The Atlas des routes de France was a vast survey of the country’s road and waterways, undertaken by Daniel-Charles Trudaine from 1745 to 1780 (although Trudaine never lived to see it completed). ‘The 62 bound volumes contain more than 3,000 plates prepared by the central bureau of draftsmen. Each one was artistically hand-rendered with watercolor to show the presence and characteristics of the land, waterways, and vegetation; castles, private dwellings, and ruins; churches, convents, and cemeteries; extant roads, as well as planned road projects. Map plates were augmented with designs for locks, bridges, and other civil engineering projects where future improvements were deemed necessary.’ The plates are all available to view online, still startling in their precision and scope.
Other things. A new issue of Excerpt Magazine is available / Free in the Now, a tumblr / Classic Tracks, a nicely itemised list of the ongoing Sound on Sound series about music production / tmn is running a gallery of Jesse Chehak’s Autotypes, the (lost) art of automotive typography (and evocative nomenclature). See also Chehak’s paintball series, Faux Battles. Related, Paintballing with Hezbollah / a weblog by illustrator Irina Troitskaya / art by Riita Ikonen / Design Language News, the art of information design amongst other things. See also Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design and the great David McCandless’s revised version of Information is Beautiful.