August 15, 2008

FabMaps for Cartographical Fashion

The Rand McNally fabMap is a great idea--printing travel maps of popular destinations on microfiber polyester. Everyone can always use another scarf, bandanna, hankerchief, napkin, etc, and when you're traveling in these charge-ya-for-every-extra-kilo days, having gear that fulfills two purposes ("it's a dessert topping and an axle grease!") makes a lot of sense.

Image of fabMap

But like many Cool Things, it's not a new idea at all.

The British military used to print Escape and Evasion maps for pilots who might find themselves downed in unfamiliar locales--like Iraq:

Image of silk map from WWII

Made of silk, one of the original "miracle fibers", these maps could keep a flyboy warm in the cockpit and get him to safety after ditching in the desert.

Image of fabMap for Beverley Hills

Rand McNally sells fabMaps for San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Miami, and other US locations but I haven't seen any for truly fashionable locales like Milan or Paris. I could see a GQ type wearing one of these as a pocket square in his Lanvin suit jacket.

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