Tag Archives: images

Sentimental Cartography

A long time ago, I made a map of the rationalist community.

This is in the same geographic-map-of-something-non-geographic tradition as the Greater Ribbonfarm Cultural Region or xkcd’s map of the Internet. There’s even some sort of therapy program that seems to involve making a map like this of your life, though I don’t know how seriously they take it.

There’s no good name for this art and it’s really hard to Google. If you try “map of abstract concept” you just get a bunch of concept maps. It seems the old name, from back when this was a popular Renaissance amusement, is “sentimental cartography”, since it was usually applied to sentiments like love or sorrow. This isn’t great – the Internet’s not a sentiment – but it’s what we’ve got and I’ll do what I can to try to make it catch on.

Here are some of the best (ie, only) works of modern sentimental cartography I’ve been able to find. Sorry if this ends up a little clickbaity, but I’m annoyed that these haven’t been gathered together in one place before. I am very limited by some of them being offline and copyrighted, so some of these will be teasers rather than the full map. Others will be thumbnails that you can click through to get to the full map or an approximation.

The best modern sentimental cartography I can find comes from illustrator James Turner, who made the Map of Humanity.

You can find more samples at this site. Turner also has a map of love and relationships, but it’s even harder to find any good images of.

This is all I’ve got

You can buy poster versions of both maps at the SLG Publishing Store, and you really should. This is one of my favorite things in the whole world, and it’s sold a grand total of seven copies so far (I think I might be two of the seven).

There are some similar works in the Atlas Of Experience, available in part as a website and in full as a book on Amazon. This seems to be their main offering:

And this is a magnification of one of their peninsulae:

Martin Vargic has a bunch of really good sentimental cartography. The most easily accessible is his Map Of The Internet.

He also has a Map of Literature, not particularly accessible except for teasers:

Not a thumbnail, sorry – this is the biggest I have

The full version of this map and several others with no online presence are available in Vargic’s book Miscellany Of Curious Maps.

This is road map of songs whose names sound like things that should be on a road map:

The poster version is available for purchase here, as are a similar TV map, book map, game map, and film map.

And speaking of film maps, a random Reddit commenter made one:

That’s it. These are literally all the good modern sentimental cartography maps I know. This is a good art, it shouldn’t have died with the Renaissance, and people should do more work to resurrect it.