John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
This rubberized guide doesn’t require folding or Wi-Fi, just a firm grip.
For the urban explorer with stress issues comes the Egg Map, a squishy ball you squeeze the heck out of to reveal roads, districts, and destinations.
The blobby oddity is a concept from Dénes Sátor, who appears to have designed only one model for his native Budapest. Still, if you ever find yourself lost in that charming city, the Egg Map is the clear way to go. It doesn’t require irksome folding like a paper map, and because its inert, rubberized body cannot connect to the Internet, hunting for wi-fi is a non-issue. Simply crush the ball to enlarge different parts of town, and plot a route while people stare at you for fondling what could be a freaky alien artifact.
Sátor plugs the orb’s assets on his Behance page (minor spelling issues corrected):
Haven’t we all lost our nerves at least once before by folding an oversized map during a sightseeing tour or when we went on a trek?…
Well, if you haven’t mastered your orientation skills and you fear that your precious smartphone will end up with a crack on its display on the ground, egg map’s the perfect gadget for you. It fits in your hand or your pocket and has manual zooming—just by squeezing it, you’ll get more details about the place than bumbling with a printed version of your information source.
Drop it, step on it, throw it against the wall—it’s simply indestructible thanks to its incredible flexibility. As it’s filled with 100% oxygen, you don’t have to worry about it making your bag heavier, either. To make it better, it’s made of water-proof material so you can use it even in unfriendly weather conditions like rain, wind, mud, or snow.
Backing the theory this thing is meant for tightly wound people, Sátor adds on Designboom it also can be “thrown at a wall or angry locals.” Just make sure you have another map, lest you wind up pursued down a dead-end alley by a furious man wanting to “return” the Egg down your throat.