Summary of Mapping

Firstly, I’d like to say thank you for such an interesting topic to start the year on. It’s been fascinating digging up resources and discovering a world of map enthusiasts, map artists, map articles, library resources and learning a new appreciation for the subject.There is so much more to learn and discover.

In the process of research, I have discovered numerous groups on Facebook (and even joined a couple) that share their love of cartography. In one group, artists are profiled to share their work on maps. It’s amazing the many different ways we can map something and when we think about it, anything and everything can be mapped! It’s quite mind-blowing. I’ve found old maps in the library, showing Australia (or Australis) as only partly mapped, the rest an unknown quantity. I’ve found an abundance of interesting artists and their work via the internet.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that mapping is everywhere but I didn’t notice it until I began this assignment. I’ve learned to look at things differently and sometimes, track it (or at least give thought to where something originated). I’ve learnt that mapping is not boring. It’s actually quite fascinating, especially when we consider how to present a map. Originally, I always thought of maps as lines on a flat page but in reality, there’s an inestimable amount of ways to map. Which complicated the 1A part of the assignment at first, because how do you present a map in an original fashion when it’s probably been done somewhere else before, many times? Bringing in a sandpit to draw a map was a temptation! The set up was a bit of a drawback, however.  This assignment has shown me a new way to look at the world around me and how I can record what I see. As well as open up a new world of art that I had never before considered.


Assignment 2B – Map

Herein lies a pic of my map:


As posted earlier, I got excited thinking about the origin of products, so decided to map the source of my food, namely a Ham and Salad Roll. We can become somewhat blasè about where our food comes from. We do our grocery shop and conveniently have pretty much whatever we desire wrapped to death in plastic, cardboard and tin, without giving much, if any, thought, to how it got onto the shelf or where it came from. So I tracked mine. I’m usually a bit of an organic nut but this time, I pretty much just chose what was in front of me to keep it a little more ‘open’ to its origin.

I learnt my favourite salt, Maldon Sea Salt Flakes is based in Essex, UK. Cool. My black pepper originated in Vietnam. Hmm. And my mayo? Well that starts in the USA and I was shocked to read the ingredient label to discover the first two ingredients are canola oil and corn syrup. I’ve been running my own hospitality business for too many years and never thought to consider the ingredients. I mean, I can make my own, but why? It’s there. In a jar. But those first two ingredients have a bit of a bad rap in the ‘health’ world. Especially the hfcs which has a reputation for causing diabetes, metabolic syndrome, damaging the immune system, speeding up the aging process and possibly carrying mercury poisons. It’s a bit of a disaster right there. In my jar. eek. So that choice looks like changing. And ham, which I thought was loaded with nasties, is actually ok. If you aren’t allergic to sulphites, that is. Otherwise, apart from having some pork imported from Denmark (of all places) and the additives from the USA, I am assuming (as I couldn’t really trace those), the ham is made in WA. Another interesting learning curve. 🙂

It’s a mighty big world out thar

So go easy on the newbie, ok?

I’m still learning my way around the UOW mystery island called LIBRARY. It took me a little bit (maybe a week or so) trying to figure out where all the books were. Serious! (stop laughing. so hard.) You walk in and there’s computers everywhere. No books. Not really. I found them. Up a floor. Oh the Utopia. My world opened up. So many books – so few hours. I could hole up on the 2nd floor with cushions and a coffee slave and never be seen again.

I went up there again today to search out more maps that weren’t the internet kind. Did you know tucked up the back end of the second floor, there’s a whole rack of maps?!!!? I didn’t! I do now. (I can still hear you laughing.) Ok, so I know UOW is a studious place full of serious students and I really couldn’t get excited about this discovery but I’ll have you know I was doing a hippy happy dance on the inside. Oh yes sirree. I had little fireworks exploding inside with the joy of that little discovery. I really shoulda taken a photo of that rack! 😉 To prove there’s maps and all, ya know!

I did find some more awesome maps. There was a huge atlas of maps and there were maps of every description in there. Again. One needed a cushion or two and the coffee slave. I could have sat there flicking through it all afternoon. Alas, not enough time. But I did take a pic or two. And I found a couple of interesting maps on Australia before it was fully discovered. Fascinating.


This one is called Hollandia Nova detecta 1644. Taken from the book “Early Printed Maps of Australia”. By Robert Douwma.(912.94/26)   I think it’s interesting to remember there was a time we didn’t know what Australia looked like.


This one is Carte Réduite de Terres Australis by Jacques Nicolas Bellins in 1753. I love how NSW takes up the whole right side of Australia. No Queensland yet.

Poor ol’ Flinders got the job of sailing all around Australia and mapping it to prove it was one whole island. Even today, that would be some journey.

And to prove maps really tickles my nerdy side: I was ‘accepted’ into a Facebook group recently called Arty Cartophiles, where they profile artists’ maps.

