The rainbow world map I present in this blog post is a direct result of the World Cup in Qatar. A tournament that quickly degenerated into a statement contest. That was of course mainly the fault of Fifa, which banned “political” expressions such as the OneLove band under penalty of a yellow card. And of the organizing committee that banned every piece of textile with rainbow colors from the stadiums. Rainbow flags It’s quite logical that rainbows have always appealed to people’s imagination. It is a beautiful yet harmless natural phenomenon that is also somewhat rare and fleeting. Over the… Read More
A map can evoke a world on a piece of paper, or on a few million pixels. Big or small, real or fiction. A world that once was but no longer is. Or a world that does not exist yet but that could one day bethere.
I always liked browsing through atlases, studying street plans and dreaming away over maps. And I practice the noble craft of cartography myself. From the history of Rotterdam to the future of Mars: I map it.
One of the most successful works in my webshop is the World Map Rust. And also the Scrapwood Map of the Netherlands is popular. It is therefore surprising that it took so long before I came up with the idea of making a rust map of the Netherlands. Imagination Of course they’re not photos, these rust maps. They are entirely the product of my imagination. And of my laptop. I kept on fiddling with textures, filters, shadows, and other effects in Photoshop until I was satisfied. Ral colors I made the first version of the rusty world map with a… Read More
Over a year ago, I was asked if I wanted to have an exhibition of my work in the entrance hall of the RIVM, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven. At that time, I had only a vague idea of the existence of that institute. But then first the emissions of nitrogen by agriculture and industry created a kind of national crisis in which the institute played a pivotal role. And after that the covid-19 pandemic came upon us. By now, there is probably nobody in the country who has never heard of RIVM.… Read More
Since I wrote an article about beer photography on this blog last year, I own a colorful collection of bottle caps. Its numbers are growing because my friends keep collecting caps for me and I also like to open the occasional bottle myself. I had the idea for some time to make a world map of all those beer caps. And the partial lockdown we’ve had in the Netherlands for a few weeks now was a good reason to implement that plan. As a kind of moral support for the Dutch bars and restaurants. Not that it really helps them,… Read More
In times of crisis, people get creative. And in times of lockdown, people have time to spare. So it was to be expected that covid19 would lead to an explosion of art, as a way to make the best of the miserable situation we found ourselves in. This phenomenon struck me as well, in the form of two new world maps. Toilet rolls In March of this year, in the week we discovered that the corona pandemic would not pass the Netherlands completely unnoticed, I saw someone walking with three mega packs of toilet paper. And moments later another person… Read More
One of the most bizarre conspiracy theories has to be that of the Flat Earth. There is even a society with hundreds of members who gather at conventions to discuss the “evidence” that NASA and other agencies, with malicious intentions or out of ignorance, maintain the idea that our planet is a sphere orbiting the Sun. In their vision the Northpole is the center of everything and the Southpole is a wall of ice around the world that prevents us from falling into the void. But the mere fact that it is not day or night everywhere at the same… Read More
This year we commemorate that eighty years ago the reconstruction of Rotterdam started. On May 14, 1940, much of the city was destroyed by the German bombardment and subsequent fire. Just four days later, on May 18, city architect W.G. Witteveen was commissioned to make a plan for the rebuilding. The ultimate Basic Plan for Reconstruction, drawn by Witteveen’s successor Cornelis van Traa, was not aproved by the city council until 1946. As a result of that Plan, the street map of the city center was drastically changed in many places. As I searched through my Rotterdam archive, I came… Read More
Planting trees is perhaps the most fun way to save the world. Who doesn’t love a forest, an arboretum or a beautiful avenue of trees? I am giving a symbolic impetus with my digital forest world map, but of course more needs to be done. Much more. Land art The World Map of Trees, shown below, is made of more than 15,000 trees. Together they form the continents of our planet, while the surrounding grassy meadows represent the oceans. A piece of land art on an area of approximately 200 hectares, accessed by roads and paths (the equator and some… Read More
It’s certainly not the first time I make a world map, but I’ve never made one in stained glass. Our planet played a part in the virtual stained glass window that I made of the famous Earthrise photo, but that is not the same. So it was about time to fill this gap in my collection. And here’s the result! Virtual glass The map is made of 1440 pieces of colored glass. Virtual glass, of course, because this artwork was made entirely with the help of Photoshop and a tiny bit of Autocad. Despite the abstraction, the elements that make… Read More
What happens when all the polar ice melts? What would the world map look like after a maximum sea level rise? And how long does it take to get there? These are interesting questions now that climate change is – finally – on the political agenda. And as a cartographer, I could not resist the temptation to visualize the worst case scenario. Gravity When the Greenland ice sheet melts, the sea level rises 7 meters, when the ice melts in Antarctica it causes a rise of 58 meters. So together that makes 65 meters. But that is an average. Because… Read More