We’re used to digital maps that can automatically adapt themselves to road conditions, traffic, and time of day, but paper maps are usually a different story. This map by British designer Camilla Hempleman, though, manages to capture some of the dynamic nature of digital maps by using special ink to highlight the best parts of a city to be in for the weather.
It’s called the Bath C° Thermo Color Map, and it uses thermochromic ink on resilient waterproof Tyvek fabric to activate different parts of the map at different temperatures and in different conditions. It has three main states. When it rains, the map highlights different museums and indoor attractions around Bath where you can escape the deluge. In the heat, the Thermo Map will light up nearby rivers and lakes; and when it’s more moderate out—and thus more comfortable to walk around town and see the sights—the map becomes more detailed to accommodate.
It’s a clever idea, especially since it’s totally analog, using the same principles as a Hypercolor T-shirt to change a physical map according to atmospheric conditions. But it also somehow feels digital; it makes me yearn for Google Maps or another smartphone mapping app to start contextualizing their maps according to what the barometer is doing.
A recent graduate from Kingston University, more of Hempleman’s design work can be found here.