Tag Archives: City of London

London’s mapping renaissance

The growth of online mapping – as seen by the excellent London Mapping website, which collects some of the best digital maps around – has not meant the end of paper maps.

Image of Untamed London

I’ve mentioned Herb Lester‘s lovely themed maps before with reference to their 1960s map of London’s West End, Wish You Were There, and they continue to add new maps to their range, branching into different cities and themes while maintaining an impeccable eye for design. Untamed London, for nature-lovers, is their latest offering.

I’ve also finally got my hands on the Museum of London’s Londonium map and it is hugely impressive. This has been produced by MOLAS, the Museum of London Archeological Service, and is a huge map of the City, with the Roman topography superimposed over a plan of the contemporary city – a little like a paper version of the technology used for the Time Travel Explorer app.

Key Roman finds are listed, with an explanation of what they are and how they can be accessed, while the reverse side has a potted history of Roman London, with many illustrations. The map is printed on good thick paper so won’t tear easily (a constant problem for frequently folded paper maps), and works beautifully as both a decorative item and a practical plan for hunting down the existing remains of Londonium.

It costs just £6.25 and should it prove to be a big seller – which I imagine it will – I hope the Museum can persuade their friends at MOLA to produce more maps along the same lines.

One for the Olympic Park at around this time next year, perhaps?

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Marf: City Blues at the Guildhall Art Gallery

My review of Marf: City Blues, an exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery, appears in the Independent.

The Guildhall in the City is an appropriate venue for a series of cartoons about the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. Marf is Canadian, but her cartoons are all set in London, and the Gherkin, St Paul’s and the tube all make appearances. The exhibition is on until June 20.

The Guildhall has recently become a free venue, which is slightly contrary to current trends, but the City of London has always done things a bit differently. It has a wonderful collection of London-related paintings, and is definitely worth a visit, and there are also plans to host regular paid-for temporary exhibitions. Marf, however, is free. The intention is that local workers, who are overwhelmingly from the financial services, will come to the gallery in their lunchtime to nose around.

I wonder what they will make of cartoons like the following when they do? Water off a duck’s back, probably.