Directional Passions

I recently finished reading the book From Here To There by Kris Harzinksi (Amazon). As a cartographer, looking at hand drawn maps has always been a fascination of mine and the collection compiled by Harzinski is no exception. His book has: direction maps, found maps, fictional maps, artful maps, maps of unusual places and explanatory maps. Some of my favorites are: Fellow Passenger Becomes Friend (34), Quastolia (96-7), and Shared Notepad (114-5).

From Here To There Cover

Each of these maps, different in their own way, are based on the cartographer’s intent and knowledge of an area. Each shows the individuality of its cartographer and their thought process on a piece of paper. Some maps are incredibly detailed while others very simplistic. When looking through the maps compiled by Harzinski I see more than a map and try and think in the cartographer’s shoes. “Why was this map drawn this way? What was s/he thinking? Feeling? Intending?

For me it goes back to one of the first maps I ever drew – before MapQuest or any web mapping tool was available to the public. It was a map with detailed directions from my school to my house to anyone who would be visiting from my school. This project is one of my earliest memories that sticks in my mind – ten years before I knew I would have a career in Geography – a sixth grade geography assignment that changed my life. To this day, those directions are the same directions I give to anyone visiting my parents house.

What is your directional passion?


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