GPS? Mapquest? Not for fans of hand-drawn maps

Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:42pm EDT
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By Randall Mikkelsen

BOSTON, Sept 13 (Reuters Life) - As high-tech mapping services such as Garmin, Google and MapQuest make finding directions easier than ever, a new movement has revived interest in maps made by hand, as a route toward personal expression.

Ingrid Burrington plotted encounters between strangers in New York City that were noted on the "missed connections" personals section of Craigslist, a website for classified listings.

Marilyn Murphy mapped the sites of her stomach injections to treat juvenile arthritis - a practical guide for her next shot as well as a testament to her illness.

Scott Schuldt used methods and instruments of old surveyors to chart his rambles in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and plots them in the folksy, primitive scale of strides to the inch.

These maps and hundreds of others are featured on the website of the Hand Drawn Map Association (, and in a new book, "From Here to There: A Curious Collection from the Hand Drawn Map Association."

The book was compiled by the group's founder, Kris Harzinski. Some maps are drawn by artists, while many are by people whose lives are revealed by the paths they record.

"What these maps really do at the end of the day is they tell a story about a place, a very specific story, a single individual's interpretation or knowledge of a place," said Harzinski, a Philadelphia artist and graphic designer.


<p>Lola Pellegrino drew this map for an ex-boyfriend to let him know she was still around after he broke up with his latest girlfriend. REUTERS/Lola Pellegrino/Handout</p>