Rosencrantz: I don't believe in it anyway.
Guildenstern: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, then?
-Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
I'm booking another tour to England and Scotland right now (for May 2010, those of you in the UK, message me with your city-venue requests), and my favorite booking tool isn't one of those ArtistData or Sonicbids or Reverbnation websites. It's a map.
I love maps. Old maps. New maps. Political maps. Even student-made topographic maps. My parents subscribed to National Geographic, and each month the magazine came with a fold out wall map. I kept all of them, plastered my walls with them, and obsessively learned my rivers and capitals. In high school, when we had to master all 54 nations in Africa (at least that's how many were on the map in the 1990s), I hung the wall map of Africa on the bathroom door, facing the toilet. I think my parents probably learned a lot more geography than they were expecting those few weeks. But I know the difference between Cameroon and Chad because of those maps.
I've had a lot of trouble locating a wall map of the United Kingdom. Shouldn't be that difficult, right? But the ones I have found online all ship from the UK, and they are expensive. I hung my folding road map on the wall, but it's only got half of England -- the other half and Scotland are all on the backside. So I ordered a duplicate and am doing lots of cutting and pasting to create my own wall map of the UK and Ireland.
It's the best tool for tour booking because you can actually get a sense of where these cities are and how far you're driving. GoogleMaps is useful, but it's hard to really get the feel for how far you're traveling when you're staring at the laptop screen. I need push pins and flags and highlighted roads.
I think I might start subscribing to National Geographic again. Or if you subscribe, and you have a wall map (not road map) of the UK, hang onto it for me, please?