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Edinburgh Premier Map (A-Z Premier Street…
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Edinburgh Premier Map (A-Z Premier Street Maps)

by Geographers' A-Z Map Company

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This map is big. Big and bold. Big and bold and colourful and clear. Just what one wants from a map, any map, one would think. Well, not always, and not, as it turned out, in this case. I got this map to navigate at speed, when slightly drunk, around the city at festival time. I now acknowledge that choosing this particular map for that particular task was something of a mistake.

When you unfold the thing, it's huge. It must be at least a metre square and, as I can now attest, superb for any wind assisted activity like kite-boarding, sailing or calculating where you are on the Beaufort scale. However, this is very much not the map to unfold on a street corner, in the dark, when it is blowing a hooly and you only have ten minutes to get to your venue, get a pint and get a seat before the show starts.

If I was a car driver, then this excellent street map would be just the job for navigating from, as it says on the front cover, A to Z, or even from A to B or one of the other more unusual and quirky letters of the alphabet that score highly in scrabble. For a minicab driver it would be an invaluable aid to not only finding out where to pick up your victim, but also selecting a likely quiet spot to dump the body. Murder spree antics aside, it is more a drivers' map of Edinburgh than a city centre walking map, but even then I am not sure if it works - surely anyone who has been to Edinburgh will know that the best drivers' map of Edinburgh consists of directions to the park and ride and a huge blank space where the city should be, with the phrase 'here be cobbles' written in large, truly terrifying script.

The size when unfolded makes it slightly impractical for in-car use also, as it would neatly fill even the largest front windscreen. Good for keeping the sun out, less good for driving and navigating at the same time. But that's okay because it's no good for walking and navigating at the same time either.

What it is good for is planning, it's just the job for unfolding on a table in a pub to use for side trips to the suburbs of Edinburgh. Leith is indeed on there and, looking at it, one could easily plot a lovely walk from the city centre to Leith. That's the thing about maps, everything looks so clean and easy. Unlike the walk to Leith. One word of warning though, it is neither weatherproof nor beer proof, and any mark you make on the paper will be permanent. This may be a drawback if you are, for instance, using it to plot the final extent of the city's new tram network, or if used in a bar may cause you to wonder on subsequent occasions why random areas of the city appear to have circles round them.

When you get the map unfolded onto a table, and weighed down at each corner with a pint glass, the beauty of the map, and of the city, reveals itself. The very centre of Edinburgh is partly laid out like a grid, but the majority of it curves and curls around itself and, looking at the map, you can see that this effect is repeated, rippling outwards for all the world like the shell of a sea creature. The city itself is tightly packed, but the roads are wide and the space seems generous and, in it's size, the map reflects this.

What the map invites you to do most of all is to get out of the city centre and discover for yourself the less visited postcodes. The beauty of a map is that it can help to get you where you want to go now, and help you decide where you want to visit in the future. These have their attractions I suppose.

Ultimately, this is a drivers' map for a city that does not like cars. For pedestrians it's more pretty for plotting than useful when strolling. ( )
1 vote macnabbs | Mar 24, 2012 |
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