It may be more traditional to build a collection of stamps or trading cards, but there are plenty of reasons to start collecting maps. Here are five of the most compelling benefits of deciding to collect maps.
1. Antique maps are valuable and fascinating
A good antique wall map collection can be a great investment for a rainy day, as some of the oldest maps are incredibly valuable. Meanwhile, they are also intrinsically valuable, providing insight into our history. For example, you can see changes in the land and note how the names and borders of different countries have changed over time. Remember that you can also find celestial maps and sea charts, which are wonderfully rich sources of information in their own right.
2. Maps make excellent decorative items
If you have a lot of wall space, the aesthetic beauty of maps (especially older maps) can immediately make your living room look exciting and unusual. As a bonus, maps are a very useful conversation piece, helping to get the conversation going at dinner parties. You can also collect maps that hold personal meaning to your family or that remind you of significant moments in your personal history, using these maps to decorate various rooms of your home.
3. You can create a record of global events
While collecting current maps does not seem nearly as glamorous as trying to find the oldest and rarest maps, those that are commonplace now will seem much more interesting in the future. Whether you eventually sell your maps or pass them down through the generations when telling stories about times gone by, they will serve as a thought-provoking reminder of how the world has changed and how ever-shifting global relations change our landscape. Any future history buffs in your family will love your collection!
4. You can use them to teach children
Related to the above is the thought that maps are an excellent aid when it comes to teaching children. Whether you have kids of your own or just like spending time with nieces and nephews, you can use maps to open discussion of cultural variations, political topics and the different climates found in different areas of the world. While taking about other countries can be educational, looking at maps makes these conversations come alive. Some maps specially designed for education also display fun facts about wildlife, weather, local language and customs.
5. You can use maps in art projects
While it’s not necessarily a smart idea to start cutting into an ancient map that could be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, cheaper maps can be used for a huge range of creative projects. You can use them to make homemade cards that depict important locations, make your own jigsaw puzzles, or craft a fun collage that shows places that mean something to you. Many couple even frame maps showing the places where they met, married or started a family.