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Find Your Way Here

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 1, 2007 8:55PM

mapfest_2007_11.gifNostalgic for the pre-Mapquest world? Do your dogeared city guides and abused atlases sit proudly on your bookshelves? Have we got an event for you.

The citywide Festival of Maps kicks off tomorrow, and is a tribute to those simpler, flatter world guides we’d consult constantly before the internets helped us find the best non-highway crosstown routes quicker than you could say "Western Avenue." It’s the first fest of its kind, and is a collaboration of more than 30 Chicagoland cultural institutions, some we never knew existed.

The Google Map addicted may not remember or even comprehend a cartographer’s artistic abilities and political power. (Notice how the legend on Downtown Chicago maps always seems to swallow up Cabrini-Green...) Start your education at the Chicago History Museum’s “Mapping Chicago” exhibit, tracking the ever-expanding city grid with a nod to the Burnham Plan, the Columbian Exposition, and a certain Glenview-based map maker.

The festival continues into 2008. Its nifty website has more information and, yes, maps of events and participating institutions.