The Perfect Gifts for the GIS Pros and Geography Lovers in Your Life

December 12, 2022

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Last-minute shopping is a holiday tradition for many people. That’s certainly true for a few of the editors and authors of DirectionsMag! But this year, as we bustle about filling our shopping bags, we’re also sharing our favorite gift ideas. If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the GIS pro, geography lover, or mapmaker in your life, we’ve got you covered!

For map lovers, check out the molded glassware at North Drinkware and the fantastic map coasters and other gifts by Candice Luebbering at All Mapped Out to go with them.

Get map puzzles at stores like Puzzle Warehouse, Serious Puzzles and many others.

Or consider chic geo wall decor! Have a look at Karen O'Leary’s hand cut maps at StudioKMO or click over to Raven Maps for large wall maps from the USGS and others.

Buying for an antiques lover? Thrift stores, used bookstores, and antique malls are wonderful places to look for older and unique maps, atlases, and postcards. And speaking of post cards, The National Park Service poster postcard set is pretty neat!

If you’re buying for a voracious reader, consider the books we’ve enjoyed this year:

  • The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
  • Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings
  • Material World by Peter Menzel
  • Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience by Yi-Fu Tuan
  • Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World by Simon Winchester
  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
  • The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester
  • The MapMaker’s Wife by Robert Whitaker
  • Measuring America: How the United States Was Shaped By the Greatest Land Sale in History by Andro Linklater
  • The Great ARC: The Dramatic Tale of How India Was Mapped and Everest Was Named by John Keay
  •  The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey
  •  Atlas of Lost Cities: A Travel Guide to Abandoned and Forsaken Destinations by Aude de Tocqueville
  •  Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith SchalanskyChristine Lo (Translator)
  •  Humboldt's Cosmos by Gerard Helferich
  •  Mark Monmonier’s website also offers great reads for your favorite geographer!

 Prefer clothing items? Find dozens of cool map ties and bowties with a quick online search.

And for the people who already have everything? Select a collection of regional foods to enjoy, like Kansas City sauces or Wisconsin cheeses. Then customize your gift with a colorful print of the satellite or aerial view of the region!

And, finally, don’t forget that not all gifts are material.

Help a friend map out their dream trip.

Get online together and pull up satellite images of the neighborhood where you grew up.

Spend time with children, an open atlas, and a ruler as you image what it’s like to visit there. Perhaps, spin a globe as you weave a tale of adventure reminiscent of Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.

Give your time to the ones you love, which is the most precious and priceless gift of all.

From our families to yours, we wish you a magical holiday season!



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