Free the Map — From Atlas to Hermes

A map is a visual story of the world. It feeds our imagination and shapes our view of the world. A standard atlas, however, predominantly tells only one story, that of the nation-state. It depicts a world in which people are uniformly packed into national containers, enclosed by borders, and in which migration is often represented as threatening invasion arrows.

‘Free the Map’ goes beyond this narrow, state-centric cartography. The book argues for a new cartographic story: a Hermes – the grandson of Atlas and the god of mobility and human connections. To this end, it discusses several visually compelling, alternative cartographic representations of borders and migration.

Free the Map ends with a call to action. Various artists and cartographers offer exciting ready-to-use Hermes challenges for education and public Maplabs.

Let’s free the map from its territorial trap!