I want to share four map related experiences I had during winter break.
1. My sons played a game they discovered last month: Minecraft Earth. Players use a cell phone map to navigate a place, collecting Minecraft resources that appear and then place them in an augmented reality map. As I watched them play, I was intrigued by the map itself — it looked like Minecraft (everything was made of blocks) but it was clear that it was our neighborhood:
2. I visited the newly re-designed MoMA in New York City and stumbled upon a Julie Mehretu painting. Her map art still inspires and astonishes me:
3. My kids and I went to the newly opened Burke Museum in Seattle and we saw a navagational map that shows the Marshall Islands (as shells) and “the unique wave patterns that reverberate off each island” (as wood). I had seen pictures of these navigational maps but this was the first wave-piloting map I’ve seen in person:
4. I re-read “MAP” a poem by Wislawa Szymborska.
I included this poem in my fourth blog post but want to re-post it today.
Szymborska’s vision of a simple green and blue map of earth is reassuring to me as we welcome in 2020. Perhaps, if we zoom out and see only the mountains, rivers, lakes, and seas and not wars, boundaries, and borders we can focus instead on our connected humanity.