Memory Mapping Istanbul

Memory Mapping Istanbul - student project

Message to My Classmates:  I can't tell you how much I have learned and been inspired by the projects, ideas, and inspiration all of you have shared. Thank you so very much. Here's a link to my blog with a story about our class:

Update. Final Project. Black and white map.

This amended map incorporates Anne's suggestion that a limited palette for the map would better emphasize the photos and stories.

Memory Mapping Istanbul - image 1 - student project

Final Project. News Briefs from Istanbul: Memorable Moments.

Memory Mapping Istanbul - image 2 - student project

For my final project, I wanted to map some of my best memories of Istanbul to include photos and stories. Because telling a whole story in such limited space is impossible, I decided to try using headlines to summarize.

I started with a map from Open Street Maps, then added photos and text in Photoshop.

Here's a link to a larger file of the final project map:

Assigment 2. Plot + Share.

I used the iPad app My Maps Editor ( to plot my events and add photos. I was then able to import that map from My Maps Editor into Google Maps.

Here's the link to the interactive Google Map:

And here's a screen shot of the Google Map:

Memory Mapping Istanbul - image 3 - student project


Assignment 2. Imaginary City. Option C--Trace an existing map.

All done on an iPad.

Memory Mapping Istanbul - image 4 - student project

Challenge. More and more, I travel without a computer, using my iPad for editing photos, keeping travel notes, and making sketches. So, I want to learn to make my maps on my iPad.

Process and tools.

1. Find map to trace--I chose part of a "watercolor" map of Istanbul from the website, which one of our classmates found. Thank you Jean Manis,

2. Imported the map section into the iPad app Artrage.

3. Using different layers in the Artrage app, traced the map outlines (Layer 1), painted in the water and land masses (Layer 2), then traced the major roads (Layer 3).

4.   For the labels on my map, I used the very cool App Type Drawing for iPad, which allows you to type something, then use your finger to "draw" it onto your canvas or photo in any font, size, shape, or arrangement you want.

Here's  an example of what this app can do.


Assignment 1. Hand-Drawn Map--My 5-mile drive to the grocery store can sometimes take an hour, because of all the interesting things along the way. I decided to record some of these sights for my hand-drawn map.

Memory Mapping Istanbul - image 5 - student project

 Challenge: The biggest challenge for my hand-drawn map is that I am not a good drawer.

Things that helped me:

1.  Looking at the great variety of illustration styles on showed me that illustrations don't have to be perfect or accurate to be informative and beautiful, which got me past my mapper's block to just start drawing.

2.  But I did need things to look at and go by for my drawings. I started Googling things like "donkey drawing," which led to very simple line drawings of animals. Even better was Googling "silhouettes" of animals. I think I'll collect a sheet full of simple silhouettes of people and animals to keep in my sketchbook so I'll have some go-bys to help me when I draw maps.

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Final Project-- Memory Mapping Istanbul--A map of my most vivid experiences in Istanbul.

Why am I making this map? I want to learn to use maps as a way of keeping my own personal memories, stories, and photographs of my travels. My project will map the experiences of my 2 weeks in Isbanbul.

Why am I the expert to create this map? No one else has ever experienced Istanbul exactly the way I did. I want my map to record personal moments, not just photos of the usual tourist sights of Istanbul, although those usual suspects are certainly part of my personal memories, too.

Who is my target audience? My most important target audience is my own memory. I want to make a map that will help me preserve and recall the important personal experiences and insights I had while exploring Istanbul. The secondary audience is friends who are interested my travel experiences and photographs.

Do I want my final project to be printed or digital? I waffled on this question, because I love hand-drawn maps and illustrations and want to develop my skills in making them. However, I've decided to make my final project digital, since I want to be able to include links to photos, stories, related websites, etc. to make my map as comprehensive as possible. I would like to find ways to include some hand-drawn elements and sketches in the digital map.

What level of detail do I need to include? The actual map locations do not need to be detailed, since the purpose is not to give directions but rather to preserve memories. So the details I want to include are photos, stories, sensations that help me recall my personal explorations and to find a way to incorporate as many of these as possible in my map.

Class help I need? I will need technical help on how to include links in my map to my own photos and stories, as well as other websites I want to remember.

P.S. Scored 83%. I think because I recognized the  work of some of the abstract artists and also recognized the elephant painting, which was like some I saw painted in Thailand.

Debora Ratliff

Project link: