The blog offers access to maps in large formats, also offering the full-resolution file. The site uses zoom.it to display its maps, which does not require any additional downloads. The majority of the maps come from four sources: The Perry-Castaneda Map Collection, the Rumsey Map Collection, the Library of Congress, and the USGS Earth Explorer. New maps are added every week day, keeping the list fresh and interesting to browse.
In my world, it's certainly a novel idea to have a blog showcasing historical maps and there's certainly a plethora of geographical delights to tantalise the curious out there. 'Big Map Blog' is curated by a guy from St. Louis, simply known as 'The 59 King', who clearly has a huge passion for the heady world of cartography. He came across a large portion of the maps on the blog whilst researching a film he is/was working on and decided that it was way to sad for them to be kept from the public domain.
'Big Map Blog' is a very simple site to navigate around which is lucky as the user could have so easily required a map (sorry, I couldn't resist). The maps on offer can be searched for under the self explanatory categories entitled 'Recent Posts', 'Monthly Archives', 'Pages', 'Categories' and 'Authors'.
There is also a subscription section found on the home page that allows the user to fill out a simple data capture area that will allow them to receive emails whenever a new map of their specific area becomes available. And depending on where about one lives, this is good news considering the blog claims to have new maps added every single day during the week.
The overall layout of the blog is very neat and looks reasonably slick. However, i think a slightly more creative approach to the aesthetic of the blog would have been nice. Without being tacky or over zealously cliched, I feel that a site that showcases work of a visual and often very beautiful nature, could have amalgamated this essence into its core graphic appearance. I also feel that the yellow star/flash used next to the logo in the header cheapens the blog and could certainly benefit from a slightly more subtle approach.
Do I have a passion for maps? Do I even have any sense of direction? The answer to both these questions is an undeniable no! However, there is something mildly captivating about 'Big Map Blog' and it's vast collection of vintage maps. On a personal level, it's unlikely I would come back to marvel over the wealth of maps on offer any time soon but I have no doubt in my mind that there will be many people out there who will have a genuine interest and fascination of the maps showcased here.