Some curious alternatives and conscious decisions made around map materials. When do we chose the local tourist map that has down-res’d nonessential features and up-res’d features more on the mind of weekenders, such as the location of airport, town squares, likely museums and sites? How do the fancy digital alternatives — a nearby iPhone with a really slick Google Maps interface — pale in comparison, and falter in their real navi utility? When is paper — which can be marked up, annotated, maintain its tangibility and foldability and non-battery-failability and non-data-roam-chargeability? Just paper.
Have a look at Aaron Cope’s paperMMap and other work in tangible, hybrid (digital-physical) cartography. I think this is exciting, mostly because maps and cartography may be on of the good, early connectors that laminate physical-digital thinking. We need better metaphors to capture the ambiguities between the physical and the digital — even writing them right there makes me anxious. The distinctions are quite arbitrary and I think “we” pioneers living in the near future would be doing a great thing to evolve the metaphors and language to point toward new hybrid realities. First to go? Second Life. Ahhem.. What a horrid name that might be tractable to the everyday notion of online/offline, but ignoring “1st Life” the way that Virtual Reality tried to do really does a disservice to the relevance and final import of the world in which we will ultimately be buried within, Timothy Leary’s insertion into an eToy USB drive notwithstanding.
Continue reading Old Mapping Alternatives and New Metaphors, Please