It may be becoming an obsession but there’s so much out there. This assignment barely allows us to scratch the surface. Too fascinating. 🙂

Bluescope Steel Tour

bluescope logo

Tuesday, 24th March saw Group H spend a couple of interesting hours touring the AIS (Australian Iron & Steel) facility and the grounds. The tour began with a couple of short screenings of the history of the industry and an OH&S safety induction. Everyone garbed up in baggy hi-vis jackets, hard hats, goggles, gloves and communication devices. Jumping on the mini bus, we drove past steel rolls ready for sale to clients like Mordeck, past regenerated gardens and steaming torpedo ladles full of molten iron. We pass by blast furnaces and as clean as it is, it is still a man’s world full of grime, dirt and no doubt, plenty of sweat. We learn steel is a basic mixture of coke, iron ore and limestone (to pull out the impurities). The limestone is mined from Marulan, with the coke (coal) being mined from Coledale/Bulli area.

Our group walks up a set of stairs and are shown through the BOS (Basic Oxygen Steel) making plant with huge hooks, gigantic machinery, huge skip bins of scrap metal and very few staff. Most everything seems to be automated. We follow through a number of doors and offices to arrive at the BOS Control Room; we watch oxygen being blown into a mixture of molten iron and scrap metal. This is the ‘kitchen’ where the iron is converted into steel by boiling out impurities and carbon. From the BOS Control Room, we continue around to the furnace floor. Between the control room and the furnace floor, alloys are added to the mix before being poured into the slab caster. The heat is intense; I feel nervous looking into the boiling, steaming mass, thinking you wouldn’t want to slip and fall.

Back in the bus, we do a quick trip through the maze of roads to the Hot Strip Mill. Here, we see the steel slabs being reheated and spun into coils. Huge coils of hot steel are then pushed through rollers, picking up speed to approx 60km per hour, as it is stretched back into a coil about 1km in length, then cooled in water baths as it is recoiled. The control room here reminds me of Homer and the Simpsons with the deck of computer screens and buttons. Watching the coils being stretched, with all the banging noise, steam, speed and huge machinery is totally fascinating. I am struck by the size of it all. And how the heck its all been designed, especially now it’s mostly automated and run by only a couple of thousand staff.

Back on the bus, past Spring Hill Creek (which we are told is kept very clean, with a couple of sharks and fish now populating the waters), past the gardens grown with recycled waste and back to the AIS office. Our tour guides were ‘old hands’ who had been working at Bluescope for decades (38 1/2 years). I think it would take that long to remember how to find your way out of the maze of roads to get home again. The size of Bluescope is on a much bigger scale than I ever thought, just driving by the perimeter. Part of the harbour is man-made. It has its own railway track, reputed to be the third largest railway line in Australia.

What began as The Broken Hill Proprietary Ltd in 1885, has grown to include John Lysaght (Aust) and Australian Iron & Steel, later adding the acquisitions of NZ Steel and Butler Manufacturing. Staff at its highest was around 23,000 and is now down to around 3000 due to technology and the invention of computers replacing the many bodies originally required to work the long shifts making steel. Output is also now higher, with less workers, with a more consistent quality of product. The company, as big as it is, has been quick to evolve and adapt to economic climates, staying competitive and adding or dropping products to meet customer demands. Today, it produces two main types of steel, plate and strip; leaving other companies, mostly overseas, to meet other demands.

All in all, the 2 1/2 hours flew by. It was dirty (even with strict EPA conditions being met). It was noisy. It was a massive map of roads, processes and work flow. It was a male-dominated environment. It was also fascinating and very informative. An interesting day indeed!

Port Kembla Google

I think my nerdy slip is showing…

When first presented with the mapping theme, a little part of me groaned, thinking “how boredom”.  A little confession – I think I’m becoming obsessed with maps. 😉 I was not aware of the ‘mapping world’ out there and let me tell you, it has quite the following! It seems I keep ‘bumping’ into sites or finding pictures of the most creative maps and I get this butterfly feeling in my stomach with excitement. I know. It’s getting sad.

This is a little share of what I’ve found over the last few days – there’s some awesome stuff out there. The reoccurring thought lately is, “Why didn’t *I* think of that??”

Specimen number one: Found on a blog called My Modern Met.     The blog is profiling artist, Pia Mannikko, based in Helsinki who recreates the paths of the human form by capturing images using tulle fabric and ink. Her projects result in a ghost-like formation of figures moving through a room. It’s just gorgeous. Light, flowy and thought provoking. (There’s some other interesting profiles and posts but not map-related.Truly. You could get lost in this blog.)

My modern met 1                   My modern met 3My modern met 4  My modern met 2

The above reminded me of a map Kim showed us yesterday of an artist recording her walk. Tracing steps. Logging our journeys.

