Awesome Maps: Mass Transit Map Art

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Maybe you take the Portland MAX to work daily? or you regularly take the Boston T to your favorite Irish Pub on Saturday night?  Maybe you braved the Paris Metro to see the Eiffel Tower on last your vacation? Or the New York Subway system kept you from having to find parking in the city all through your twenties? Whatever you utilize public transportation for, it’s clear that  subway systems are more than just a way to get commuters from point A to point B. They’re the veins of the cities, bringing life to the various districts and areas that you love.

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Our friends at LinePosters.com have created these beautiful graphic interpretations of the mass transit systems of various cities around the world.

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Maps.com blog

Take a look at the cities that are offered and see if any of these public transportation systems have affected your daily life. In a variety of colors, these make a beautiful and trendy addition to any home or office. They’re an awesome Christmas or birthday gift for an adventurer or a fan of a particular city. With 25 cities to choose from, you’re bound to find a subway system that unearths  nostalgic feelings.

Image credit: lineposters.com

5 Geolocation Applications to Simplify Your Life

When thinking about geolocation applications, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Foursquare or Yelp. If you dig a little deeper in the application store, you’ll find a treasure trove of applications that employ geolocation to simplify your life. Here is a list of some tremendously helpful applications that we have discovered.

[Read: Map Collection: Vintage Maps]

 Highlight

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Image credit: iTunes

Highlight reveals information about the people around you throughout the day. This includes interesting people that cross your path, or friends that are nearby. With this application, you’ll will never miss a friend in passing again.

Gogobot

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Image credit: iTunes

Gogobot is your travel agent in an application. It offers many tools to make travel planning a breeze. Users can find hotels, real customer reviews, and book reservations through Booking.com. It even allows users to share postcards with friends and tell them about a trip. This will minimize your vacation planning time, which you can replace it with more R&R!

[Read: 5 Awesome Cartography Blogs That Make Us Swoon]

Zagat

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Image credit: iTunes

Zagat helps users to find restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs. It offers trusted reviews, chef interviews, menus, and reservations through Open Table. Who knows, you may discover a hidden gem.

Bike Map SBC

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Image Credit: iTunes

This SBC Bike Map is your guide to getting around Santa Barbara County on a bike. Whether it’s on bike paths, bike lanes or mountain bike trail heads, this application will help you reduce your environmental impact while commuting via bike.

Flock

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Image credit: iTunes

Say goodbye to nagging your friends to email you pictures, because our final application is Flock. Flock finds the photos that you take with friends and family and magically brings all of them together into a single shared album.

[Read: Awesome Map: Unrealized City Plans]

Map Art: Dog Map Collages

There is a reason why they’re called man’s best friend. They’re lovable, loyal, adorable…the list goes on and on. If you’re a dog lover, this stunning collection of collages is right up your alley. They merge a love for pooches with a love of maps. It’s an unlikely marriage, but the result is breathtaking.

[Read: Cheers to Your City!]

Artist, Peter Clark arranges old maps and manuscripts into the shapes of our canine friends. The resemblance is uncanny and lifelike. These old maps come to life and the best part is that there is absolutely no chance that these pups will chomp on your prized pair of leather loafers. There are no bones about it, these are clearly something special. Let’s just hope that Fido doesn’t turn green with envy when you fall in love with these magnificent works of art.

[Read: A Map for Movie Buffs]

Image credit: Peter Clark

Map Collection: Vintage Maps

In world that’s consumed by the latest and greatest technology, sometimes it is nice to slow down and embrace items from the past. Travel to a time when beauty frequently took precedence over function. We’ve pulled together a collection of our favorite vintage maps and you are cordially invited to see the world though the eyes of the cartographers of the past.

Map of Sydney, Australia

Image credit: The Cartography Collective

You won’t find any kangaroos on this map, but you can take a look at the complex waterways of Port Jackson as they existed over ninety years ago. This historic map focuses on Sydney, Australia in 1922.

[Read: Awesome Map: Unrealized City Plans]

California Map

Image credit: Flickriver.com

This is truly California Dreamin’ on a map! It colorfully displays the various cities throughout the Golden State, while the darling pictures tell a story about each region.

Map of Santa Barbara, CA

Image credit: Maps.com

We love this beautiful map of Santa Barbara, although we may be a little biased. This panoramic view of our coastal city is a reproduction of a map created in 1877,  filled with intricate details. Look closely and you’ll see livestock and even boats in the harbor.

