Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Designing Tuesday: Amateur Maps Are Cool

I'm starting to think that maybe I should've gone into cartography. My cousin Kevin is a cartographer. Doesn't that sound like a cool job?

Then again, we're really all cartographers, aren't we? We all draw maps, anyway. That's what this short Slate article is about.

A UK professor of graphic design and typology named Paul Stiff has dedicated most of his life to studying the maps that regular people quickly dash off to show their friends and acquaintances how to get someplace or how to find something. His theory is that by examining the way we create maps spontaneously, professional map-makers and sign-makers can develop a better understanding of the way people really use maps.

User experience + maps? These are a few of my favorite things.

I missed the deadline, but Slate was collecting hand-drawn maps from readers, which they'll publish in a slideshow later this month. I'll be watching out for it.

And, as I've mentioned before, for me, this does have a connection to food. I still think that food-mapping a city would be a fantastic project. It's on my list, too. Along with a million other things, but it's on the list.

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