Montablan Archipelago

George Kohn, The Montablan Archepelago, 1969 [Fictional location: Montablan; drawn in Varanasi, India] original HDMA web archive: map 103

George drew this map while attending Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India for a year of study in 1969.

The fictional archipelago of Montablan originated years earlier in his imagination while mowing the yard of his childhood home in Iowa. Driven by his contempt of cutting grass, he fantasized himself as one of a group of exploited workers on the island of Lospania who were planning a revolt.

As he grew older, the island remained in his imagination, expanding into a small archipelago of closely allied islands. The place names are influenced by aspects of Indian culture as well as his love of American football. The references in the map to places such as Talortown and Talorado, for example, are a misspelling of Jim Taylor, a fullback for the Green Bay Packers from 1958-1962.

Office Space

Anonymous, 2008 [Leeds, United Kingdom] original HDMA web archive: map 80

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.”

Barcelona Architecture

Alec, Barcelona, 2007 [Barcelona, Spain] original HDMA web archive: map 65

Alec’s map of Barcelona is an example of a truly useful hand-drawn map. Drawn while he was on vacation, it highlights a number of architectural sites and museums. Among the landmarks are several Antoni Gaudi buildings, the Forum 2004, the Gas Natural Building, and the Music Palace.