Anne Stauche

Watch out, Google.

Designers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to evoke the real world in the digital one (this is why the virtual trash on your computer screen looks like a real garbage bin, and why you can turn the pages on an ebook as if they were made out of paper). Inevitably, this relationship was bound to change directions. Behold: an actual paper map that behaves a lot like a virtual one.

User experience consultant Anne Stauche has created "the zoomable map on paper," a square map that brilliantly unfolds into views of the city at different scales. Stauche has already designed the hand-folded "map²" for London and Berlin, and she's working on one for New York City. But it's no easy feat to make and mass produce these things, and so Stauche has a Kickstarter campaign winding down to expand the series.

"Looking at the great zoom features of digital map systems, I found it frustrating that their physical counterparts are not so flexible," Stauche says. "You usually have to open an entire map even if you only want to see one specific area, you can't choose the level of detail, and of course you can't zoom in."

The Internet has vastly expanded the possibilities of real-time, individualized mapping. But as it turns out, the web may also inspire us to create old-school, put-it-in-your-pocket paper maps in entirely new ways, too.

(h/t Wired)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A map of California
    Equity

    Mapping Racial Disparities in the Golden State

    Racial gaps in California get a county-by-county look in a new online tool.

  3. A Vancouver house designed in a modern style
    POV

    How Cities Get 'Granny Flats' Wrong

    A Vancouver designer says North American cities need bolder policies to realize the potential of accessory dwellings.

  4. An autonomous vehicle drives on a race track in California.
    Equity

    Driverless Cars Won’t Save Us

    In fact, they’ll do the opposite of what techno-optimists hope, and worsen—not ease—inequality.

  5. Transportation

    Are Electric Vehicles About to Hit a Roadblock?

    With the EV tax credit on the chopping block and Tesla experiencing production delays, dreams of an electric future might prove elusive in the U.S.