Maproom recently had the pleasure of providing map bases for a delightful new travel guide in the creative and distinctive Carl Goes series. The book, called Carl Goes London Islands, tells stories of the islands and islanders of the River Thames.
With Maproom’s parent company being Thameside Media, the River Thames is close to our studio literally and in our hearts. Not only that, we also have a special interest in travel guides, having published many ourselves over two decades (though never specifically for the Thames). Thus we were delighted to oblige when Sascha Mengerink, the Netherlands-based publisher of the Carl Goes series, asked Maproom if we could provide detailed map bases of the Thames Valley showing all the islands set within the River Thames between the mouth of the river at Canvey Island in Essex upriver through central London to the tiny eyots and aits in the Thames in Surrey and Berkshire. We were able to oblige with map bases using Ordnance Survey open data showing most of these small parcels of land overlooked by most other maps.
We were also excited to be invited to the book launch for Carl Goes London Islands, which was held – perfectly aptly – at the artists’ haunt of Eel Pie Island in the Thames by Twickenham. We met Sasha Arms, the affable, Esher-based author of Carl Goes London Islands, at the Open Day event, for which the artists based on Eel Pie Island welcome the public to visit their studios and purchase original artworks direct from source.
For Carl Goes London Islands, Sasha Arms spent months researching 65 islands along the River Thames. Many Londoners don’t know the islands exist, let alone that a number of them are inhabited. Home to musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, film industry experts, sports stars, business people – and many normal families too – the communities on London’s islands share something incredible. London’s islanders all have an affinity with the water and the drive to undertake an unconventional path in life.
Life by the river is revealed from shacks to mansions, with the life of idyll contrasting with the practical drawbacks, which can include having to park a long way from your house and, of course, flooding.
The Maproom and Thameside Media directors were already familiar with the Thames islands closest to our studio. Raven’s Ait at Surbiton is a familiar events venue, though we didn’t know its full history as covered in the book. We have skiffed past Boyle Farm Island, Swan Island and the residential Thames Ditton Island many times. One of our clients lives on a houseboat at Ash Island, where we discussed her business whilst being gently rocked by passing vessels. But the other 60+ islands in the Thames were a revelation to us reading the book. Indeed, we know of no other travel guide that includes these islands. Even the metadata on the OS base map that Maproom supplied for Carl Goes did not name some of the smallest islands in the Thames, so it was down to the publishers to identify the names of all the islands covered in this book.
Carl Goes London Islands is the sixth book in the Carl Goes series, following on from guides to Amsterdam, Berlin, Kassel, Leipzig and London. It is available to buy online at thamesislands.london (UK), carlgoes.com (international) and via a number of independent stockists.
Maproom sells editable vector artwork base maps on royalty free terms for digital and publishing projects. If you can’t find a suitable map base in our online shop, contact us for a bespoke map quote. We can supply a detailed map of any part of the UK and many other countries.