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Two of my all time favorite blogs have now been transmogrified into a version of themselves as old media (i.e., books). The first was BibliOdyssey: Amazing Archival Images from the Internet, compiled by my friend and master archivist, the inimitable PK from his very popular site of the same name. Published at the end of 2007, PK’s book brought together his extraordinary gleaning of images from web image coffers all over the world. The book was a venture undertaken by British small publisher/design company Fuel where BibliOdyssey shares a book berth with other Fuel titles such as Home-Made, a compendium of objects made by Russians when the Soviet Union’s demise made access to manufactured goods difficult, and Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia (Volumes I, II and III).

A second conversion from new to old is Strange Maps. Frank Jacobs thought his love of weird and eccentric cartographic imaging was something only he and his map geeky friends were interested in. So the success of his blog—10 million hits as of March of last year—came as a surprise to him. His Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities was published late in 2009 and combines both maps and commentary. His categories range from cartographic misconceptions to zoomorphic maps to a great catch all, watchamacallit.

Each media has its advantages. The random access quality of stopping by either of these sites and never knowing what will pop up is engaging, but the organizational advantages of the book form has its place as well. I just love the panoply of images that PK and Jacobs have gathered for our general enlightenment and delight. More, more.

Ancient Mississippi courses

For those of you who fell in love with BibliOdyssey, here’s another site to delight your mind and your eye. Strange maps is chock full of images that provoke, delight, entice, perplex.

Maps must be on the mind since I found this site quite by accident just hours after reading about two new compelling books about maps recently published–Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations, by Vincent Virga, and Maps: Finding Our Place in the World, from University of Chicago Press.

The translation of the territory, with all its complexities and textures, into an ordered and limited view is part of what artists or poets are about. And yet how easy it is to forget that the map is not the territory, just one slice of the multifaceted kosmos it references.