Specimen number two: A blog, also on wordpress, called MirrorSydney.

This has a wonderful post of old, old Sydney maps. And a few funny ones too. The Avian Surnames map is located here too, which I thought was cool.                                                                                                 One of the maps is called the Mystery Tour Map of Sydney and cleverly has a superimposed map of Paris over it with tissue paper. That could make a fun day out. 🙂 I’d probably get dreadfully lost and need my GPS to find my way back home.


My favourite map on this blog is called Transport Icy Trail and was made by Nathan Charlton for his partner as a gift.  It’s a very clever anagram map. Personally, I think we should petition Wollongong City Council to suggest a rename to Won Long Log. Then again, Wollongong is often shortened to The Gong. What would we call it then? The Log? Yeah, doesn’t work quite so well. Moving along.


My second favourite is the map called, “Here be bogans”. Because life is all about tongue-in-cheek and pushing politically correct boundaries. Also found here:

Yet another blog rabbit hole I could easily fall into and never find my way out of!


Another profile from the blog My Modern Met is found here:

The artist, Ed Fairburn uses ink on military maps and then cuts into them and layers them up on other maps, creating some beautiful works of art. They are just stunning.

Western Front cutout                                Western Front cutout 2    North America 1

And then there’s this little fellow from Instagram:


Not so sure he counts as a map but he is so darn cute though!

It’s a mappin’ world.

It’s like being pregnant. Or buying a new car. The universe is perverse that way. You don’t really notice pregnant bellies until you are pregnant yourself, then every second female appears to be pregnant. (Gotta clarify that one, as I’ve never seen a pregnant male. Yet.)  Or you buy a new car and think you’re buying an original. Until you’re out on the road and you see the same darn colour and model everywhere. Or so it seems.

I feel like that with mapping. I’ve never really given much thought to the whole subject. Unless I needed Google Maps to tell me how to find that obscure address. But now, I feel like I see mapping everywhere. It’s far more common than I ever realised. It probably doesn’t help that my thoughts slip back regularly to our assignment on creating a map. Second thought: What the hell am I going to do and how?

While ruminating on this, keeping my options open and hearing the ticking of the clock counting down already, I find myself falling into places where mapping seems to be almost commonplace and totally the ‘norm’. This Facebook page is one: or even Facebook is full of mappy people! It makes our assignment even more daunting as you want it to be original but it’s so easy to start thinking it’s all been done before. I’m finding I end up with a panic of paralysis, my mind shooting in all directions with a big red marker crossing off ideas as fast as they come as “Done! Done! Done!”.

There’s so many brilliant minds out there. See? I never would have thought of mapping the routes people run.   Pretty cool. And let’s not get started on some awesome examples on Tumblr, like this page:


Pretty damn brilliant, I think.

Our class on Tuesday was darn interesting with deconstructing a chair. Because I pull furniture apart a lot. But thinking of it in mapping terms? New to me. Getting on the tools and pulling things apart is always fun but the lecture Trent gave on sourcing. Now that gets the cogs turning!

Sourcing: It’s a hot topic these days. Thanks to Hep A scare from frozen imported berries. And Dick Smith has been trying to fight a losing battle encouraging Australians to buy Australian products as doing so not only supports local farmers but also ensures we know the SOURCE as well as being confident in stricter agricultural farming standards. Food labeling has been a growing trend of including more information, with some voices now pushing for Country of Origin information for local and imported ingredients to be included. With that in mind, I’m seriously leaning towards mapping that includes origin of source. And paint. And stitching. Otherwise, it’s just another map. Right? 🙂

Indecision: Isn’t it a woman’s prerogative to change her mind as often as required?

Week one: The horror week when you realise the depth of the workload and quietly reach for the Kleenex.

Not having been in ‘formal’ study since high school eleventy hundred years ago and not being in an ‘arty’ atmosphere, being thrown in the deep end for coming up with something creative and original has just about blown my mind. A little Googling and Pinteresting has given me some ideas to think about and the opportunity to decide on a theme, only to abandon it for something new, which then leads to utter confusion over what the *hell* can I do that is original and outside the square. At first my brain went – “3 dimensional!” until we were told A1 size paper is to be attached to the wall. Ok, flat.

So where to start?


If only it were so simple. :/

And what style?


Game board? hmm, maybe, maybe not very original though. Some other ideas I have considered:

Know your town like the back of your hand          Inside the art studio               Paris Metro

And I am loving the idea of throwing some stitchy-stitchy on the map somehow. Kinda like:

Hand stitched embroidery map

I *think* I am leaning towards doing something Parisian as Geek and I were there last year and it’s still relatively fresh in my mind. At this point in time, I am still without a clue as to the direction I’ll take. I need a revelation! Maybe week 2 will help cement some ideas.

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.”
– Oscar Wilde