Wednesday 4 February 2015

The Island of Lost Maps

I just finished a book today that was recommended by my buddy John. It is called “The Island of Lost Maps” written by Miles Harvey. Thanks John.
It is not the kind of book that I usually read because it has a fair amount of history and a lot of geography in it. It is about maps after all. It’s also about a man named Gilbert Bland who stole old maps from libraries in at least two countries that were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Miles spent years researching the story and following Mr. Bland’s exploits. Spaced throughout the book, are interesting facts about cartography and a lot of hows and whys about map making. Like I said, it is a very interesting book although it can be a little dry at times. I suppose anything that isn’t in your area of interest could be described as dry.

I know a lot more about maps and map making than I did just a week ago. In fact, I know enough to know just how little I know about the subject. Each and every map that was mentioned in the book would be fascinating to see in person and you could spend the rest of your life looking into the why, who, where of any of these maps. The history of the human race can be and is “mapped” out by following the evolution of cartography. Will I fall into the rabbit hole that maps represent? I don’t think so. I do have a yen to make my own map.
I haven’t decided if I will make a faithful copy of some pre existing map of the world or of some fantasy world from one of my favourite books. Pern, Middle Earth, The Earth Children world, Narnia or even OZ would make an interesting map to hang on my wall. I could use all of the map making techniques that I learned in Mr. Bensons grade six geography class. I could make up my own land with mountains, rivers, deserts, cities and radioactive waste lands. That might be easier because I wouldn’t be constrained by accurately depicting a map someone else has already drawn.

I am going to have to give this some thought. The seed has been planted in my mind now and it might be fun to name some of the world’s features after the grandkids. There could be the Canyon of Hurricanes which will strip the flesh off of exposed human flesh in minutes. In the centre of the largest continent would be the Tornado waste land where people can be carried thousands of miles around the world by a warm, friendly wind. I couldn’t forget the Tsunami Islands whose cliffs rise hundreds of metres straight up from the oceans of Tears.

Needless to say there will be Kenland somewhere on the map. It will be a magical land that has lost the magic over time and the heroes of the story E…C…and M will go on a long and dangerous quest to find the magic and bring it back to Kenland.

The map will be discovered, after all, the map is already drawn it just needs to be discovered…

1 comment:

  1. Thats great Ken I'm glad you enjoyed the book. It combines such diverse things into a story. It draws you in a sneeky way. It is a little slow in spots but its fun ultimately. I never thought to draw my own map. Hmmmm what would it be a map of?? I'll have to try that. Are you on instagram? It's very visually orientated eh??