One of my favourite examples of the power of maps is the Mapping Stereotypes project of Yanko Tsvetkov (aka alphadesigner). A few months ago I saw a map with Europe according to Americans. Hilarious stereotypes fill up the continent, telling us that for Americans, Spain is something like Mexico, and in France just lives a bunch of Smelly People.Everything east of Dirty Porn (that would be Germany) is a buffer zone and further east one can find a huge amount of Commies.
Alphadesigner made several maps (and is still growing strong) with for example Europe as seen by the French or the Germans, but also as seen by the Vatican. Every map contains funny elements for everyone looking at it, regardless which country or continent you’re from. There is always something to laugh about; obviously not too loud about your own country. Oh well, I must admit a chuckle and grin about the comment ‘Oh dear’ for the Netherlands according to the Vatican…
The good news is that the Bulgarian visual artist, graphic designer and illustrator isn’t done mapping yet: he also creates views on the world, or for example South America. Hope to see more of it!
Check out all his work and some cool merchandise such as T-shirts on his website. Dutchies might also have seen his work in a nice article in the newspaper NRC.next (October 11, 2010). Oh, and you can also find him (& Maps and the City!) on good ol’ Twitter: @alphadesigner and @MapsandtheCity.