Residents of today’s cities and neighborhoods are acutely aware of the cultural histories and social nuances that shape them almost as much as their streets and bridges, architecture and businesses. A few years ago Trent Gillaspie’s “judgmental maps,” from his site by the same name, hit a nerve and went viral; the totally unserious (but not necessarily inaccurate) maps pair geography with a snapshot of real life in modern cities, towns and neighborhoods. Gillaspie’s “Judgmental New York City” was spot on in many ways with its Manhattan of “amply rich people,” “super rich people,” “aging punks” and the “worst train station ever” and a Brooklyn that went from Jay-Z to Zombies. Now, Gillaspie is releasing a book (h/t Untapped) of his signature reality-check maps, including an updated New York City map and the city’s neighborhoods, decoded.
It’s not just cities that get judged. The clever cartography is divided into five categories: “The Yankees,” “The Deep South,” “The Flyover States,” “The Left Coast,” and “The Outlawed Southwest.” The book, which offers never-published material, highlights complicated and gentrifying neighborhoods in typical cheeky fashion in addition to a main New York City map.
And if readers are less than charmed, Gillaspie–who has referred to the Big Apple as, “the city that never sleeps with the same person twice”–says, “Go f*ck yourself.” As Untapped puts it, “Consider ‘Judgmental Maps’ to be your ‘truth atlas.’ ”
On his site, Gillaspie has also depicted “The United States according to Hillary Clinton,” and “The United States according to Donald Trump,” among others. “Snarktographers,” familiar with local quirks have contributed to the book by helping providing inside views on popular city areas.
Gillaspie is a comedian, tech product manager, graphic designer and self-proclaimed cartography nerd who lives in Austin, Texas. He has a goal of visiting all 50 states–as of fall 2016, his state count is at 48. “Judgmental Maps,” will be released on November 7. You can pre-order it here, and see more of Trent Gillespie’s work on his website.
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Images from “Judgmental Maps” by Trent Gillaspie and via Untapped.