Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What is Map of the Week?

Today is the fifth anniversary of Map of the Week! Sort of. Actually it's more complicated than that as most things are. An exact anniversary date is tough to pin down so today is as good as any. Here's the boring history lesson:

Map of the Week started in or around 1993 when I shared a house in Lawrence, Kansas with fellow graduate student, frequent commenter and Renaissance blogger Michael5000. We started putting maps of the week on the kitchen wall (or maybe fridge I can't remember everything from those crazy college days.)  They were not exotic or special - just maps that we felt like posting and the practice didn't stick for very long because we had homework and life to attend to.

When I accepted a job in Seattle, a place I'd never been, I drew this mental map based on my limited knowledge and probably posted it as a final map of the week. The map suffers from the classic "figure ground" problem-the water looks like land and vice versa. The original is on yellow paper, printed on the back of a lost dog notice.


On occasion I would send Mr. 5000 maps in the US mail that I found to be noteworthy. Here is a map from a charity newsletter of a project they did in Moncton, New Brunswick. I clipped out the charity's name to spare them the embarrassment as they do some very good work.


The map is pretty tough to read from my poor copy but basically they didn't know where Moncton or New Brunswick were so they just plopped it right in the middle of the country. That's OK - Canada's a small place!

Years later (around 2004 or so) I decided to revive Map of the Week as a weekly e-mail with a map attached. Five years ago today I started keeping track of what map I posted on what date with an eye towards a possible blog. I finally created the blog in 2007 and began by back posting all my entries beginning October 5th, 2005. As of today the blog has reached over 150 countries!

Map of the Week will try to continue to bring a quality blog product every week, with the occasional extra map of the weekend or other special event. Map of the Week will not advertise your book, or map products but if something looks interesting, I may post it without the sales pitch. Thanks to all my readers for years of support!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Doug: Congratulations on your 5th anniversary! I've enjoyed getting and viewing your maps. Keep up the good work! Judy

mrs.5000 said...

Congratulations on five fine years (or seventeen, or whatever) of Map of the Week! And thanks for being tour guide for all that desk chair traveling!

Sandra B said...

wow! what a nodal point!

Amy G. said...

So that's what you've been doing with the laptop all these years!

- Mrs. Map of the Week

DrSchnell said...

I wonder what percentage of blogs out there have been maintained for five full years from the time they started? I bet it's pretty small. Congratulations

DrSchnell said...

I see from your geographic stats on the edge of your blog that the Pope has apparently been visiting your site! Or one of his buddies....

Michael5000 said...

w00t! Hi Mrs.MapoftheWeek! Hi Your Holiness!

Michael5000 said...

Seems we're coming up on Year 10...