The Idle Traveller

The Idle Traveller - student project

Imaginary Cities

I have been lucky enough to have been spending the last week in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Being typical of cities seeing accelerated growth, planning and infrastructure are struggling to keep up.

This has led me to imagine what Ulaanbaatar could be like if it was designed from a blank slate to meet current and (immediate) future needs as well as reflect the community’s cultural identity.

Regarding the latter, the ‘City Steppe’ is a way for people, particularly younger generations, to engage with the herding way of life that is at the core of the Mongolian identity.

The shape of the central square is taken from the Mongolian national symbol, the soyombo. The sun and moon symbolise that the Mongolian nation will exist for eternity as the eternal blue sky.

The Idle Traveller - image 1 - student project

See Google for a view of UB today.


Hand Drawn Map

The Idle Traveller - image 2 - student project


Project Brief

I should start by saying it's great to be amongst some very inspring people and projects! Thanks Anne for bringing us together.

My plan is to map some or all of Dan Kieran's The Idle Traveller...

  • The Book
    In and amongst travel anecdotes the book presents some interesting ideas about the nature of travel and our motivations behind doing it.

    Whether you agree or disagree with the ideas, or a bit of both like me, its a great read for anyone who loves travelling and has at some point reflected on that love.
  • Why am I making this map? 
    I'm interested in exploring a way to use map(s) to convey both the locations and the ideas in a book.
  • Why am I the expert to create this map?
    I may not be as I'm only halfway through the book! However I love reading, I love maps and I love travel.

  • Who is my target audience?
    Me in this case but I guess interest would extend to anyone having read the book, or thinking of reading the book, or perhaps with a deeper interest in the nature of travel.

  • Do I want my final project to be printed or digital? How is going to be used/held? What other constraints do I need to keep in mind moving forward?
    Printital? I'm sure someone famous once said a map in the hand is worth two on the net, or something similar. If digital ends up being the best way to create it (likely given current drawing skills) I'd like printing to still be an option at the end.

  • What level of detail do I need to include? (Names, addresses, contact info, street names, website, hours, descriptions, color coding, etc.)
    I'd be looking for a balance between sufficient location info to be able to identify those in the book as well as additional text/diagrams to convey the key ideas.

  • Dear class, I need your help/expertise/guidance on how to.....
    I'm aware of some great maps within books but not too many cases of maps of books, non-fiction or fiction. If anyone is aware of some please let me know.

    Also, I'm not sure if I'll need to go down this path but is anyone aware of examples of maps that present a blend of real world locations and those imagined?