Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tactile Inuit Coastline Carvings

These are so fantastic. And by "these," so far, I just mean the three tactile maps of the Greenland coastline carved by kayaking Inuits that keep propagating across the "Hey cool!" section of the web. This particularly clear image of the map in the Greenland National Museum is from
Three-dimensional maps of coastlines were carved of wood as long as three hundred years ago. These Inuit charts were usually carved from driftwood and are made to be felt rather than looked at. The Inuit hold this map under their mittens and feel the contours with their fingers to discern patterns in the coastline. The land is very abstract. It is limited to “edges” that can be felt on a dark night in a kayak.
At the always-awesome BLDGBLOG, Geoff embraced the idea of tactile maps, and then promptly paddled out into the open speculative waters he prefers.

Me, I'd love to see some more Eskimo maps. Even if it's from the fake Inuit market where the cruise ships dock. Besides, I'm on kind of a mapping X abstraction kick at the moment.

Inuit Wood Maps (on a Greenland stamp!) []
Tactile Maps of Coastlines [bldgblog]