The world's first crowd-sourced literary map
We're very excited to be able to unveil a new feature on Book Drum: the world's first crowd-sourced literary map.
How close did Bridget Jones and Fanny Price live? Where in Africa did Lord Sebastian Flyte end up? What is a Russian doing in Cambridge? Where did Robinson Crusoe come ashore? And just how far would the Snow Goose have to fly to reach Brave New World's lighthouse? The answers are all here:
By tagging each of your lovingly-crafted book Setting places with latitude and longitude coordinates, we've been able to plot them all on a single world map. So now you can spin the globe and click on a red pin to see what the Strait of Gibraltar looks like (The Alchemist), or Tierra del Fuego (In Patagonia), or the Chatham Islands (Cloud Atlas). You'll find curious linkages: The French Lieutenant's Woman and Persuasion in Lyme Regis; Brideshead Revisited and Miss Garnet's Angel in Venice. And it might surprise you to discover the geographical reality of Catch-22's Pianosa or Northern Lights' Svalbard.
You can zoom in to crowded areas of the map to see individual pins more clearly. Different trackpads and mousewheels make it more or less easy to whizz around the world. The controls at the top right of the map allow you to move from a 2-D view of the world to a 3-D experience that will have you flying over To Kill a Mockingbird in Alabama en route to Sophie's Choice in New York and The Secret History in Vermont.
The Map makes use of a Google plug-in (which you may be asked to install). This does not operate perfectly in all browsers, so if you experience technical difficulties try a different browser, or check you have the latest version of your browser.
Of course, this is just the beginning. We look forward to seeing thousands of great books plotted on this map. While we're proud to have two books set in Antarctica already, the big empty spaces around Australia, south-east Asia, China, central America and east Africa demand to be filled! If you have a passion for English Passengers, Wild Swans, Out of Africa, Oscar and Lucinda or The Power and the Glory, now's a great time to profile them.
We'd love to hear your feedback on this new feature. Do you like it? What technical difficulties did you encounter? Have we pinned any books in the wrong place? Has the map inspired you to try a new book? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you like the map, please forward this email to friends, or share the link on Facebook, Twitter or your blog:
A lovely message from Paul Harding
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author sent this message in response to Susan Steele's wonderful profile of Tinkers:
"It looks absolutely fantastic! I'm just knocked out by the beautiful layout and the wonderful archival stuff you guys dug up about Moosehead Lake and Elvin Jones,etc. Just superb. I'm also tickled by the Church painting. So, my gratitude and my admiration - - - -"
Happy Birthday, Catch-22
Catch-22 is 50 years old this month.
David Loftus has been honing his profile of Heller's masterpiece for many months. The bookmarks aren't finished yet, but he's kindly allowed us to publish it anyway to celebrate the anniversary:
New Profiles Published
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Profile by Emma Hiley
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. Profile by Stephen Kimber
The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. Profile by Valerie Williamson
Neuromancer by William Gibson. Profile by Brenda Petays
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Profile by Kerri McDonald
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. Profile by Charlene Leatherman
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Profile by Steve Skaggs
Tinkers by Paul Harding. Profile by Susan Steele
Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore. Profile by Kerri McDonald
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Profile by Siân Cleaver
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Profile by David Loftus