Tag Archives: Maps

Falling In Love with Paper Travel Guides In The Digital Age

By Lakshmi:

For the last several years, most of our trips have been facilitated by electronic media.  From downloading apps on local transit systems to those that point you to what’s around, from eguides to cities to programs that track your visits, going paperless has been quite a liberating experience.

However, despite our newly discovered efficiency, there is something magical about picking up a print travel magazine (the most recent case in point being an issue of Wanderlust at Heathrow airport) that sends our hormones into a state of bliss.  Given this induced state, it should come as no surprise that my heart skipped a beat or two when I discovered alacarte maps.

Pitched as a package that combines a travel guide with a city map that can serve as a piece of art, these extremely attractive, easy to carry guides may be the perfect companion to discovering an entire city or a quaint neighborhood.

Founded by two Swiss flashpackers (backpackers who like to journey in style), these enticing maps provide tons of tips from locals on where to go and what to do in addition to of course providing you with what you would expect from good old fashioned maps.  In fact, mix one part eye candy, one part personal tour guide and one part reliable data and you come up with a map ideally suited for today’s digital age limited attention span!

I happened to see the one on my former home town of Washington DC and can’t wait to buy a few for cities I am already quite familiar with…London, New York, Vienna.

Take a moment to peruse their collection at http://www.alacartemaps.com/ and if that’s not enough to get you excited, take a look at one of their creative videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvBqCCRd4PI

And if you’ve used their maps, please do send us your feedback.

Just Discovered The Coolest Travel Site

A Visual Map of Dumbo
Source: Theydrawandtravel.com

By Lakshmi: 

Who?  Who knew that some late afternoon browsing and twittering would lead to the discovery of a website that brings together artists who visually illustrate all their favorite places to live, visit and eat.

What?  http://www.theydrawandtravel.com/ is a website that was created by Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, a brother and sister design and illustration team who have been working together for over 10 years.

How?  If you are visiting a city and want a quick visual map of all the major attractions to cover or simply want to explore the highlights of one or more cities, this site presents the information as total eye candy.

Why? I have been a big fan of visual data depiction and am in love with several of the infographic maps that have been featured in Fast Company, Time and other magazines lately.  And discovering a site that has elevated these maps to an art form made for a very joyous Saturday afternoon.

Since we had recently discovered the DUMBO area of New York City, we started our site exploration with a search for an illustrated map of DUMBO.  We were excited to not only be met with a beautiful visual illustration, but were happy to find that all of the things that delighted us were on this map.  We went on to search for Istanbul and found not one but several illustrations, each by a different artist.  From a map of where to find the best vegetarian dishes in Berlin to what to eat in Tuscany, from understanding typical Austrian foods to finding flea markets in Bangkok, the site has an eclectic collection of maps.

Please do visit this site and let us know your reactions.  We hope as fellow travel enthusiasts you are just as excited as us about this discovery.