MIOI love maps. I spent a good deal of my youth thumbing through atlases and looking at globes. I remember one of my favorite features of the World Book Encyclopedia (which was a staple in the house in our house growing up) was when reading about another country they superimposed the continental US (or a single state) over the country in question to show the relative size. This type of thing is why I love the new book Mapping It Out – An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist with an introduction by Tom McCarthy.

About Mapping It Out – An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist: “Over 130 of the world’s most creative minds make sense of our exterior and interior worlds through intriguing and imaginative maps of their own devising. Imaginative, visionary and richly absorbing, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how we visualize our worlds, physical or abstract, real or imagined. Whether they chart a newly discovered land or lay out a complicated process, maps serve to improve our understanding of what surrounds us. They make the complex simple, and reveal the complexity behind the apparently straightforward. Original and thought-provoking, Mapping It Out invites leading lights from a host of fields to create a personal map of their own, in whatever form and showing whatever terrain they choose, whether real-world or imaginary.”

Mapping It Out features all sorts of cool reinterpretations of maps based on relative things – like the size of US states based on their power in the senate (Montana is huge – Texas not so much) and how many other countries and continents can fit into Africa. All the maps in this compilation are interesting, some are amazing and all tell a story that only a map can tell. Take that GPS.

Mapping It Out – An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist  is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.