The Sisterhood maps the world


The flying garlic by Anne Lawson is the talisman on the cover of Kate’s original concept for the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook which started its long, long journey to visit 13 artists and craftswomen in Australia, the US, France, Germany and the UK last week. Hopefully other hands will also play a part in adding to its content on the journey.

The idea of a small book travelling around the planet is exhilarating enough, but the total kms for its journey to the UK – all going well – will be 28,576km and in total, by the time it returns to Anne in Melbourne for a good coffee and a sticky cake, probably around 45,430!


My last post on stats and maps and graphs got me back into looking at Google Earth and the Pro version is now free which is rather wonderful – this is how I roughly worked out the travel distance. While Anne is putting a lovely paper map into the sketchbook so we can embellish the journey on paper, I’ve made an online one on Google Earth for any techie to visualise the journey.

My daily graft used to be all about data wrangling for maps and I loved the elegance of producing a good map, so this little project was irresistible.The pins are not actual addresses, just approximations as the Sisterhood is a semi-secret autonomous collective (and so there’s no sneaking over and peaking while the sketchbook is being created…)

1-Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 8.55.15 PM

So once I’ve worked out the javascript trickery I’ll aim to insert the interactive map into a page and add the images of the sketchbook being added as we go.


I always love looking at my WordPress stats & maps because they are so interactive and it can be an addictive pursuit – one day someone apparently from Côte d’Ivoire looked at more posts than my Dad did on his first visit – which was nice but a bit unusual.

Also odd was the fact that my last post has been the most viewed post of all time (for me!) which may prove that for many mysterious folk stats and maps are also of great interest.

Although I often have to remind myself that looking at my stats won’t actually make them do anything if I don’t do something more productive, I’m hoping the sketchbook gets lots of real and virtual views as it passes around the globe.









19 thoughts on “The Sisterhood maps the world

  1. It’s a great idea, and exactly the sort of thing I love. Like Viv, I love to pore over a map and the idea of one which is directly linked to the Sketchbook’s adventures is brilliant. I hope you don’t mind, but I added a link to this post to my own post today, showing the first page of the Sketchbook, now on its way to Sister No. 2… I hope it’ll bring a few people over to have a look and stay to watch the fun. Once the map’s ready, may I add a link to the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook page on my blog?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You refocussed my attention on Ann’s flying garlic. Thanks, you’ve begun my sketchbook plan. Love the idea of an interactive map. Maybe there is some way we can weave each of the “sister’s” local enviroment and bio in with the map. I like context.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Sandra – that would be lovely – I’ve linked back to the blog about page and a selected image but we can update those and think about making some more rich stories. Have to actually make it work yet – like many things it sounds easy but is not quite that straightforward.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Viv – that is great – sometimes I worry I am a bit strange but I’ve always adored maps. I’m have the file which can be uploaded for you to view the ‘tour’ – I might send via Anne.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That is a fantastic idea, Chas! How clever are you?!! The Sketchbook needs its own blog, especially if we can add this interactive map.
    Love the idea of the Flying Garlic being our mascot!

    Liked by 2 people

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