On the East Coast, where people "don't have a good idea of what the rest of the country looks like," it's helpful, in conversation, to have a map.
So Glen Lindeke drew one.
Now his maps (two, in fact) are on display with nearly 60 others at the Hand Drawn Map Association (HDMA) website, www.handmaps.org.
Lindeke, a 27-year-old analytical chemist from Mendota Heights, moved to Groton, Conn., where he doodled a map of the Midwest with special attention paid to Minnesota, including the Boundary Waters and the northernmost point in the continental United States, the Northwest Angle.
"Every once in a while I just want to draw from memory and freehand it," Lindeke said.
His low-fi cartography flows from personal interest and his brother's study of geography, cities and sidewalks at the University of Minnesota.
Lindeke enjoys adding personal detail, like a friend's home or a quick rendition of a noteworthy building.
That pleases the man behind the HDMA, Kris Harzinski, 32.
"The maps are pretty simple objects, but they're telling a story through visual information," said Harzinski of Lancaster, Pa. "Sometimes that's a really personal story, but most of the time it's a story of a place or an idea ... a journey or a road trip or going to visit a friend."
Harzinski has a Web design background, so taking the HDMA online was easy after he discovered his "accidental collection" of hand-drawn maps by friends.
"I started looking at them and realized they reminded me pretty vividly of a specific event or time or specific place. I found it interesting that this mundane thing can be so powerful."
Up since March, the HDMA got a bump in visitors after receiving attention at BoingBoing.net and DesignBoom.com, and Harzinski receives about 10 map submissions each week.
Lindeke keeps drawing and submitting more, too, including a map of Europe, one of Staten Island and one of a miniature golf course in his home.
Harzinski has other HDMA ambitions. He may try to exhibit the maps or take them on tour, "you know, set up a stand somewhere," to collect maps in person.
Tony Gonzalez • 612-673-7415