Yes, It’s the first Friday in December, and I’ve just finished all my online Christmas shopping, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite gift ideas for that geography fan on your list.
First up, are a few cool items from Uncommon Goods, which has quite a few geography-themed gifts. The City Plate, $50, is a nice porcelain collector plate imprinted with maps of cities around the world, including Chicago, Paris, Berlin, and Shanghai. For the jewelry lover on your list, the World Links necklace at $60, is a very pretty way to bear the weight of the world (ha, I know, but I couldn’t stop myself). But seriously, my favorite item from Uncommon Goods is the Building New York’s History 4D cityscape puzzle, which the website bills as “the world’s first puzzle to incorporate the 4th dimension – time! First, a traditional puzzle lays out the island and streets of Manhattan. Then, use the full-color timeline to place 126 plastic buildings and skyscrapers, and watch New York’s famous skyline grow in the order it was built, from 1820 to the present.” I so want one of these! And, at $50, it won’t break the bank!
If you want to go with a cartographically-themed gift, OmniMap has some cool ideas, from the bold fashion statement of the Map Jacket to the Cold War Silk Pilots Escape & Survival Maps. My favorite map-themed gift site for this year, though, has got to be the Library of Congress’ Zazzle store which has some great gifts featuring maps in their collections, including commemorative postage stamps and map prints and posters. The collection is amazing, and just browsing through a few pages of their products, I found a number of 19th and early 20th century panoramic views of American cities, map prints of historic maps of place around the world, Grand Canyon prints, an Alaska steamship, the list goes on and on… And, they are very reasonably priced, starting at $9.95 for a 17′ x 11′ print. You can even get a “Colossal” print – 60″ x 52″, but that will set you back $129.95.
For the kids on the list, Fat Brain Toys’ Passport to Culture looks like a fun game which takes players on a journey around the world to learn about different cultures. With the GeoSculpt 3D Project Kit, kids can create their own 3D geography by sculpting land forms out of foam and then painting the features as a finishing touch. There are tons more great geography-themed educational toy and games out there, so hit up your favorite search engine and see what you can come up with!