Thursday, 5 March 2009


Potentially more relevant to the next part of the project, but strangemaps is one of my favourite websites.

Philippe Gonzalvez

"The northern part of Philippe Gonzalvez Island is taken up by the République de Cheveux (Hair Republic), bordered in part by the Fleuve Ride (Wrinkle River), beyond which lies the Fédération de la Face (Federation of the Face). Straddling both states are the Massif de la Calvitie (Mountains of Baldness) and Massif du Front (Mountains of the Forehead). The third state on the island is the Emirat de Barbe (Beard Emirate), mainly in the south. Its northern part is dominated by the Désert de la Joue (Desert of the Cheek).

The Federation of the Face is dominated by three mountainous areas: Mont Sour and Mont Cil (sourcil is French for ‘eyebrow’), and the Chaîne de la Moustache (the Moustache Range). A fourth mountain range borders the eastern coast, beyond the Desert of the Cheek: the Chaîne du Lobe (the Earlobe Range). Just south of Monts Sour and Cil are two lakes: Lac Yeux and Lac Œil (œil, plural yeux, is French for ‘eye’), each containing an island - Île Pupille and Île Iris respectively.

The western coast is typified by two dune ranges, the Dunes du Front and the Dunes de la Mâchoire (the Dunes of the Forehead and of the Jaw), separated by the Delta de Paupière (the Eyelid Delta). Other bodies of water are the Fleuve Nez (Nose River), Lac Narine (Lake Nostril), the Marais de Lèvre (Lip Marsh) and the Fleuve Menton (Chin River). Off the northern shores lie the Îles des Tifs (Hair Islands) and the Archipel de l’Épi (Epidermis Archipelago). A last group of islands are west off the Moustache Range, the Archipel des Poils (Hair Archipelago)."

Fritz Freudenheim Von der alten Heimat zu der neuen Heimat! (’From the old home to the new home!’)

11 year old Fritz Freudenheim made this map as a documentation of his family's escape from Nazi Germany to Montevideo in 1938. Interesting in terms of the way he has taken a wholly positive attitude, from the title: Von der alten Heimat zu der neuen Heimat! (’From the old home to the new home!’), and the playful use of perspective and colour.
Jewish Autonomous Oblast

San Serriffe

A country created by Phillip Davies in 1977, then in charge of the Guardian’s Special Reports department, on April Fool's Day. The detail which has been attributed is quite detailed, such as: "The archipelago was discovered by the English in 1421, colonised by the Spanish and Portuguese and later annexed by the British, ceded to the Portuguese and later for some time a condominium between the latter two nations. San Serriffe gained its independence in 1967. It took the independent nation 20 years of military rule (mainly by a general Pica) before it managed to elect its first civilian president, A. Bourgeois, in 1997." Although the references used make it quite obvious, it is still relevant, and beautifully done.

Epeiric sea

If the extensive schemes for the drainage of North Sea are carried out according to the plan illustrated above, which was conceived by a group of eminent English scientists, 100,000 square miles will be added to the overcrowded continents of Europe. The reclaimed land will be walled in with enormous dykes, similar to the Netherland dykes, to protect it from the sea, and the various rivers flowing into the North Sea will have their courses diverted to different outlets by means of canals.”

Homer's Heaven

"His overarching geographic concept was of the world as a flat, round disk of land, completely encircled by Okeanos, the world sea.

All this was enclosed by the fixed dome of the Heavens, filled with cloud and mist close to the Earth, but with clear aether closer to the sky’s dome. Sun, Moon and stars rose from the eastern waters of the Ocean, moved along the dome and sank again into the western waters. The whole thing is reminiscent of nothing so much as of one of those snowdomes that are the staple of any self-respecting tourist trap."

Japanese Air Raid Awareness map (1938)

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