It is that time of year again i am afraid. Lots going on everywhere. Things to finish at work, project deadlines and an increase in social activity. Plus you have to somehow fit in some Christmas shopping. As a bit of light relief, I thought i would take this opportunity to compile a short list of geo and map related gift ideas. The list is by no means exhaustive so feel free to add any other little gems you have found.
I am sure there are a heap of Geo-related books out there, but here are a few that i have come across recently.
Map Addict by Mike Parker is a fun read with witty stories of a map obsessed boy. It also gives a brief overview of mapping in the UK. A more formal review of the creation and development of the OS between 1747-1846 is presented by Rachael Hewitt in Map of a Nation
Strange Maps is a book of, well, strange maps. A collection of interesting cartographic representations from around the world. This book shows how maps differ through time, between cultures and how politics affects cartography. A perfect coffee table book to dip in and out of.
For younger readers, the “Horrible History” have just released “Horrible Geography” which seem to follow the same recipe, present the subject material in a clear concise way and add little anecdotes to make it more interesting. The illustrations are great and pull everything together to make learning fun.
On the games front, Mapominoes is great fun. It is essentially dominoes but uses countries instead of numbers. If you hold Andorra then you would only be able to play if next to France or Spain. Transit cards make things more interesting allowing you to leapfrog countries and oceans. I have thoroughly tested this one and can report it to be great fun and educational as well. Four separate editions are available that cover the World so you can join up with friends for uber-mapominoe games.
Backpacker is a game from the same distributor (Wild Card Games) as Mapominoes. Backpacker sees players heading out on trips around the World trying to collect the most photographs before heading home. No two games are the same and the game is small enough to go traveling with. I have not played this yet, but it is on my wish list.
For other ideas, Stanfords have a range of geo-related gifts including World Map shower curtains, puzzle globes and my favorite, the sea-level rise mug. This mug has a map of the World but when you add hot water the oceans expand and flood the low lying coasts. Brilliant. Lastly, Open Street Map blankets offered by Pistil SF. These aren’t cheap, but you can select the neighborhood you want and event he style you want it in (midnight commander, candy).
So, there are a few ideas. If you find anything else then please feel free to add it to the comments.