jump to navigation

My Ongoing Love Affair with Maps May 28, 2012

Posted by Peter Varhol in Uncategorized.

As a youth, I traveled vicariously to random parts of the world with paper maps.  My circumstances were such that I had no chance to travel more than a few miles from home while growing up, so my imagination ran free (and largely inaccurately, or at least grandiosely) with my maps.  I requested free maps from government agencies and cajoled maps from various parts of the world with meager funds from my rural paper route.

Today, Google Earth and Bing Maps transport me to distant locals, and much more realistically than a paper map.  The ability to see satellite and equivalent photos of distant lands is more realistic, but leaves less to the imagination.

In April, I chanced to be in Maui; specifically Lahania, walking along the main drag and looking at the shops, mostly selling dreck t-shirts and such.  In such a rarified setting, it is only fitting to discover a gem or two.

(One such gem was a Peter Lik gallery on Front Street.  He’s truly a great photographer.  Apparently he set a record by selling a single print of a photo for one million dollars.)

But I’m writing today about maps, and a few doors down from the Peter Lik gallery was Oceanica, a unique map store that takes old (from the early days of European exploration of Hawaii) maps, digitizes them, and incorporates them in more comprehensive works of art, such as old drawings and photographs.  The combination of art and Hawaiian history in map form is both beautiful and educational, and does far more to stimulate the imagination than Google Earth.

Regrettably, I didn’t want to purchase at the spur of the moment (they weren’t cheap), and the website was difficult to find, woefully incomplete (it still contains lorem ipsum text), and offers no facility for online sales.  I’m hoping that the website soon offers online examination and purchase of some of the store’s works.

Over the last couple of years, I’m finally getting to see some of the places I’ve imagined in my youth, at least in Europe and other parts of the US.  But maps represent my best way of visiting the places I will likely never physically travel to.  And combining that pleasure with art in an historical context is both brilliant and compelling.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: