Monthly Archives: March 2017

Panorama Maps of the 19th Century

Some of our favorite maps are Bird’s-Eye-View Panoramas, popularized in the mid-1800s and early 1900s. These views are a hybrid of cartography and art. The artists captured the character of neighborhoods using original maps, blueprints, and plans in conjunction with skillful sketching of a city’s features and buildings.

lithography-press-1855-rhoeco-sm

The lithography process that was used to reproduce these views was relatively new, having only been introduced in the early 1800s. The idea of printing on paper from an image placed on stone was quickly embraced. Rapid advances with steam-powered mechanics made the process ever more efficient and economical. The early lithography equipment and supplies were produced in Europe, with American printers importing the presses and supplies from Germany, England, and France. Only three American patents related to lithography were issued prior to 1860. As the process became more mechanized, American printers began demanding more of the powerful new presses. The R. Hoe & Co. of New York began to manufacture steam-powered presses as early as 1870 in New York. Further advances rapidly followed, such as the use of zinc plates that were easier to use than stone, and the development of photographic processes. The Centennial Exposition of 1876 exhibited the earliest examples of prints made using the photozincographic process at the Photographic Hall in Philadelphia. Continue reading

The Mapmaker’s Dilemma

Maps are historical novels. They embody the discoveries of countless generations of seafarers. They are the children of the great explorers. The mapmaker is powerless alone. He is completely dependent on others to bring him the means to practice his art: an original view; the most current calculation; the newest idea; or the latest scientific breakthrough. The more stories collected, the more accurate and detailed the picture that emerges. Each new piece of information added to the whole reveals an ever-changing, ever-evolving, living history of Man’s journey on planet Earth.

There’s a wonderful book called A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice: A Novel” about a cloistered monk at the dawn of the Renaissance who meets with visitors from around the world returning from extraordinary journeys and adventures in an attempt to glean the latest tidbit to add to his maps. Venice was a great world power at that time and considered by its cosmopolitan residents to be the center of the world. Its rulers controlled commerce and trade throughout the Mediterranean and beyond with vast fleets of merchant ships and war ships.

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A gift to the Festival in Vancouver B.C.

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival called. They were looking for a map and found us online. All you really need to do to find us is type “map murals” or “classroom maps” in a search window and we’ll pop up. Usually on top.

It took a long time to get our websites humming so that people could find us easily. The process is a called “search engine optimization” or “SEO” and consists of using words and terminology on your website and in your product descriptions that correspond to the words and terminology that people might type into search engines like google when looking for something. The trick is to match the words.

Vancouver, British Columbia has a beautiful waterfront park where they hold many events and concerts throughout the year. One of everyone’s favorites is The Children’s Festival that started as a theater festival and can trace its roots back to a UN conference on housing and the environment called Habitat the city hosted in 1976. It has evolved into a much larger event since then, weaving inter-disciplinary arts, interactive arts, and performance art together for young people and their families from around the world. This year will be its 40th anniversary celebration.

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Customers and the Crazy Things They Say

When the phone rings, we answer. We say something like: “1-World, how may I help you?” But sometimes the things people say back can be pretty confusing.

It’s actually hard to do customer service over the phone. It’s not the same as having a customer in your store where you can quickly get a feel for what they’re looking for by showing them things and gauging their needs by their reactions. Usually, the customer who calls is looking at one of our websites, and our first task is to find the item they’re looking at so that we’re both looking at the same thing. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

The fact is that people call us from any number of strange places. Like the beauty parlor. Probably not the most opportune time to make a large purchase, but why not? A very happy lady who knew exactly what she wanted called the other day while she was having her hair shampooed. All the other ladies in the place jumped right in. They were helping her measure, giving advice about which item to get, making sure she asked all the right questions, all while doing her hair and laughing and carrying on. She ended up choosing a historical bird’s-eye-view map of the California town where she lived. (see here)

That call went really well, but here’s a sample of some of the more confusing calls we’ve received:

“1-World, how may I help you?”
“There are no mountains in the ocean!” Customer had ordered a topographical map by mistake.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“The Globe.” Customer was convinced that we had called him and didn’t want to talk.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I need a map of the GTA.” I’m sorry, where? “The Greater Toronto Area.” Oh.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I’m trying to find my lost friend I spent time with in Micronesia.” We can’t really help with that.
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I’m looking for the devil on my chair.” Ahhh…
“1-World, how may I help you?”
“I’d like to sign up for the lunch series.” I don’t… we sell maps and globes…

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The Playground Stencil Project

We’re always looking for ways to give back to our community. A large part of our business is supplying schools around the country with globes and maps of all kinds and sizes so it’s a natural fit for us to want to help children.

In a previous post, we wrote about an organization we’ve partnered with to help find schools and children in need in the Seattle area. It’s called Communities In Schools. We usually donate maps and globes but we thought we might reach out to them again this month with a new idea.

We carry a lot of products. We have map murals, map rugs, spring roller maps, desk maps, relief maps, foreign language maps, floor maps, digital maps, and one of the largest selections of globes in the world. And we have one product that is unlike all the others. The Map Stencils.

Completed Playground Map Stencil

Playground Map Stencil

The stencils are outlines of the World and U.S. maps. By placing the outlines on a playground or any surface, a group of students and teachers can lay out the boundaries and paint the countries in different colors. It’s a great hands-on project for young people to do and a fun way for them to learn about the world as they use the playground.

Communities In Schools helped us find a wonderful elementary school near our office. It’s called the Van Asselt Elementary School and has a great new Principal, Monique Manuel. They have graciously accepted our gift and we’re looking forward to some warmer weather to get outside and help make the world a better place, one map at a time.

