While this site lives a digital world of geographical information, there is nothing quite like going to visit a real life, physical ‘map den’, and for those who are able to, I’d highly recommend going to visit The British Library in Central London. Their map room has one of largest collections of geographical information, with approximately 4.5 million entities. This alone should be a pull factor to have a ‘map’ day in London. However, up until March 1st 2017, there is a further reason to venture down, and this is because of the fantastic “Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line” exhibition which is taking place there.
I was fortunate to make it down in January with a few fellow GIS geeks and we all couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It is a journey from early maritime/global mapping, military and urban planning surveying of 19th and 20th Century, maps as a political tools and satire, through to live motion sensing mapping and digital mapping – and much more! Plus contours on a wall, which by the way once you’ve finished with them, British Library, I’m happy to take them off your hands. Particularly encouraging as well as the demographic of audience; not just old hobbyists and (not as old) map nerds like us, but also schoolkids too, teaching the next generation of geographers and location specialists.
Anyway, if you are able to book tickets and get to the British Library, especially before the end of the month, I’d pull out all the stops. Three things:
M – Must see collection of maps through the history of geographical information
A – Accessible, well laid out exhibition, worth the price
P – Plan. Tickets required, plus make sure you have time, we spent almost 3 hours!