Map On, Map Off
Regular readers should not be surprised to hear that I like maps. Quite a bit, actually. So I was especially pleased to learn about the Kickstarter for a San Francisco map “ruthlessly edited to present only the most standout places in the city” along with TOC’s Twitter-based concierge service.
But this is not just any map! I also like things that are Japanese, and I would like to introduce you to the MIURA FOLD, which basically lets you have a self-folding map.
“A self-folding map, you say! 信じられない！Unpossible! Paper maps are intentionally designed to be folded incorrectly.” Let me demonstrate using something you may have noticed that I also like, animated GIFs:
And of course we need to bring in space exploration into the mix. Luckily, our fold was invented by Koryo Miura, a Japanese space scientist looking for a way to make compact solar panels for satellites. This and many other ridiculously amazing industrial origami applications can be found at the Origami Resource Center, including descriptions of folding space telescopes, origami steel grocery bags and electro-mechanical, programmable, self-folding origami. (Seriously, the video is kind of awesome.)
Anyway, Muira folding instructions abound online but this is one of the better ones.
The tricky part is refolding the vertical lines from zig-zags into ridges and valleys once you’ve done the initial folds. And by “tricky” I mean “a complete pain in the ass.”
This image might help — Green is a ridge, blue is a valley. Green dots are intersections you will need to push up, and blue dots are ones that will be pushed down.
This will make more sense as you combat an innocent piece of paper and make rustling noises that are difficult to explain to your coworkers.
Or you could just go to Kickstarter, fund the map and let the folks at TOC do all the dirty folding for you. (And hey, you get a useful map as opposed to the blank piece of paper you’ll struggle with for about two hours.)