Modern Maps and Globes for the 21st Century
May 13, 2013
GPS systems, Google Maps, smart phone apps, and satellites have all but made physical maps obsolete. Just take a minute to think about what happened to Thomas Guides. When I was a kid, there was always one in the car and my dad would always refer to it for directions. Nowadays, I’d be surprised if I found one in someone’s garage. People rely more heavily on digital maps and their iPhones to get from point A to point B. But not all maps have gone digital, and we’re here to show you what maps of the 21st century look like.
Maps of today don’t have to be made on paper. No, they can be printed on just about anything, including stainless steel! Suck UK presents a New York Subway Pocket Map that displays all the subway routes of New York with photographically etched lines for a sleek, precise display. It’s small and convenient to carry around, and it doubles as a pocket mirror. You can also find a London Underground Map for any London travelers out there too!
Here’s a world map with a surprise. It has two layers for interactivity. The top layer is gold foil that can be scratched off to reveal a colorful layer underneath. Scratch off places you’ve visited and boast about your travels without a word, or be reminded that you need to get out more!
We talked about how maps aren’t limited to paper anymore, and with this Crumpled City Map designed by Noted, even paper maps can be new and innovative. Distinctly different from traditional maps, this one is printed on flexible yet durable material. You can whip this waterproof baby out in the rain or crumple it up in your pocket with no worries.
Mirror mirror on the wall…is that really a map I see?! Why yes, yes it is! Say “How do you do?” to your reflection when you take a look at this larger version of the London pocket map from Suck UK. Perfectly sized for a bedroom mirror, this London Underground map has all the routes and destinations available in a metallic gold print on top of mirrored glass.
There’s a trend we’ve been noticing when it comes to geography and maps. Folks are turning these informational representations into art. Here’s a modern graphic interpretation of the Amsterdam transit system. It is part of a series of Line Posters that feature artwork based on maps of the entire subway and tram systems of different cities around the world. Find yours today!
Neighborwoods are fun maps etched into wood (hence their name). They’re inspired by the early hand-drawn and hand-lettered work on vintage maps. You can get maps of major cities from Atlanta to Toronto. Every map is unique, just like your treasured stories from your neighborhood!
Nowadays you can wear maps if you’d like, on beautiful lockets, for instance. Like a pioneer exploring new lands, use this handcrafted map as your guide as you navigate your daily commute around detours, broken sidewalks, and cyclists. This necklace features a vintage brass locket from the ’70s and is big enough to tuck away a little note or photograph inside!
Since the earth isn’t flat, we had to cover globes of the 21st century too. See how you can enjoy these spherical maps and still be in with the times.
Danish modern design meets state-of-the-art digital cartography in this contemporary, silver ocean world globe. Its aluminum base adds a modern look to the whole piece, and the cartography is based on current satellite data. You probably won’t be finding this in anyone’s 8th grade classroom!
Here are the cutest globes around. Globees feature exclusively illustrated city maps, from the romantic river banks of Paris to the brash lights of Las Vegas. Each Globee is designed to evoke the best memories of that special visit, and it even comes with a 16 page booklet packed with interesting facts about each city and the tourist sites depicted on the globe!
For hundreds of years people watched the stars to find their way or to measure time. Now, you can admire the constellations in the comfort of your home with this Celestial Globe. It’s a standard full-color globe during the day, but as the sky darkens, an advanced optical sensor prompts the display of a magical celestial sphere, a map of the stars and constellation names. If only the ancient Greeks could see this!
And last but not least, here we have a detailed globe of the world that transforms into an ethereal work of art when the lights get dim. It revolves on an elegant base and lights up the cities of our world using a special patented induction system. See planet Earth in a whole new light!
Tell us which maps (and/or globes) you liked most!