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CoCA and the World Map Competition

We love maps and we love art. So we decided to combine the two and launch a World Map Design Competition together with the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle (CoCA). The challenge: re-imagine the map of the world.

We spoke with Joseph Roberts, board member and exhibit curator at CoCA, to get his thoughts on the challenge and the project.

1-World:
Joseph, thank you for stopping by. How did you originally get involved with 1-World Globes & Maps and what are you hoping to accomplish with a partnership like this?

Joseph Roberts:
The “Re-envision The Map of The World” project is the brainchild of John DeGiacomo, 1-World’s Marketing Coordinator. Because of my deep involvement with CoCA, John reached out to me to discuss whether it might make sense for CoCA to collaborate on this project. I was immediately convinced. I’m fascinated to see how different artists will respond to the same words. What is a “map”? What is the “world”? What is a “map of the world”? What does it mean to re-envision that?

CoCA is a catalyst and forum for the advancement, development, and understanding of contemporary art. I’m always looking for projects that advance that mission. So, if a project promises to introduce CoCA’s work and that of its artists to new audiences, I’m interested. What do we hope to accomplish? Synergy.

1-World:
Has there been much interest in the competition? I saw that you put out a call for artists. Can you tell us anything about people’s reactions to the project? Continue reading

3 things to know about Peel & Stick Murals

They’re really, really, really easy to put up.

We want everyone to have maps in their homes. But before you take the traditional route with the shoe box in the closet full of folded maps, allow us to recommend something a bit more glamorous and fully-guaranteed to start up an interesting conversation every time. A map mural.

But hold on. Do you do home repairs, carpentry, sheet rock, or plaster work? No? How about wall paper installs? Not that either? Then we don’t blame you for feeling more than a bit apprehensive about buying one of our giant murals and tackling it yourself. We were convinced that we couldn’t do it. Until we did.

First, let’s get the technical details out of the way. What are map murals?

We are printers. We print paper maps that can be laminated, mounted on spring rollers, framed, or prepared for mural installations. We have five printers that are each the size of a couch. They use pigment inks which are designed specifically for fade-resistance and long life.

We can print on special papers that are more like woven fabric than traditional paper. This kind of paper has a backing that easily peels off, revealing a tacky adhesive that does not stick permanently and allows the map to be re-positioned many times without leaving any marks, folds, or tearing.

Once you find an empty, non-textured wall that you think would be a great place for a map mural, choosing the right map from our online collection and taking some measurements is all you need to do. We’ll take your measurements and divide the map into panels that we print separately. We then package them up and ship them off to you with simple directions. A level, a pencil, and a little time is all you need.

And take it from us. You can do it.

Here is a video we made recently to show you how.

And a link to our mural page on our website.

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Lending a hand

Our office and warehouse are located between the International District and the Central District in Seattle. The I.D., as we call it, is comprised of Little Saigon, Chinatown, Japan Town, and a small Philippine community that, as far as I know, has not been given an official designation.

The city of Seattle decided to change the name from Chinatown to the “International District” in 1999. The Chinese were not having any of it. They had already been living in Chinatown for over one hundred years before the name was changed. They took down the street signs the city had put up and replaced them with “Chinatown” signs.

Most, if not all of the Japanese -Americans were sent to internment camps during the second world war. Many returned to find their homes and businesses appropriated by others, but their history and contributions to Seattle are still visible in the small businesses, restaurants, and trade organizations peppered throughout the neighborhood.
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Thank You Seattle

Have you ever owned your own business? Then you know about hard work. I’m talking about the day-in and day-out, behind-the-scenes, thankless work that goes unnoticed and unappreciated. The kind of work it takes to create something out of nothing and then keep it going for years and years against the odds.

We were thinking about those hard-working people the other day. Those crazy people with big dreams who choose to do whatever it takes to provide a unique service for their communities and a living for their families. Those people who do the hard work that makes all our lives a little more fun and a little more joyous. Those small business owners in every town whose commitment and dedication make the town what it is.

We wanted to honor them somehow so we decided to start in Seattle where we live. We came up with a list of places that we think of as fundamentally Seattle; nine favorite public establishments that have stuck it out through thick-and-thin and have survived despite the rising rents, the changing tastes, and the never-ending flow of upstart competitors looking to make a name for themselves. (see the list below)

We’re map people so we started looking through our historical map collection to find an appropriate thank you gift to send them. We settled on our bird’s eye view map of the city of Seattle, Puget Sound, Washington Territory, published in 1878 by A.L. Bancroft & Co., lithographers. www.worldmapsonline.com/kr-1878-se.htm

We added a dedication and personalized note to the map for each business and mailed them off without any notice and without any expectation. Just a thank-you note, 1-World style.

“Congratulations. We think you deserve to be recognized for doing the hard work, for fighting the good fight, and for providing a wonderful place for the people of Seattle for all these years. Please accept this small gift from us as an expression of our appreciation. Thank you.”

Lockspot Cafe, 3005 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107 (206) 789-4865

Le Pichet, Pike Place Market, 1933 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 256-1499

The Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 443-3241

Linda’s Tavern, 707 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122 (206) 325-1220

Monorail Espresso, 520 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 422-0736

Hattie’s Hat, 5231 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (206) 784-0175

Montlake Bicycle Shop, 2223 24th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 (206) 329-7333

Café Lago, 2305 24th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 (206) 329-8005

Virginia Inn, 1937 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 728-1937

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