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Creative mapping: paper towns, trap streets, cartographic treasure-hunts

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Creative mapping: paper towns, trap streets, cartographic treasure-hunts

Here’s an interesting bit of history (and current) trivia for all you aspiring cartographers out there. Maybe your town’s map has a trap street…

The visual squirrel

Q. Why was longitude boiling mad?

A. Because it was 360 degrees.

Cartographers are/were often seen as pretty dour characters. Not so long ago, maps were hand-drawn, and hanging over a a drawing table, the meticulous of drawing contours seems rather nerdy. But, as programmers put easter-eggs in code, cartographers do the same.

Map makers sometimes put phantom streets, parks, ponds and such in their maps, so as to trap others that copy their work. Copyright infringements will be unmasked by these fictional, deliberate trap streets, and this has been going on for hundreds of years.

The term paper street and trap street are often confused, but they can be interpreted as different things: Paper towns/street can be planned constructions that are never created, trap streets are included to trap other cartographers.

Agloe_OriginalOne of the more hilarious examples, are the creation of the town Agloe in New York state. “Agloe”…

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About Trinity

A melancholic pragmatist with a wide streak of mischief and an active imagination that turns into novels.

3 responses »

  1. I am honoured that you reblogged me! 🙂 Glad you found it interesting.


  2. Pingback: Lines of Desire | History Undusted

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