Top 10 Christmas ideas for geo-geeks

It’s that time of year again.  Finding the perfect gift for those that we care about and trying to be just a little bit different or going that extra mile to get a gift that really will be cherished.  Increasingly, us map geeks have a host of carto related gifts that we can buy each other.  This post highlights some of them and will hopefully stand as a bit of inspiration for anyone who wants to treat a geo-geek who has been particularly good this year.

First off, you could do worse than looking at the list that i put together last year. Some of the links no longer map(sic) to the correct product, but some do.  Beyond that, the list below should give you some ideas of what i have stumbled across this year:

1. SplashMaps - SplashMaps are REAL outdoor maps designed for clarity and accuracy.  They are Washable, Wearable, All-Weather Fabric maps.  Prices are about £20 for a standard sheet and bit more for a custom Make-a-Map sheet.  Note that Make-a-Map maps cannot be delivered before Christmas.  Please choose the Map voucher for an even more personalised gift. There is a useful image showing the availability of standard maps that would be delivered by christmas.


Splash Maps


2. Escape  maps– Available through many sellers on ebay are genuine WW2 escape maps. These tend to be printed on silk and were issued to service men, generally RAF, when they were on missions behind enemy lines. The maps were light and easy to hide in clothing but gave service men routes to escape back to allied territory.  I may have bought one last year and it is beautiful! Buy one and you will own a little piece of history. Prices vary, but around £25.


A little bit of history

3. Jerrys Map – If you don’t know what Jerry’s map is, then please look at this video.  You can buy tiles from the map, these are copies of the original, but as the map is constantly evolving you actually end up with something that is unique. Again, i may have already bought some tiles and they are amazing.  If you happen to be in Edinburgh (perhaps over Hogmanay) then you can see the actual map which is on show at Summerhall.  Tiles are available through Ebay direct from the man himself. Prices vary, but start at less than £5.


Jerry and the map

4. Bespoke map art– Yes, i know they featured last year, but they have expanded their range and there is something for every type of map geek. Prices range from 35 to over £50.


Map Art – in this case a clock!

5. Cartographic T-shirt – stylish -shirts with subtle cartography on them. Nonfictiontees – £12, TFL Beck Tube map – £12, Polar projection goodness – £16,


Map on a t-shirt

6. Animal World Map– This is a massive wall map of the World for kids.  Each country is represented by the animals that are associated with it. Although the UK seems not to get any animals, just Big Ben. Surely we could have has sheep, salmon, a Highland Coo or a Haggis! Prices are £21 for an A3 copy and £26 for an A2 copy.


One for the kids

7. Typographic Maps– another “where art meets maps”, these typographic maps show several cities of the World (London, New York, Seattle…..) but features are represented just by their names.  The A1 posters cost £26.


Typo? What typo?

8. Map Bling– Jewellery with maps on it for him or her?  Sorted. Prices from £15-£50.



9. Wapenmap- A Wapenmap is a 3D contoured stainless steel metal map landscape sculpture. Cost is about £18


3D Maps

10. A map – any map.  A true map geek will get a kick out of receiving a map.  The map could be new, old, antique, foreign.  It could link into a trip or anything.  I have received a Terry Wogan weekender map (dont ask), and it is great.  I have given people old maps of where they live and taken pleasure as they analyse how things have changed (Oxfam is a great place to get an old OS or Bartholwmews map)

That’s your lot.  What, no books i hear you say! Well i will put a list of some top map related books tomorrow.

Note – thanks to James Cheshire who blogged his wish list earlier in the month and i have blatantly stolen 1 or 2 ideas from it ;)