printed map — the neatline. Both have made pilgrimages which traverse terrain and individual experience. But beyond that, theirs are unique experiences recorded in text and visual expressions as maps. Like the works themselves, this exhibition, exemplifying a growing intersection of art and cartography, also represents a step beyond the traditional map exhibit for the William C. Wonders Map Collection.
I have just received the catalogue of the exhibit. I went through it quickly: It looks like two cartographic travelogues. It is a very nicely designed book and I am looking forward to reading the stories of these two artists/cartographers.
Fri 30 Apr 2010 – Sun 19 Sep 2010
PACCAR Gallery, British Library
Magnificent Maps showcases the British Library’s unique collection of large-scale display maps, many of which have never been exhibited before, and demonstrates why maps are about far more than geography.
The exhibition will include large-scale, impressive maps from the 1400s to the present day, including the largest atlas in the world, the Klencke Atlas of 1660. It will suggest the settings in which they might originally have been seen – from the palace to the schoolroom and the home – reveal the themes that unite them, and highlight the sheer artistry that was involved in their production.
Magnificent Maps will also explore the reason behind the construction of these visually arresting works of art. Which range from maps used for indoctrination or expressions of local pride to irrefutable statements of power and illustrations of rulers’ spheres of influence.
The exhibition will be supported by a wide range of events, from talks and discussions to family events.
For more information:
Julie Yau, Arts Press Officer, British Library
+44  20 7412 7237 / email@example.com
This artfully crafted map by Melissa Gould is a thoughtprovoking experiment – a narrative map, covering a fiercly discussed topic of alternate history: What if the Nazis had won World War 2? An extract from the artist’s comment, available on the project website: “NEU-YORK is a cautionary meditation, suggesting what the local geographical reality might have been like had victorious Nazis succeeded in bringing the Third Reich across the Atlantic Ocean in 1945. At the same time it is an exploration of psychological transport, place, displacement and memory. This re-imagining of the city plays with comparison and misrecognition, exploring the coexistence of past and present, fiction and reality.”
For more information, map samples and an overview see: http://www.megophone.com/neuyork.html