Here’s my 2017/2018 Ultimate Gift List for Map Lovers! All the recommendations are for products I own – or have seen – and can genuinely endorse. I’ve listed them under broad categories of people you might want to buy them for. Hopefully they cater for a range of map-related interests and budgets. Enjoy!
For those who like a good coffee table book
Okay, I may be a little biased putting Where the Animals Go on here, but is has received significant critical acclaim and won a number of awards so I know others have enjoyed it! Not many people are creating original map books from scratch these days so we put a huge amount of effort into getting the cartography right for this – there’s lots of innovations in approach that we’re really proud of. Its not just for animal lovers – there’s data & technology to think about as well. We’ve been amazed at the age range of people coming to our talks from kids to grandparents and all in between – each enjoying the book for different reasons so it seems a safe bet if you want something for the whole family. It also comes as Die Wege Der Tiere and Atlas De La Vie Sauvage.
As I said above, there aren’t many people making books of original map content, instead there’s an increasing number of books containing compilations or edited selections of maps. In this crowded market I’m becoming increasingly discerning about what books are genuine contributions rather than a rehash of other people’s work. That said, there are a few lovely examples of map compendiums that contain great commentary and some nice surprises. The Phantom Atlas (US link) is one of those. It is also beautifully produced with some nice design touches and high print quality. I got it for Christmas last year and it remains a favourite.
You would have seen Maps (US link) in a bookshop before now. It’s designed for kids but the illustrations are brilliant and it’s really immersive…just make sure the person you’re giving it to has tall bookshelves since it’s a big book!
For those in search of a good poster
I have this Upside Down World Map (US Link) up on the wall of my office and almost anyone who comes in does a double-take when they see it. It’s a great conversation starter and nicely makes the point that the maps can be used to make us see the world differently! (Note that it comes folded rather than rolled).
The British library has an extensive map collection and it’s possible to purchase prints of some of them. There’s a variety of formats on offer and lots to choose from. Click here for more.
For the armchair geographer
Nowherelands (US Link) is a wonderfully produced book detailing countries that once existed but have since disappeared. It has nice touches like the countries’ stamps alongside a small map of their location. Maps are a relatively small part of the book, but it is packed with geopolitical history.
For the fashion-conscious
Threadless has loads of map themed t-shirts, most of which I think I own/ have owned in recent years.
I don’t own a t-shirt from Citee, but I’ve seen a sample and also they are cropping up more and more at conferences I attend. You can get a map for practically any city you can think of. They come in either white or black.
One Hundred Stars does a whole range of map-based clothing. I purchased one of they scarves and have been really impressed with it. More here.
For the map enthusiast
The Red Atlas (US link) has recently been published and it showcases the extraordinarily detailed maps the Soviet Union were able to create in a time before widespread satellite surveillance etc. It’s probably more suited for someone you know who really likes maps/ mapping since it can get a bit technical in places – I really enjoyed it.
Pictorial maps have brought a lot of fun to cartography. This book includes over 150 of them across six thematic sections such as “Maps to Amuse” and “Maps for War”. All examples are taken from the US (as the title suggests), but it’s very nicely produced and full of interesting/ insightful commentary from Stephen Hornsby. UK link. US link.
If you’re still searching – click here for a gift list from a few years ago.