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Wild Wild west

After publishing the first Melbourne Map 26 years ago I received an “anonomous” letter from a pretty cranky person who pointed out that we had not included the Western suburbs on the map.

Well I can report  that on this new version we have ventured further West.   Our very first driving research trip was to Williamstown, Newport, Spotswood, Yarraville and Sommerville.  We set up the Go-pro on the dashboard, I drive (and talk) and Lewis and Deborah take a gazillion photos.


In the ‘olden days’ for the production of the 1990 version Deborah and I would walk everywhere with an SLR camera, take our 36 shots, re-load with a film cartridge, take more photos, drop those films off to Custom Colour in South Melbourne and wait a week before we had the developed prints.  I found this photocopy of the first cheque I wrote from our new cheque account.  This reminds me how much we used to spend after a day of photographing.  (and yes I know, it is a bit weird the kind of stuff I have in the memorabilia photo album)

Progress photos of the drawing.

Here’s some photos of the initial sketches of the West side of the map.  Lewis works firstly in pencil to lay down all the streets and major buildings/areas of significance.  He will go back over with ink in much more detail then Deborah will add further detail after that.

We’re finding as we research an area that the very first sketch (marked with the blue pencil) usually has to be moved this way and that to include extra detail.

This is a continuous challenge and one of the most difficult processes.   It reiterates in my mind the length of time to complete a project like this and I am often re-working the timelines for publishing date.   At this stage I reckon mid 2017 for the Limited Edition Black & White prints at least.

On the photos above you will see numbers and letters on the perimeter.  To help us collaborate virtually for the project we have divided up the map into 64 sections, i.e. A1, A2, A3 etc and our team share an online folder for each section.  Within these folders are notes and photos which helps us to communicate any ideas for those particular areas of the map, and keep our reference photos in order.  These will also be a essential reference when it comes time to colour the map.

Contrary to my technology made me cry post, I am constantly fascinated with how technology is helping us bring this project to life.  There is nothing like walking the actual streets of Melbourne but the ability to go online and access the visual resources available on the internet blows my mind.   So different to how we approached this project 26 years ago.

Photo above was taken at the Dinosaur Park built at McNish Reserve in Yarraville

If you live in the West and want to send us a photo of your favourite feature that you think should make it on The Melbourne Map, then please connect via email or comment below.