Maps – the weird, wacky and wonderful

We all know that maps are pretty useful things. A weekend adventure in the Lake District, the sat nav in your car and many of our public services all rely on using maps or Geographic Information (GI). Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Cardiff City Council is using GI to save a healthy £1.3m by reorganising their bus routes.

But the other day I started thinking about some more unusual uses for maps – the wacky, the bizarre or the inspired. And I was reminded of someone who loved maps so much they had wallpapered their toilet with them! I’m sorry to say we can’t find any trace of them or their toilet (if that person was you, get in touch!) but it prompted me to ask ‘what are the most unusual uses for maps?’

So, we put the question to our wonderful twitter followers who came up with these fantastic examples of map decor and clothes. Can you think of any others?

Maps as clothes

This fetching OS Landranger Map shirt is modelled by Alan Parkinson, also known as @GeoBlogs

Alan Parkinson

Alan Parkinson

Our own example comes in the form of the now (in)famous OS MasterMap jacket and tie!

5,000 changes a day are not made to this jacket

5,000 changes a day are not made to this jacket

Maps as wallpaper

We might not have been able to track down the person who papered their toilet with mapping, but Damian Watson showed us his lovely study, expertly wallpapered by his wife!

The south east of England has never looked better

The south east of England has never looked better

Maps as lamps

Maps do a great job in illuminating the landscape, now they can light up a room too! I’ll get my coat… Great work by ArtShades.

Handmade lamps courtesy of ArtShades

Handmade lamps courtesy of ArtShades

And finally, maps as art

The best maps are works of art in their own right, but Rita Donugh has taken this a step forward with this beautiful creation. Thanks to @Artythings for pointing this out to us.

Ordanance Survey, Birmingham By Rita Donagh

Ordanance Survey, Birmingham By Rita Donagh

So what else have you got?!

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