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.

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