Transparent Cities

Unfold it, mark it, fold it, stick it in your bag, unfold it, desk clerk circles here and draws a long squiggly line there, refold it, accidentally spill some coffee on it, wipe off coffee smudging some ink along the way, run under it when suddenly it starts raining and you forgot your umbrella, stand in middle of square with map trying to figure out where the hell you are as a gush of wind sends it flying, tear a small part off for spitting out your gum, write down number of cute waitress you just met, and on and on your map endures along your trip.. as is the story of most (non-Google) maps.

What’s helped me reduce the amount of abuse my map endures while keeping clear any interesting places we come along the way is this well-designed “Transparent Cities” map by Palomar Design. This fun map comes with adhesive transparent paper to overlay on the map and scribble your heart away as you plan your day’s itinerary or other musings along the way. Little blue circle stickers can be added as you discover cool spots, allowing you to “pin” your favorites for later.

These maps come in 14 different city editions and are printed on thick cardboard-like paper. While they may not be the most practical to pop into the back of your pocket, they add another dimension to your trip by encouraging you to set your own path and more interactively track your adventures while exploring a new city. It eventually becomes your souvenir.

Find out more at Palomar Design

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