Maps are usually designed to help people find their way around, but a forthcoming book, "The Quarantine Atlas," highlights a collection of unique maps that record a time and place when no one knew what direction things might be headed.
Stanford University Libraries host an online talk May 21, 3 p.m., with Bloomberg CityLab journalist Laura Bliss, the editor of "The Quarantine Atlas." Bliss, who's based in San Francisco, also writes the newsletter, MapLab, which explores the roles of maps and geography in everyday life.
The basis for "The Quarantine Atlas" is a project that CityLab embarked on about a year ago. After much of the world went into lockdown following stay-at-home orders, CityLab asked readers to submit hand-drawn maps showing how the pandemic had changed their lives and what their experiences during quarantine were like.
The project received about 400 submissions from all around the world, including some from the Bay Area. Some maps are abstract and some finely detailed, with subjects that range from plotting the course of daily life within a house to charting the drastically altered soundscape of a city with no one on its streets.
Several mapmakers riffed on public transportation maps, swapping out subway stops for the much more limited routes of life under quarantine, with stops such as "Home" and "Supermarket."
Bliss will discuss how the maps offer personal views into how people navigated the quarantine and reveal insights into the thoughts and fears of an unprecedented time.
For more information, visit events.stanford.edu.