Desktop World Map

I can’t really remember when I got my first desktop map of the world. I know that Germany was already unified, but I’m not sure if Yugoslavia still existed – both on my desk and on Earth. Knowing that I only started doing my homework at home from 5th grade, I should place the beginning of my explorations of countries, oceans, seas, cities and rivers in the fall of 1989.
By desktop map, I mean one of those laminated maps that serve as protectors for real desks – not an image on a computer screen (my parents only agreed to buy us a PC years later). Back then, homework was done on paper with pens and pencils – plus the occasional ruler, x-acto knife, colored marker or stick of glue – the materials I used on it, which gradually led to its disfigurement. I eventually replaced it with a new one just before going to college.

Whenever I got bored with doing homework or studying or something else, I would put everything aside and just stare at the map. My eyes would travel from North to South, Iberia to the South China Sea, Lake Baikal or the territories of Antarctica. I would stop at names of places like Antananarivo, Odessa, Monterrey, Thessaloniki or Ulan Batar, all set in Frutiger (I think) next to black dots. Capitals had a thin circumference around that dot, and their names were also set in different type sizes according to their respective population. I was particularly drawn to cities, not so much countries (which were set in capital letters on a lighter version of the typeface). Little did I know I would later come up with the guidelines for a world map when living in the distant country of Malaysia.

I blame my geographical geekiness on this map: because of it, I always pick the geography category when playing Trivial Pursuit, I know the names of capitals and main cities of most of the world’s nations and I organize my web bookmarks geographically. But more than that, this map has fuelled, for almost 20 years, my incurable wanderlust. My first (pre-map era) memories of travelling abroad are the epic daytrips with my parents and grandparents to the Spanish border town of Badajoz.

Since then, I’ve never been content with staying put, and have added many air, train, ship, car and walking miles to my life. Those trips always started with, or included, me looking into the map for at least a few minutes.

I’m naturally  obsessed with almost all kinds of maps, such as my very beat-up Interrail maps (where I marked my itineraries around Europe in the moving trains), or the airline route maps of in-flight magazines I always, always spend a few minutes on whenever I’m on a plane. Maps to me are not just intriguing pieces of information and intricate exercises in graphic design, they’re very intimate escape mechanisms. I like to think of them – starting with my own desktop map – as platforms for daydreaming.

This short text was written for Akiko Busch‘s “Reading Design” course. For this assignment, titled “Evocative Objects”, we were be assigned (in groups) to read the introduction and sections from the book “Evocative Objects: Things We Think With”, by Sherry Turkle, professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. We were then asked to present the chapter they read and write a short essay (400–500 words) about such an object in a corresponding category in their own lives.



14 Comments

  1. This is why they carry out the entire service manually.
    Which may be safeguarded web page however however having unusal a number of amazing women and men, it is performing put into action the position totally amazing as
    well as a number of do the trick solutions could be maked
    consequently by means of regulators. To narrow
    down your choices, this article features 5 of the best options available.

  2. “This web site is really a walk-by way of for all of the information you needed about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you’ll positively uncover it.”

  3. Fine way of telling, and fastidious article to get data regarding my presentation subject
    matter, which i am going to convey in school.

  4. Every company or organization, survey and market research for strategic decisions plays
    an important role in the process of data extraction and Web technology.
    The direct messages you send and receive are akin to free advertising for True – Twit.

    mil, and media websites, and with quality webpage content began to
    rank higher in Google’s search result for their respective keywords.

  5. sandalias wrote:

    Im thankful for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

  6. I think the reason WordPress is so popular is because of the easy-to-use interface, the great amount of features and because it’s really stable. I used to code my own templates and never bothered to really gave a good look at WordPress because I found it to be too inflexible (i like to be in control of every little part of my website). But since I tested it for a new magazine/blog I am in the process of making right now I never want to go back. The flexibility and the great amount of available templates on the net are enough to convince me.

  7. Appreciation to my father who shared with me regarding this website, this weblog is genuinely amazing.

    Feel free to surf to my website: Griyabayar | PPOB terbaik di Indonesia adalah PPOB BTN

  8. technology wrote:

    Your mode of describing the whole thing in this article is truly nice, all be able to easily know it, Thanks a lot.

    Here is my blog :: technology

  9. Jess Cromeens wrote:

    Some really nice stuff on this website , I like it.

  10. I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  11. porno wrote:

    I really liked your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  12. This is one awesome article.Much thanks again. Great.

  13. Im obliged for the blog article. Fantastic.

  14. I think this is a real great blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

Leave a Reply