When looking at a 2D map of the world, it’s really hard to understand how big countries really are. For instance, the U.S., Australia, and Europe are similarly sized. Developed by James Talmage and Damon Maneice, The True Size Of… lets you drag countries on top of each other to better visualize their relative sizes.
THE BEST Maps
Select any map you want, and Foster Leathercraft will make you a custom work of wall art by carving and embossing real leather. Each map is mounted to a sturdy fiberboard backing, and can be framed for just a few dollars more. They offer small, medium, and large sizes.
Geo 101 Designs makes these great wall art pieces for chronicling your journeys. The self-healing nature of the 1/2″ thick cork makes it perfect for pinning locations, tacking up photos from your trips, or even poking in commemorative pins. Comes in 15″h x 23″w and 21″h x 34″w sizes, as well as a giant 8 foot-wide version.
This oversize padded mat covers a 31.5″ x 15.7″ area on your desktop with a world map, offering an expansive mousing surface, and protecting your desk surface from scratches. It’s easy to clean, features a rubberized backing to prevent slipping, and stitched edges for durability.
Artist Andrew DeGraff’s cinematic atlas is filled with intricate isometric maps which guide us through the locations in popular movies. The hardcover book features 11″ x 14″ reproductions of his hand-painted maps from 35 movies including King Kong, Fargo, The Princess Bride, The Shining, and many more.
Joy Neon makes custom lighting that looks like neon, but is fabricated from flexible LED tubing, which isn’t fragile and runs on low voltage. Their most impressive work is this low-poly world map that would make an amazing centerpiece in any room. Available in three sizes: 21.6″ x 39.9″, 43.3″ x 78.7″ and 65″ x 118″.
Technically, all of the world’s oceans are connected and therefore they’re a single, giant body of water. Still, geographers sliced them into sections and named them so we’d know roughly where we are. Minute Earth explains where the boundaries are located, and suggests a more logical way of breaking them up based on science.
EnjoyTheWood’s laser-cut wood maps are a beautiful addition to any wall. They can be ordered blank, or with shaded countries and engraved country names, and with pushpins to document your travels. Comes in M (39″ x 24″), L (59″ x 35″), XL (79″ x 47″) and XXL (118″ x 69″) sizes.
Artist Scott Reinhard creates images of America’s national parks and other notable locations by rendering a topographic relief map onto a survey map, then printing them onto high quality photographic paper for a stunning 3D effect, despite being flat sheets of paper. Each one has lots of nifty geographic and geological details.
Elevated Woodworking creates a variety of wooden maps of the U.S. and individual states, each featuring a textured topography. Pieces range from small tabletop versions up to an enormous 8′ wide wall map with separate pieces for each state. There’s also a magnetic version you can buy complete or piece-by-piece.
The Heirloom world map has a magnetic surface. It comes with 50 magnets in five different colors so you can chart past, current and future travels. Additional magnets are available for purchase. There are also variants of the map with different frames and colors.
Services like Google Maps have way more influence on the world than you might think. Since people trust these maps, any information that ends up on them can become adopted as fact, like the names of areas which didn’t exist five minutes ago. Half as Interesting explains.
We’ve all gotten so used to seeing maps of the world in cylindrical and pseudo-cylindrical projections, that our sense of where things are placed and their sizes is pretty distorted compared to reality. RealLifeLore explains many misperceptions of our nation’s geography.
We love the idea of the TravelScratcher, a 24″ x 36″ wall map that features a gorgeous gold scratch-off foil layer. Scratch off the areas you’ve visited to reveal bold pops of color and remind yourself that there are many more places out there to explore. (Thanks Chris!)
JACE.design offers drinkware, phone cases, posters and more that you can customize with a print of your desired location or coordinates. For the cases, bags and posters, you can zoom in on or out of the location and pick from a handful of drawing styles.
Etsy store OriginArtwork specializes in beautiful layered wooden maps. Most of their products are based on real locations, but they do have the occasional fictional subject, such as this detailed map of the world of Game of Thrones. It’s available in four sizes.
Instead of spending months traveling the globe for real, Matteo Archondis used a combination of the Maps API, editing, and stabilization to combine over 3300 individual Google Earth screenshots to take us on a whirlwind tour of some of the world’s greatest sights.
“The surface of a sphere cannot be represented as a plane without some form of distortion.” That pretty much sums up the fact that there’s really no way to accurately represent the earth in flat maps, as Vox explains. After you stop saying “Winkel Tripel,” go play with this.
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