At the beginning of this new year, hardly any map could be as appropriate as this one of Calendria, a place made out of time. This wondrous world was conceived in the tradition of so-called ‘symbolic’ maps, which use cartographic conventions to represent the relationship between non-geographic concepts. Some examples discussed before on this blog include:

  • German (#59) and French (#245) Maps of Love;
  • A Map on Temperance (#258);
  • A Map of the Land of Books (#373);
  • A Road Map to Success (#406).

Calendria, where time is place, is made up of 13 sovereignties, all named after months of the year. Many of the other named features also refer to some aspect of timekeeping.

Augustica and the Julii, together make up the Summerean Union, and mirroring that alliance,  Decembreland (containing the Adventian Steppe) and Januarria (separated from the former by the Solstician Sea) are joined in the Winterrian Empire.

Port Valentine is in Februarian, Aprilaan is to Februarian’s west, separated from it by the Intercalary Sea (which contains the island of Leapland). Maysia, with Memorial Harbor is to Aprilaan’s south. The sovereignty of Septembrila, containing the Autumnal Corridor, borders Octsburg and North Novembria, which in turn abuts on South Novembria. 

The Kingdom of March, with the Equinoctial Estuary on its western coast, is situated on a separate land mass to the east of Calendria’s main continent.  The Republic of Junistan is in the southeast, an archipelago among which are the Circadian Islands. 

Like bumping into an old friend in a strange land, the lakes separating Decembreland from Januarria are in the shape of North America’s Great Lakes. And the Intercalary Sea looks remarkably like the Black Sea, although the Crimea, a.k.a. Leapland, is not an island in the real world. 

This map was sent in by artist and designer Elizabeth Daggar, who crafted the Atlas of Calendria for the Year 2010 of the Common Era, as observed and faithfully recorded by Electrofork. The Atlas has its own web presence, which includes an interesting look into the process of the map’s creation (those Great Lakes and that Black Sea are there for a nifty reason), and a detailed account of the various toponyms and their origins.

Clearly a labour of love, this map is the product of a genuine cartophile. The love of maps is a sentiment which we here at Strange Maps understand, appreciate and encourage. For it is also what drives us. To all readers, commenters and contributors to Strange Maps: thanks for your continued interest in this blog (and for buying the book. Some copie still available; check your favourite book shop, on- or offline).

Please forgive us if we’ve been unable to answer all of your mails (When I say ‘we’, I mean the editorial we, hence the shortage of necessary man-hours). And enjoy the maps, collected for both pleasure and instruction, yours and mine. To kick off 2010, here’s a New Year’s Blitz of 10 maps.

Best wishes!