Where are my crayons?


Who doesn’t love a map? I certainly do. Can spend hours poring over an atlas, looking at places I’ve never been wondering who’s doing what and why. The one above is a classic. It came to me via @ChadCeleste, an old Africa hand who specialises in that part of the world, who spotted it on The Arabist blog, an excellent resource who in turn had dug it up from a post on Le Monde diplomatique.

This afternoon I’ll be starting on a similar map for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Once I’ve found a big enough piece of paper…

7 thoughts on “Where are my crayons?

  1. I remember that ‘map’ you had of all the different rebel groups in Darfur and showing it to a Sudanese journalist at Al Jazeera…

    I’m with you on maps and imagination. I think that started in my youth and never quite left me, although the world is so much more a smaller place than back then. Similarly, tuning in to foreign broadcasts on a ‘world band’ radio back then seems so dated now.

    Last week, from memory, I ‘mapped’ out on a big piece of paper the geography, stalls and people working on my old local market in Saigon. I’m going back there soon to see how accurate I got it. I’d like to put a map of it in my book

    Look forward to seeing your effort.

    1. Agreed, but that could – obviously – be a generational thing. Google Streetview, on the other hand, can transport the mind in some ways. Especially, those countries that don’t yet have a proper streetview map. Saigon and Hanoi streetview both rely on geotagged photos uploaded by ordinary folk to Panoramio. It still holds a certain fascination and is incredibly useful for research, however there is little of the imagination you refer to.

  2. I like the maps with local input, almost done in a cartoon style, with lots of little notes showing useful local waypoints that real travellers depend on.

  3. Ahh, Yes, maps and imagination do go hand in hand. I love decorating my home with maps because a map can give me respite much quicker than most art works, even my own pieces of art does not kindle my imagination like a map can.

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