The consultancy met Walter in 2010 during work on the British Library’s Magnificent Maps project, and fell in love with his detailed, humourous take on London cartography.
The app aims to give iPad users the ability to explore Walter’s maps in detail, and features labels such as ‘The Penal Dustbin’, ‘William Blake woz married ere’, ‘The myth of Merlin’s cave’ and ‘Dead bodies found here!’
Fay MacDonald, Cogapp’s business development manager, says, ‘These maps are big. When you look at them in real life you have to get right up close to appreciate the intricacy of them. This can be difficult as they are usually mounted on the wall and you’d need to be seven feet tall or have a chair to stand on to see the top!
‘What we really aimed to do with the app version of the maps was to allow people to zoom into the maps as much as possible and see the fine detail that Stephen put into each and every inch of the work.’
Maps are shown in high-resolution format, allowing users to zoom in on images, words and symbols that look to represent past and present London, and explore the boroughs of the city.
Describing his 2008 map, The Island, Walter says, ‘The resulting map, a spoof of the historical ones of old, would challenge the first impressions of its viewer; touching on the Capital’s vastness, its’ secrets and its undercurrents. With this process in mind, I began to edit the information, keeping what I felt were historically important, interesting, relevant and amusing.
‘These fantastical additions and epithets are purposefully innocent and acidic, trivial and serious. The Map is as much about the personality of its viewer than it is about my own. In other words it acts as a mirror.’
The app is available now from the iPad App Store.