Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mapping it Out

I have a thing for maps.  Not the kind you can pick up at state lines or national parks (Spencer is much better at appreciating those), but cool old (non-folding) maps of... just about anywhere.  I'm still kicking myself for not buying that cool vintage map of Brasil that I found at the market in Lille.  Since Spencer and I have done our fair share of traveling and living abroad, we both have some cool photos we've taken (except those from my four months living in Brussels -- let's not talk about it), lots of travel books, and small souvenirs from various destinations.  That's what made me want our basement family room to have a little bit of international flair and be our main spot for putting such items to use in the decor.

It's yet another house project that remains somewhat unconquered, but I'm encouraged by a recent find: bird's eye view maps.  In the late nineteenth century, bird's eye view maps became quite popular - artists would depict a city as though standing on a mountain overlooking the town.  Details and geography are not always complete or accurate, but these tell us a lot about how life was back then.  Plus, they look pretty cool.  So imagine how happy I was to stumble into the full gallery of bird's eye view maps, scanned, stored and downloadable at super high res thanks to the Library of Congress.
So great, right? I'm planning on printing up all of the cities where we have lived (DC, Salt Lake, Portland, New York) and framing them for the basement.  Now I just have to figure out how to open a jp2 file...

1 comment:

becca said...

maybe this will help?

also, THANK YOU for this post! josh and i want to use maps for part of the decor at our reception, that these might be perfect.

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