Maps have been devised and produced for less practical purposes such as for games, political satire, or fantasy lands. Maps often adorn works of art, clothing and housewares. Some have been made of unusual materials such as this bovine statue from the CowParade to the right with a depiction of San Diego and Coronado. Many maps have been devised for special purposes. Some of the older ones no longer in use seem like curiosities in today's world even though they were quite relevant to our predecessors.
We collect many of these curiosities and often present them at our meetings but the cow has not been to one - yet. There's almost no end to these sorts of maps and we'll be updating this part of our site frequently to share new examples. Here are a few of our members' more recent contributions to this eclectic field of cartography.
MAPS AS PUZZLES AND GAMES
The creation of jigsaw puzzle maps or dissected maps dates back to the 16th century and continues today often as a teaching aid for geography or just for fun. Maps were used in board games even before their use as puzzles.
Printing maps on playing cards started back in 1590 when an entrepreneur realized that the total number of counties in England and Wales was fifty-two. These were so popular that a whole series of playing card maps followed over the ensuing centuries.
With computers and the internet, using maps in games has gone into new dimensions. Here's one to test your skill at locating sites around the world: www.travelpod.com/traveler-iq
If your spatial perception or eye-hand coordination is challenged by that site, you can try this one to test your geographic knowledge: www.travbuddy.com/geoquiz
The ultimate geographic game may be to join into the travel competition described by one of our speakers from San Francisco; see at his web site how you stack up in the competition to see 773 world locations: mosttraveledpeople.com
Now with GPS we have the adult version of hide and seek game, geocaching, and you don't have to go around the world to play: www.geocaching.com
Escape Map A, printed on very thin mulberry tissue paper in three colors. The scale is 1:2,000,000 and a magnifying glass should have been issued with it. This is the primary map that was concealed in various items smuggled to British and American POWs.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
MAPS FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES
There's an almost unlimited variety of maps used for special purposes that can seem curious but are really quite useful and necessary. Of critical importance to some, to others these maps can seem unusual: insurance maps, bicycle maps, globes, celestial charts, sea charts, aeronautical charts, wine region maps, railroad maps ... Collecting these offers a unique perspective into our history and can be the source of many days of research.
At a recent meeting one of our members presented a few of her collection of escape maps from World War II. Often printed on silk and hidden inside other objects, they were produced in the millions and sent to soldiers and airmen being held in war camps behind the lines in Europe.
MAPS ON UNUSUAL MATERIALS
A map as art goes back to cavemen for inspiration. Though most of us feel that a good map is art in itself, some maps are more art than science. Often these map representations use less precise materials such as mosaics, tapestries, and samplers or quilts. Others such as the Bay Model, the site of a recent meeting in Sausalito, accurately represent the world in an unusual way - in this case the tidal flows throughout the Sacramento River and San Francisco Bay waterways.
On a more personal and humorous angle, one of our members has presented his extensive collection of maps on ties. The author noted that other map collectors in addition to himself liked to wear a necktie displaying a map when attending a map meeting. He decided to supplement his own highly focused Holy Land map collection with map neckties and managed to "tie up" the entire field of study. He presented his collection along with a history of the necktie to the California Map Society in 2007. and published an article on the subject titled "Cartocravatia" in the Spring issue #71 2008 "Portolan " , the Journal of the Washington Map Society.
The modern necktie as we know it was invented in the late 19th century and the first map neckties appeared much more recently. The avenues for collecting them are limited to gifts, hotel ,museum and tourist gift shops, specific internet necktie web sites and auction sites i.e. EBay. New map neckties are always being created and so the collection is always open to new additions as well as the older resales. This article, which includes the history of the necktie, now includes annotated photographs of the authors entire collection through 2011, and can be used as a visual reference guide by those afflicted with map necktie collecting interests. "Cartocravatia" is now published as OP No. 12 in the Publications section of this site along with large images of the collection at "Gallery of Ties"
Folks have made fictitious maps for centuries to convey an opinion or fantasy. Portraying countries as persons or animals for political satire was especially popular in Europe. German and English cartographers made maps of romance and marriage. Maps of allegories and utopias preceded those of today's Lord of the Rings by hundreds of years. And of course false maps of discovery, gold strikes, and treasure maps have been marketed for centuries.
Some maps have been created to further a political goal. Examples here in California were the maps made for the State of Jefferson. Jefferson was one of several failed attempts to create a new state in the United States. Others included Franklin, Kanawha , and Sequoyah. Four counties on the border seceded in 1941 to form Jefferson though many of the maps of the rebellion included several more counties. The map to the right is from the Siskiyou Daily News in November 1941. The paper held a naming contest listing these possibilities for the would be state: Orofino, Bonanza, Discontent, Jefferson, Del Curiskiyou, and Siscurdelmo. Though a governor was elected, the movement lost steam after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of WW II.
With advent of personal computers and the web, map animation is not only possible, it's becoming commonplace. For now we'll include this as a curiosity but someday it may be in a class by itself. Some of these animations are an outgrowth of GIS and others find their roots in the various graphics tools that are widely available today. By incorporating motion into a static 2D map display one adds another dimension, typically time. We'll keep adding to our list of interesting animated maps as we find them.