When I visited Rome last summer I picked up a free, hand-drawn map of the city. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much, but when I started navigating using the small map, I was astounded at the detail it contained in each hand-drawn line. To be finding my way around the ancient city using only someone’s fine penmanship was like stepping back into the bygone era of hand-made cartography. Today we have Google Maps. It’s a tool which blows away any hand-created map as far as accuracy and search-ability, but something is certainly lost in the aesthetic beauty and ability to roll out a large city on the table before you. These fine maps of London from Wellingtons Travel, bring back the maps of old and do it with useful style.
The company is currently producing two versions of their London map, in two levels of printing quality and portability. Both focus around the city center and are aimed at visitors, or people looking for a beautiful tribute to the famous location for their wall. Only major roads are given names, but all roads are clearly detailed, making navigation quite easy just by using the shape of the city blocks, landmarks and districts.
One version, their Traveller’s Map, is made for strolling around the city and folds conveniently like a traditional road map – it’s a seriously beautiful thing to walk around with. The second version, their Wall Map, comes in two sizes, is printed on rollable canvas and has a texture that would be sensuous for anyone map obsessed. The map was developed over 4 years of testing, printing it on different materials – including leather – before landing on canvas. Find out more about the map on wellingtonstravel.com, where you can explore an interactive version.