...And You Will Know Us by the Shape of Thames

10th January 2008 @ 12:18 am
Simon Foxell's Mapping London

Pete from Trulia sent me and Eric a copy of Simon Foxell's Mapping London, and I've been poring over its pages for the last couple of days.

Visually, my favourite map is definitely the one entitled "Social and Functional Analysis", which has a beautiful cellular structure:

London - Social & Functional Analysis

London - Social & Functional Analysis

But lest I get too involved with the aesthetics or content of any one particular map, or the print quality of the book, or the sheer Londonness of the thing, there's also the "Fetish Map of London", whose description warns:

[Chris] Kenny draws attention to the way that maps can become fetishised objects, by creating links between Kongo fetish figures—with their nailed in 'pledges' or 'commitments'—and the pins in a wall map. His map of London is covered in such pins, tacks and nails to the point of rendering it almost unitelligible.

Fetish Map of London

Normally that reference would be enough to keep me quiet, except I'm delighted to find that I'm mentioned in the book, on page 137 for my Travel Time Tube Map. Sadly the link is a little muddled (pointing people to del.icio.us instead of here) but I hope that can be corrected in future editions.

That aside, the book is of a very high quality and full of historical and contemporary mapping gems from all kinds of sources, including many that I can't find anywhere online (who says print is dead?). I've taken a few snaps of my favourites so you can get an idea of what's in store if you buy a copy, and I can definitely recommend that you do.

I'd been saving this title for a potential Pecha Kucha presentation, covering 20 different maps of London, but it doesn't look like happening any time soon. Meanwhile, maps of London are on my mind: watch this space for some new ones coming soon!