With the future creeping on us more and more every day, its always a heartwarming sensation to find someone who is doing their damndest to not only keep old traditions alive, but to modernize them so that they continue to draw interest and admiration from new generations. So, while the rest of the world is moving on to GPS mapping systems and fighting over how poorly apple maps gets you places, Markus Kirby of UK’s Future Mapping company decided instead to take a step back in time to update a piece of equipment that will work no matter the update, signal strength or battery life issues your smart-phone may be experience.
Maps have kept their special place in Kirby’s heart despite the popularity and rising availability of GPS systems and through his work at Future Mapping, he aims to keep the art of cartography alive, by producing beautifully crafted and printed maps that feature information useful to today’s map readers. While most of Future Mapping’s cartographic masterpieces are centered on our British friends across the pond, his latest product is a detailed map of New York City, which features all the expected roads and popular tourist attractions, but also showcases bike paths and directions of traffic.
Following the company’s trend of making beautiful colorized and printed maps, the NYC map is available in two colorways and printed using a lithographic method which allows for an intense level of detail while maintaining clarity. While the NYC map is not currently showcased on the Future Mapping website, there are photos available on Coolhunting and while that post states that maps can be purchased online, a thorough search of the Future Mapping website leads to nothing, leading us to believe that they may be sold out.
The website does offer an assortment of other maps to choose from, including world maps and maps of England, most of which are printed using the company’s lithographic technique and with some available in several different colorways. The maps produced by future mapping also use equal-area mapping, which does away with some of the warping that traditional maps take on as a result of projecting the circular orb of the earth onto flat paper, using Mercator lines. Future Mapping’s equal-area approach offer an accurate look at the earth, transforming the shapes of Mercator’s projection, to represent countries in their correct proportional size. The future mapping website offer a more in-depth explanation of how this affects the final product.
Most of them take geographical data into account, but also give readers insight into things that most traditional maps tend to overlook while also understanding that in bicycle dependent urban areas, map readers will most likely be bike riders as well and will want to see information that is pertinent to them. For Kirby, this is an important step into keeping the tradition of keeping physical maps alive.
Basically put, these are not your grandfather’s maps.