I don't know why I've been thinking about maps lately -- perhaps it's because I've been traveling, and as this is posted, I'll actually be in an airplane flying home. I've always been a fan of maps -- all kinds of maps -- and can spend an inordinate amount of time looking at various maps. So it's interesting to see a few map or map-related products all show up at the same time on Kickstarter. These days, "maps" for many mean the app they can call up on their smartphone -- but people are doing some fun things with the more old-fashioned kind of maps as well:
- We'll start with a cool idea: making Risk-like boards that highlight certain regions. So, rather than the "world" map you see in regular Risk, you can play a Risk-like game in your home city. Of course, as it is they have a limited number of places right now -- but they include San Francisco, New York and a variety of other places as well.
Of course, there's an IP angle here too. The folks who made this don't own the rights to Risk. They're trying to deal with this by (1) being clear that they're obviously building off of Risk (not trying to hide it) and (2) making the game unplayable unless you have an official copy to go along with it and (I think...) use the pieces from the official game. With this project getting greater attention, hopefully Hasbro realizes that it actually helps their brand, rather than hurts it.
- Next up, we've got Bucketlistmap: Putting the Awesome Back in Maps -- which clearly fits in with our theme here. If you like old maps and their great design, you'll probably really like this one. These guys are trying to take the beautiful design and style of really old maps and update them for a modern era. They've already done really cool world maps for skiing, surfing and football (soccer for us uncultured Americans) and now they want to do a "bucketlistmap," which will be the same sort of thing, but highlighting "the world's most awesome sights, smells, sounds and eats." Definitely click through on this one to check out the pictures.
They've already met their goals on this one though, there's still a single $10,000 option available, in which they'll throw a dart at a map (they don't say if it will be one of their own) and send you to wherever the dart lands on an all-expenses paid trip. I would imagine that might be a bit tricky if it lands in the middle of the ocean somewhere -- or if it ends up in a place where "all expenses" exceed $10,000. Still, I think this one is more for the amusement factor anyway.
- Finally, we've got some guys trying to put together Grant Rising: First in a New Series of Civil War Map Books. It's an "atlas" of maps that try to tell the story of Civil War general and one-time US President Ulysses S. Grant. It's an interesting idea. I'd never thought of telling someone's life story through maps.
This one hasn't yet matched its goal, and is still below 50%. I'm guessing that the topic is so specific that it might have a limited audience. You'd need to be interested both in maps and the life of Ulysses S. Grant, and I'm not sure how big the overlapping populations really are. Still, I think it's neat to think about someone's life in the form of a collection of maps.
That's it for this week. Go check out some maps.