The Map of Humanity

by Joey deVilla on September 14, 2007

I absolutely love seeing offbeat projects that have been lovingly created with a lot of thought and painstaking detail. One example: The Map of Humanity, in which philosophy, cartography and the human condition meet:

Preview image of the “Map of Humanity”
Click to see the Map of Humanity at a larger size.

SLG Publishing, the store that sells the Map of Humanity, has this to say on the page where you can order it:

This giant 24×36 Map of Humanity by Rex Libris and Nil creator James Turner is printed to order on our 12 color large format printer using archival quality inks. The Map of Humanity is printed on Heavyweight Coated Paper and is suitable for framing. Shipped rolled in a tube. Keep an eye open for paper upgrades. The thumbnail image and even the larger image on this page does not do justice to the work James Turner put into this piece.

The Map of Humanity is available for US$29.95 — you can buy it here.

And now, some close-ups. The northern half of the map is occupied by territories that represent humanity’s virtues. Here’s the “Wisdom” area of the map, located in the northwest. If you look at the large image of the map, you’ll see that the cities on the map are both fictional and real. For instance, the “Aspiration” area contains the Shakespearean Mountains and cities such as Gray Havens, Paris, San Francisco and Montreal:

Close-up of the “Wisdom” area of the Map of Humanity

To the northeast, you have “Reason”, with regions named Copernicus, Leibniz, Descartes, Curie, Elizabeth I, Adam Smith and…Disney?

Close-up of the “Reason” area of the Map of Humanity

Just as Inferno was the most interesting book of The Divine Comedy, the equatorial area and parts south are more interesting. Here’s a map of “Elysium” and its neighbour “Fool’s Paradise”. Here we get a little insight into Map of Humanity creator Justin Turner’s politics, as “Fool’s Paradise” contains an island called “The World State” with place names such as Mustapha Mond Island (he’s from Brave New World), City of Central Planning, Predestination Centre, New Jerusalem and its twin city Anabaptist Munster and Feely Corporation World HQ (“Feely Corporation” is also from Brave New World).

Close-up of the “Elysium” area of the Map of Humanity

Here come the fun, down-and-dirty territories. To the southwest is “Hedonism”, home to regions like Gluttony, Treason, Delusion, Nightmare and Lies; I suppose Karl Rove’s got a summer home here. The province of Aimlessness is also in this area of the map, featuring cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Moscow, Tripoli and one “Hamilton”, although there’s no telling which Hamilton is implied (when I think of “Hamilton”, the first place that comes to mind is Hamilton, Ontario). I think my deadbeat ex-housemate has a permanent home in the region.

Close-up of the “Hedonism” area of the Map of Humanity

And finally, in the southeast, we have “Abomination”, home to Destruction, Vengeance, Wrath, Prejudice and the readership of Free Republic and Canada Free Press:

Close-up of the “Abomination” area of the Map of Humanity

It’s a pretty interesting map. I just might pony up the ducats to get this one.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Clarke September 14, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Why is Cardigan Bay off the coast of Hedonism? I never all that wild when wearing a cardigan.

Jennifer de Guzman September 14, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Cardigan Bay refers a bay on the coast of Wales, not to a button-front sweater. It is the location of the legendary sunken kingdom Cantre’r Gwaelod, whose king was notoriously carnal and lusty.

Thomas September 16, 2007 at 6:19 am

What do other features on the map indicate. I’m thinking specifically of mountains.

Susan Clarke September 16, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Then I suppose a better question is: why is a button front sweater named after a horndog?

Alex Kariko September 17, 2007 at 10:10 pm

Susan,
The cardigan was developed by the Seventh Earl of Cardigan, he who led the Charge of the Light Brigade in Balaclava during the Crimean war. Coincidentally, the balaclava is also a garment.

Graig September 19, 2007 at 9:58 am

You should also note that the Map Of Humanity creator is James Turner, a local Toronto graphic design artist and comic book illustrator. I think you’d get a kick out of his works: the graphic novel “Nil: The Land Beyond Belief” and his ongoing series “Rex Libris” about an ass-kicking, alien fighting, monster slaying Librarian from Ontario.

Jason Fortier September 20, 2007 at 8:08 pm

With places like the Fortress of Solitude and Santa’s Workshop, I’m finding it hard to believe this map doesn’t contain the famed Island of Misfit Toys and Sea of Despair? Nonetheless, this map is a great piece of art.

James Desborough October 15, 2007 at 10:40 am

I would have thought Faith would have been abutting Zealotry and Ignorance myself…

vecina March 20, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Hi:

I found Barcelona both in “Reason” and “Wisdom” continents. Why is this?

Thanks in advance

Regards

Mr. LAME March 21, 2008 at 6:00 am

indeed , what a shame
thanks for fuck up russia once again
u forget the land no no the continent of ignorance
then u put urself and all ur american fools there
if something happen dont ask russia for help , never again
cheers ! and good luck with ur propaganda

Junior May 17, 2008 at 7:23 am

Not only can you find things twice. I’ve found several douplets on the map and I’ve found Hollywod three times.

Junior May 17, 2008 at 7:51 am

Make that five

it can be found in
Pride
Envy
Delusion
Lies
Hedonism

Jen July 24, 2008 at 10:21 pm

I absolutely love this map. It’s kind of a mindblowingly cool idea. My birthday’s next month, and I definitely know what I’m asking for now. :D

Ron September 14, 2008 at 6:41 pm

When something has a message this clear, it surpasses art. It advances niceley into propaganda. Geez, Leni Riefenstahl was not even this obvious.

Art should provoke thought, not force your thoughts on others.

Good craftmanship though.

Evanilla March 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I tried to follow the links to a printed version to no avail. I see that http://www.slavelabor.com is down. Did the human trafficking police raid you?

Is there an alternate link you can offer? Much appreciated :)

Melvin Smiley April 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Mr. Lame,

Please eat a dick.

Thanks,

America

Bremond January 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I am agree and not agree with M.Lame.

It’s true, this map it’s quite a propaganda.
But it’s a very interesting map.

Now, I have only one question :

Why Mexico it’s in “Fool’s paradise ? Mexico it’s a pretty city !
So, please. Somebody can find Mexico city in other country for me ?
Please.

Goodbye !

Abby December 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Yeah… the moment you put London and New York and all of your Atlantic coast cities on the coast of Wonder and vastly more East European and Asian cities somewhere within Atrocity, Hedonism and Hate, you’ve kind of got to examine your prejudices a bit. This seems to be a big map of an affluent Canadian’s prejudices and stereotypes, and the “map of humanity” seems to ignore most of human history before the 20th Century. And where’s the female population of Reason besides Curie?

I was excited when I first saw a thumbnail of this thing, but now? *wince*.

Mr. Lame and Bremond have a point. Listen to them.

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