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Note: the contest has concluded, winners are Bryce and Paul & Carol.
Every one of The Rapid Traveler’s trips begins with scrutiny of maps. A country’s map is studied to understand distances, relations and routes among destinations, and frequently consulted throughout research as the plan gels. He never relies on internet mapping programs in this stage, only later checking for specific road directions, as each zoom level obscures as much as it reveals. He has long favored Lonely Planet guidebooks for their superb maps, and is devastated to see the disaster that has befallen them in the new design.
Catching up on a week of news feeds The Rapid Traveler saw this Slate article, The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See, and was stunned by the masterwork of two years’ lonely toil by David Imus, an elegant map titled The Essential Geography of the United States of America. The Slate article provides all the detail needed to show its loving brilliance, and travelers will especially appreciate the three-letter IATA airport codes.
In appreciation of the solitary craftsmen and the utility of paper maps for comprehension, The Rapid Traveler will order two of these maps, the USA folded version ($12.95 value) to give away to readers who enter the drawing by leaving a comment to this post.
Ground rules are one entry per person, please do not be petty by leaving multiple entries. The comment should say something about maps or your experience with maps that you think other readers will find interesting. The comment should include a valid email address for verification of winners. Comments must be submitted by Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 23:59 EST. Winners will be selected with the random number generator at random.org, the winning numbers corresponding to comment numbers. Winners will be posted in a subsequent blog post and updated on this post. If contact info is included in the comment, winners will be contacted (contact info not displayed publicly and not used for any marketing purposes). Winners will need to provide a US mailing address to The Rapid Traveler to receive the maps and that info will be disclosed to Imus Geographics in the order as the shipping address (sorry, no non-US addresses due to high shipping cost). The Rapid Traveler has no relationship with Imus Geographics, is paying for these maps out of pocket because he is in a good mood today, and will not receive any compensation for this recommendation and contents. And please enter if you actually will make use of the map, not just to grab a freebie.
Good luck, and those that do not win should consider gracing their travel ‘war room’ with this aristocrat.