The Adirondack Center for Writing’s literary map is a fine example of how plotting the literary heritage of a region can foster a sense of community. The center’s goal of supporting local writers is helped by revealing the literary predecessors of the region.
The map itself relies on Google maps for its base layer and basic functionality. In fact, the map is similar in style to the Chicago Literary Map I reviewed recently. Locations are indicated by markers of different shapes and colors, and a hideaway left sidebar reveals a categorized listing of all the locations on the map. Clicking on a point on the map or a name in the sidebar will reveal information and usually a picture related to the location.
The marked locations represent a wealth of literary allusions to the Adirondack area along with bookstores and libraries and also literary landmarks. The allusions range from Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Farmer Boy.” Library and bookstore entries are limited to addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation. The Literary Landmarks, with such entries as Sherwood Anderson meets Tennessee Mitchell. Unfortunately these entries only include a title with no additional description.
The design of the map is not especially unique although it has been lightly customized. The value from this map is in its focus on a specific region, which as the description says, is “perfect for an afternoon drive, or a family vacation.”
I admire this map alongside the many others that exist, especially because of its underlying the goal to encourage local writers to capture their setting through written words.
Do you know of more maps of specific regions? Do you have an opinion about the Adirondack Literary Map? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below or by contacting us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.