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— urbantick

My Way – Abstract Maps

We can usually have it our way, especially using the digital media. There are so many ways and so many options we’ll find something suitable for you. If not try Google or Spezify. Anyway in terms of mapping there is little choice. You can go for OSM, Google Maps, or StreetMap. How we find our way is extensively dominated by these services. In the streets of London people very often stand around at crossroads with an A4 printout of an internet map page to find their way. In everyday situations the classic map producers such as OS have little meaning. This ultimately is true too for the graphics used by these mapping services. These graphics take a dominating role and influence the way we navigate. This is one of the reasons I mainly use the satellite view, but stil this is a very specific representation. However as for example demonstrated by xxxx in his clip these map representations have become everyday objects we are very familiar with and more importantly we trust. Since we relay on it to navigate, we start to believe in it as a true representation of reality and therefor very deeply start to identify with the product.
Compared to proper maps eg. Kummerly und Frei, Schweizer Landestopographie or OS Master Maps, digital maps like Google Maps are extremely simple and cheep. And still or because of this they become so familiar so quickly.
Artists have quickly realised that this is a great opportunity to reflect on the way we are manipulated by a few providers of navigation graphics. One of them is Christoph Niemann and his Abstract City project is really a joy! Dive in and have it Your Way!

Images taken from niemann.blogs.nytimes.com byChristoph Niemann / Three individual maps from the Abstract City project