Christmas gifts for geo-geeks


There is no shame in being a geo-geek.  Geeks seem to be “in” at the moment and maps also seem to be cool.  With this in mind, you might want to send someone something map or geo related.  To help you out, i have put together a list of things that i would not be disappointed receiving myself.

  • Personalised Historic Map Mugs – An ideal gift to remember the place where memories were born! Personalise the Map (1896-1904 edition) with any postcode. Use it to show the area you got married, your first house or just that special place! Maps are available for all of England, Scotland and Wales. Enter the required post code in the personalisation field. Spotted this on the OS Blog, they have a fw other ideas for XMAS pressies, check them out
  • Map Cushion – as simple as that, a cushion with a map on it. Not cheap at £28 but quite nice.  If you know how to sew, then you could probably make one yourself.
  • Crumpled Map – a city map of London that is made of fabric and you can screw up into a ball and generally abuse without it ripping. At £9 this is a great stocking filler. Other cities are available and there are a host of great maps available on the FAB website including wall-mounted magnetic maps.
  • Mapominoes – mentioned this last year, but since then they have brought out a UK county version which will test your knowledge of the UK geography in a fun, interactive game. It is much like dominoes but with geographic areas. Add in a bit of tactics, blocking of regions with negative tactics and you have a great little game.  Priced at between £10-12 pounds and available from amazon.
  • Doodle Map – one for younger, aspiring map-geeks. Doodle maps are laminated to allow kids to write or draw on them with crayons.  They can trace routes to grandparents or mark where they are going on holiday. These would also be great as a classroom resource. £26
  • Bespoke map art – Bombus do a range of map art. You select the shape and the locations you want and you will recieve a framed picture with 3 map snippets.  I thought my sister had become ultra-creative , but now i know where she got the map art in her hallway. Busted.  Prices vary, check out the Bombus website for details. They also do some really simple cards and Christmas decorations priced between £5 and £15.
  • Map Wallet – a gift for him, a quality leather wallet that has a map lining, for the subtle map-geek (£35)
  • Map Wallet 2 – a cheaper option with even more map! The Explorer Map Mighty Wallet features a map of the beautiful Alaskan glaciers and is made from a single sheet of super-strong Tyvek that feels like paper but is virtually indestructible. (£11)
  • Old Maps – old maps make a great gift and you can pick them up for under £5.  Just pop into your local charity shop and see what they have in.  I love the old Bartholomew’s maps and at £4 for a map printed on cloth they are a steal, plus the cash goes to a worthy cause.

And then there are book:

  • On the Map (Simon Garfield) –  examines how maps both relate and realign our history. His compelling narratives range from the quest to create the perfect globe to the challenges of mapping Africa and Antarctica, from spellbinding treasure maps to the naming of America, from Ordnance Survey to the mapping of Monopoly and Skyrim, and from rare map dealers to cartographic frauds. £17.
  • Map Addict (Mike Parker) – a couple of years old now, but still a great present for a map geek. Mike explores his own love affair with the map in his own humorous way. £7.
  • Atlas of Remote Islands – On one page are perfect maps, on the other unfold bizarre stories from the history of the islands themselves. Rare animals and strange people abound: from marooned slaves to lonely scientists, lost explorers to confused lighthouse keepers, mutinous sailors to forgotten castaways; a collection of Robinson Crusoes of all kinds. Recently awarded the prize of Germany’s most beautiful book, the Atlas of Remote Islands is an intricately designed masterpiece that will delight maplovers everywhere. Judith Schalansky lures us across all the oceans of the world to fifty remote islands – from St Kilda to Easter Island and from Tristan da Cunha to Disappointment Island – and proves that some of the most memorable journeys can be taken by armchair travellers. £16
  • Scotland – Mapping the Nation – Compiled by three experts who have spent their lives working with maps, Scotland: Mapping the Nation offers a fascinating and thought-provoking perspective on Scottish history which is beautifully illustrated with complete facsimiles and details of hundreds of the most significant manuscript and printed maps from the National Library of Scotland and other institutions, including those by Timothy Pont, Joan Blaeu and William Roy, amongst many others. £20
  • Wild Vision – mot really a mapping book, but i am sneaking it in as i went to a talk by John Beatty last night and his images are stunning.  They depict the natural world in a clarity that few are lucky enough to witness first hand.  Many images were captured with film SLR cameras in harsh conditions but are still pin-sharp.His book celebrates the natural world and costs £25
  • Cool cloth with map– I spotted a lady at a recent conference with  a very cool map-print skirt.  She bought the fabric and had it made up into a skirt.  I suppose you could get the fabric and make anything you want, cushions  bags, curtains. It is a liberty print, so i have been told, but is seems to be out of stock.

    Map Skirt

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