[Read: Awesome Public Domain Map: Nature is Calling]

New York Subway Map

Image credit: brooklynframeworks.com

This map takes you to a time when there were elevated routes on the New York Subway and the 1939 World’s Fair was still proudly on display. New Yorkers can take a historical look at their city and marvel at the changes.

[Read: Awesome Map: You Say “Tomato” and I Say “Tomahto”]

Amazon River Map

Image credit: Etsy.com

This vintage map follows the Amazon River as it winds down from the Andes and eventually runs into the Atlantic.

We love awesome maps! Do you know of any that you think we should feature? We would be delighted to hear from you. Send your submissions here.

Awesome Map: Unrealized City Plans

Thinking about the what-ifs in life can be exciting, terrifying or anything in-between. Have you ever thought about the things that could have affected your everyday life?

What if the Boston T System had been expanded in 1954? Would it be easier to travel from the suburbs to the city?  What if a network of elevated highways existed in San Francisco? Would it allow commuters to sleep 15 minutes later in the morning?Would there still be traffic gridlock in Los Angeles if they had maintained a solid network of trolleys? These are questions that will never be answered, but it still makes you wonder..

[Read: Awesome Map: You Say “Tomato” and I Say “Tomahto”]

Whatever happened to the unrealized city plans that were rejected, underfunded, or just never came to fruition? Hyperreal Cartography and the Unrealized City has discovered these fascinating maps.  Scroll through them and you’ll see the ghosts of city plans that could have changed the cities that you love.

[Read: Awesome Map: A Blustery Map]

Photos credited: hyperreal cartography & the unrealized city

We love awesome maps! Do you know of any that you think we should feature? We would be delighted to hear from you. Send your submissions here.

Annual Walk-in Map Sale

Maps.com Annual Map Sale is this Friday, October 21, 2011 from 11AM-2PM and Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 8AM-11AM at 120, Cremona Drive, Suite H Goleta.

TWO DAYS ONLY -

- Up to 70% off in-stock items
– 15% off other orders, Friday and Saturday only.

Products include: Wall Maps, Mounted and Framed maps for you home or office, globes, folded maps, desk maps.

Also available online with discount: Globes, Personalized Maps and Puzzles, plus discount coupons for online purchases.

Maps.com Annual Map Sale

Click here to RSVP to the Event

City Maps are Better on Paper

Many people could easily argue that city maps printed on paper have become all but obsolete in this day and age. Certain websites can give detailed directions to practically any destination on the planet, and many modern vehicles are equipped with GPS devices that are meant to ensure that drivers will never be lost again. Printed maps are still available at truck stops and convenience stores across the country, but it seems like more and more people are more willing to forego traditional atlases and city maps in favor of modern technology. And yet, there are still times when it is best to have an old fashioned paper map in a car’s glove compartment.

It is true that GPS navigation is the wave of the future. The technology has been progressing to the point where maps are downloaded much more quickly, and they often are capable of delivering directions to destinations in real time. Free online map services also provide easy-to-read directions to a destination for those who have an internet connection but lack a GPS system. Still, neither GPS systems or online map services are perfect. CityMapsFirst of all, GPS devices run on batteries. An expensive GPS navigation system may get a driver to where he or she needs to be most of the time, but what happens when the battery dies during a long road trip? The fantastic source of up-to-the-minute information that was so convenient just moments before is essentially useless. Fortunately, a driver doesn’t have anything to worry about if he or she has a city map on hand. It won’t give anyone directions in real time, and it won’t tell anyone if there is road construction or any detours that should be avoided, but it will give the driver an idea of where to go. As a navigational backup alone, paper maps can be endlessly useful.

There’s also the fact that plenty of drivers have been spoiled by their GPS systems. GPS devices are amazing tools, but they are far from perfect. A GPS map can be outdated, a fact that some people may not realize. Those precise directions that they can give also may steer a driver in the wrong direction if they are followed someplace in the middle of nowhere. Yes, paper maps can never be updated, but the basic layout of road doesn’t change that much.

No driver should be left without a paper city map on hand during long trips. As wonderful as GPS systems can be, sometimes they simply cannot beat a folded up piece of paper when it comes to navigation.