The Asheville Map isn’t your typical map for tourists. From its cover featuring a well-known local small business owner (Jodi Rhoden of Short Street Cakes & Pies) to the nearly 200 points of interest shown on a shaded-relief design of a map made to scale, creators Bruce and Nora Daniel wanted their map to be as much a work of art as a useful tool for tourists.
Most of all, the map has been a labor of love for the Daniels, who moved to Asheville in 2009 but had visited for several years beforehand. Bruce Daniel, a mapmaker by trade, said the couple wanted a map that reflected Asheville’s quirky character and was accurate. They also wanted their project to give back to the community in a charitable way.
The Daniels funded the map themselves, so there are no ads cluttering its design. And a portion of proceeds of sales ($2.99 suggested retail price for the 17×22-inch fold-out) will go to benefit MANNA Food Bank.
“I found both a need and an opportunity here. I found that the maps that were available didn’t give me the information I wanted, either because of accuracy or the choice of information displayed, which is mostly governed by paid advertising. I also felt it was really important to reflect the fabric of the community in the map and benefit the community in some way,” Bruce Daniel said.
“That notion of benefitting the community took two forms in this map. One was not to do paid advertising – to put local businesses on the map without them paying. The second was having the aspect of retailers making money by selling map, and a portion of proceeds going to a cause,” he said. MANNA was a natural because of the ongoing need in the the community, as well as its stature in the community, Daniel said.
The map includes topographical information in its shaded-relief design, and it is done to scale. It includes three views of Asheville: the central city; the greater metro Asheville; and a regional map that covers Western North Carolina. It includes dozens of points of interest, all of which are color-coded for different categories, such as retail businesses, restaurants and breweries. It lists 24-hour pharmacies, entrances to the Blue Ridge Parkway and other points within walking distance of downtown.
There’s also a list of unusual points of interest, under the category Toura Obscura.
The Asheville Map also features seven QR codes, dubbed smart corners, which allow any user with a mobile phone application that reads the codes to access online information that is updated. One of the QR codes includes a link to Ashvegas.
You can buy The Asheville Map online. In Asheville, you can find it at Malaprop’s bookstore, Short Street Cakes, Livi’s Pantry, Black Dome on Tunnel Road and in Biltmore Estate shops.