As a scuba diver, I am always looking for new and exhilarating places to dive. And when I’m not underwater I’m usually planning my next dive destination. So when I discovered this incredible world dive map created by the German company Awesome Maps, I just had to get my hands on one. I knew it was a map made in heaven.
Awesome Maps is a German-based company founded by surfer and travel enthusiast Simon, illustrator and comic-nerd Lars and web creator Timo in 2010. Together the trio dreamed up and brought Awesome Maps to life through many years of hard work, passion and dedication. Now the company has grown to around 9 people all working somewhat remotely, allowing the team members to do what they do best and live a life aligned with their values.
Awesome Maps is a labour of love having a wide variety of world maps worthy of any travellers wanderlust. There their collection of maps includes; surf trip maps, hiking maps, fishing maps, yoga maps, snow trip maps, golfing maps, climbing maps, bucket list maps, colouring maps and many more. Each map is meticulously researched, hand-illustrated and printed with love in Berlin.
The World Dive Map is an illustrated map featuring the best dive sites and underwater destinations around the world. It features over 500 dive spots and has snippets of information about the type of dive and underwater attributes. The map is available on canvas, foldable Tyvek paper, silk coated poster paper, in towel format or on a customizable canvas.
At Dive Buddies 4 Life, we pride ourselves in finding unique scuba related items and the Awesome Maps World Dive Map is one such product. From the macro possibilities of the Lembeh Strait to the shark dives of the Bahamas, this comprehensive art piece is both visually astounding and an inspiration to plan your next dive trip. A first look at the products, we loved how uncluttered our silk paper and the foldable map felt, readily displaying the perfect balance of illustration versus information.
Our 56 cm X 97.5 cm (22 inches X 38 inches) foldable map came in an envelope sized protective box. The foldable Tyvek map itself was made from a material that had a hardy and durable feel, and as a pair of divers who spend a significant amount of time on the road, it’s nice to have a strong product that will withstand the effects of time (and travel).
As stated on the foldable maps packaging, Tyvek paper claims to be tear-proof, waterproof and writable so we decided to test it out.
The term waterproof may seem straightforward, the concept behind it is not. Currently, there is no industry standard in order to classify something as “waterproof.” Using the term waterproof usually communicates the idea that whatever has been waterproofed will never fail due to contact with water – no matter the situation.
Where waterproof paper is concerned it can be very tricky to find paper that is fully immune to water damage, as over time and depending on the extent of water exposure, many brands of waterproof paper show some kind of susceptibility and distortion. While it would have been neat to take the map scuba diving in order to test the map’s waterproofness, we really didn’t want to damage the product so instead opted to simulate the ways this map would get wet during regular use. We took the map out in the rain, we dropped the map in a puddle and I even spilled my water bottle on the map and it retained its integrity.
But what good is waterproof paper alone, if it can’t hold up to heavy use? To test the resilience of the Tyvek paper we tried with our bare hands to rip the corners and folded seam of the map. To be perfectly honest I have never worked with tear-proof paper before and didn’t know what to expect. I was also a little apprehensive at ripping the map because as I’m sure you can tell, it is a very nice piece of art. To my surprise, I found myself unable to make even the smallest rip in the fabric of the map.
Much like tearing the map, I couldn’t find it in my heart to scribble on the front of the dive map with a pen, so to test the paper’s writability I successfully drew a few doodles on the back.
Dive Map – Foldable: A world map with over 500 dive spots and areas, information about the type of dive and underwater features. This foldable edition comes in a nicely designed sturdy envelope, ready to join you on your next dive trip.
Similarly to the foldable map, our sample of the paper map had 56 cm X 97.5 cm (22 inches X 38 inches) dimensions and arrived in a long cardboard tub. In lieu of being foldable, this map was a poster-style map printed on silk coated, acid-free paper.
Aesthetically, the paper map is pretty much identical to the foldable map save for the difference of printing material. The map showed a light blue oceanic background with watercolor illustrations filling every continent’s nook and cranny.
When considering functionality, the paper map had a strong paper thickness, 250 gsm (170 lbs), but did not have the versatility and durability of the foldable one. This is primarily because the Silk paper map is meant as a decorative wall poster as opposed to a hardy and compact travel map. What I generally find with poster type material, is that most of the time they are printed on glossy shiny paper that can be hard to look at under certain lights. Unlike my past experiences, what we found with the Paper Dive Map, is that the company uses a paper and print method that gives the map a refined matte appearance that doesn’t compromise colour or clarity.
Dive Map – Paper: Simply the world of diving. A world map with over 500 dive spots and areas, information about the type of dive and underwater features. Get inspired for future trips, track your travels, or simply marvel at the beautiful world of diving.
Awesome Map’s World scuba diving map is an enthralling piece of art, unlike anything we have ever seen.
Looking at the map is nothing short of an adventure, and on my foldable and paper samples of the Dive Map, I could truly feel the illustrations come to life. These sensational pieces of art had me ready to plan my next diving trip so much so that I could practically taste the tang of tank air.
Have you discovered any neat maps showcasing some of the world’s scuba diving locations? How do you like it and what company did you purchase them from?
Writers Note: This scuba diving post was sponsored by Awesome Maps as a part of our Dive Buddies 4 Life Reciprocal & Partner Program. Want to discover more unique scuba diving products? Browse through our shop to find more photography, gear and fun ocean products.
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