Shortly after moving to London, Viviane purchased an A-Z Atlas, the most popular way to navigate the complex city prior to the smartphone. Even with the atlas, she kept getting lost. To help, her friend drew this map indicating, in general terms, the location of her flat, and where she could find food. The friend even took time to punch holes in the pages so they could be added to the spiral bound book. Viviane, like many A-Z owners, continued to add her own pages of notes and addendums until the atlas became quite bulky. She wrote, “Now I know my way around London, but I still use the ‘enhanced’ A-Z; I like to be reminded that the world can be confusing at times.”
This anonymous frustration map originated in boredom. The creator drew it while waiting thirty minutes for their boss to arrive at a disciplinary meeting. They continue, “this is the third meeting I’ve been asked to attend for minor offenses. I’m convinced my boss is arranging them for his own amusement. It is completely accurate (except for the pelican) but not exactly to scale.”
In the early days of the HDMA, I accepted files for the website through drop.io, a service later bought by Facebook. Using drop.io was very easy, and, if you chose, anonymous. This means I received many files without identifying information or accompanying email addresses. Ahh…the early internet.
I referred to them as the “lost maps,” and I still have a folder with these random drawings. These are two of the best. The map above was easily identifiable as the Mill Hill district of London, and, with a little extra research, the map below was determined to be Doha, Qatar.
Witthoft submitted this map created by his friend Damian. While visiting London, he used it to navigate to “the bar with the tiny margaritas.” Drawn on a notebook page annotated with Jan Tschichold’s idealized margins, the cartographer barely breaks the boundaries of modernist perfection.