Where’s Waldo?

Remember those books with pages filled with different sceneries where you had to spot the small figure with a hat, glasses and red-white striped clothes, listening to the name Waldo (Or in Dutch Waar is Wally)? Amazing how much fun I had with those. So I was überexcited when A. showed me the following website, thanks for that!

The website contains a player to practice your Where’s Waldo skills online, an app for your smartphone, and a webshop with Waldo merchandise. But also maps from Google Maps showing where Waldo was spotted or where Waldo Flashmobs took place. This is just one of those websites where you can perfectly spend some lost hours just wandering around. #TGIF!

A Moveable Feast

Who says maps are static? Since we are no longer surprised by the idea of looking at a tiny screen of a navigation system instead of properly -and I must admit it is sometimes very unpractical- folding out a roadmap of France, the interactive use of maps no longer really shocks us. But still, once in a while it is nice to see an example of a real interactive map. Especially the following example, it is a very nice job done by Matthew Somerville. I might be one of the few who’s actually as much intrigued by it as I am, but I am convinced a lot people are at least amused by it. Just check it out for a while, I am sure that waiting for a train to arrive isn’t that bad anymore!

Click on the image to see The Real Thing, all yellow pins are trains moving around London!

A perfect getaway

Searching for a perfect way to sneak out on a grey day? Just fold out a map or open an atlas and escape your living room for a second: wander through the Sahara, be amazed by the  different colours for sea water or stumble upon cities with names you’ve never seen before. Not your idea of a perfect afternoon? Perhaps you might be interested in this map then: keeping it a bit more realistic.This map by You & Me the Royal We shows the world and you can literally pinpoint where you’ve already been or desperately want to go. It sort of gives you the idea you painted these goals yourself. Yeah, keep on dreaming… Great news the guys at You & Me the Royal We did that job for you! Thanks for the great tip A. ! www.youandmetheroyalwe.com

Stereotype, anyone?

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.