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6 Products Perfect for Map Lovers

Mental Floss logo Mental Floss 3/29/2021 Elaine Selna

Maps aren't just a resource for when you're trying to get from point A to point B—over the centuries, many of them have proven to be works of art in their own right, worthy of display in both museums and your living room. Mapmakers throughout history have highlighted different features of our world, from topography and economic resources to borders and even sea monsters. Though we pretty much know what everything above water looks like on Earth nowadays, that doesn't mean people still can't appreciate the artistry behind maps. For anyone who does, here are six products you might enjoy.

1. Great Maps: The World's Masterpieces Explored and Explained by Jerry Brotton; $22

map © Provided by Mental Floss

This book, published by Smithsonian, covers how maps have evolved over time, starting with Ptolemy's world map from the 2nd century BCE and going all the way to Google Earth today. In addition to the 55 maps covered, there are also profiles on critical cartographers that dive deeper into each map's history.

Buy it: Amazon

2. World Map Coloring Tablecloth; $30

a group of people sitting on a bed © Provided by Mental Floss

For kids looking to learn geography while flexing those creative muscles, there's this coloring tablecloth world map. Thanks to the 10 washable markers included, you won't have to worry about staining your furniture or clothing. Kids can design their own world or treat it as a fun art activity and learning experience.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

3. Custom Engraved Skateboard Map; $150

a stack of flyers on a table © Provided by Mental Floss

Gallery: Amazing homes that look like optical illusions (Lovemoney)

City maps also happen to make for pretty eye-catching decorations, and designer Alex Herber is taking this trend to a new level by engraving them onto skateboards. It makes for an interesting decoration for anyone with a love of city life.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

4. Planisphere Watch; $70

a close up of a watch © Provided by Mental Floss

There are various types of maps out there, and a planisphere is a chart that shows the exact position of the stars in the night sky at a specific time and place. This planisphere watch combines astronomy, history, and cartography in a neat Japanese-Quartz watch with Swiss dials that can glow for three hours. All the better to use when looking at constellations.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

5. Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies; $18

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At the intersection of map lovers and movie buffs comes Cinemaps. This book features 35 illustrated maps by artist Andrew DeGraff, each focusing on a different film world. Here, you'll get detailed rundowns of Isla Nublar from 1993's Jurassic Park; Florin, the fictional land from 1987's The Princess Bride; the Overlook Hotel from 1980's The Shining; and over 30 more. Each map includes a legend and details behind the film's production.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Most Dangerous U.S. Volcanoes Coasters (Set of 5); $40

a cat with its mouth open © Provided by Mental Floss

Many maps chart civilizations and where humans reside, but those that depict nature topographically are also essential resources. This set of five coasters shows the rise of different dangerous volcanoes in the United States. From Mount Rainier in Washington to Mount Kilauea in Hawaii, you'll get to experience these beauties from a safe distance.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

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