Map Music: Map Ref. 41°N 93°W by Wire

Weird, but I don’t have any map song posts yet on Maps and the City! So, what better way to start with this one. Thank you Melle for introducing this classic to me (so you should thank him for my music education). Enjoy Map Ref. 41°N 93°W by Wire (1979).

“An unseen ruler defines with geometry
An unrulable expanse of geography
An aerial photographer over-exposed
To the cartologist’s 2D images knows
The areas where the water flowed
So petrified, the landscape grows
Straining eyes try to understand
The works, incessantly in hand
The carving and paring of the land
The quarter square, the graph divides
Beneath the rule, a country hides

Interrupting my train of thought
Lines of longitude and latitude
Define and refine my altitude

The curtain’s undrawn
Harness fitted, no escape
Common and peaceful, duck, flat, lowland
Landscape, canal, canard, water coloured

Crystal palaces for floral kings
A widespread waving span of wings
Witness the sinking of the sun
A deep breath of submission has begun”

The xx Share Map

This is good. One of my favourite bands -The xx- shares the new album Coexist on a special website where users can listen to it and share with friends. Oh, and here comes the fun part: you can see on the map how these shares connect people around the world. By using the time slider on the right, you can see it develop. The visualisation is a cooperation with Internet Explorer, so it is probably best watched in IE. And the album? Pretty good, by the way.


Win tickets for Nuit Blanche Amsterdam

Yes, a lot of the posts on this blog are about maps. But it is called Maps and the City for a reason: besides the obvious love for maps we also write about urban discoveries. This Saturday -June 16th- Amsterdam is the place to be for some proper urban updating. Nuit Blanche takes place, an annual nighttime festival about art and culture: your chance to ‘pull a cultural all-nighter’. From 7pm to 7am, you can join the ‘urban expedition’ to discover re-used empty office buildings, strange home collections and other hidden gems in the centre and eastern part of the city. Nuit Blanche was originally organised in Paris and nowadays cities worldwide picked up the concept. This is the third edition of Nuit Blanche Amsterdam, counting over 100 involved creatives. Impressive!

You can start your night with a Nuit Blanche dinner at Krux (Eastern part of Amsterdam) or Sea Palace (in the centre), and continue your expedition with dance, poetry, a Ramses Shaffy cover contest, street art, music and much, much more.  Check the programme on and do check the awesome trailer below. (Passepartout tickets are 17,50 euros, you can buy tickets online.)

Do you want to join the Nuit Blanche expedition on Saturday the 16th of June? Tell us why! Nuit Blanche has made 2 passe partouts available to give away to Maps and the City readers. Send an email to marleen [a] or leave a comment on the Maps and the City Facebook page to win.  The two lucky winners will be announced on Thursday the 14th.