Soft Cities is a San Francisco-based company that sells blankets and napkins featuring a map of your favorite location. It could be your house, a vacation spot, a workplace, your school, etc. You pick the location, we make the map, then you have a picnic on your neighborhood!
Who is Soft Cities?
The owner, Nikki Gunn Rodenbeck (that's me!), lives and works in San Francisco with Eric Rodenbeck, founder of Stamen Design. It occurred to us that the awesome online maps Stamen makes should be tactile, soft, and available in the real world. I blog about updates, design, and fun map making stuff here. You can also find us on Twitter @softcities.
These aren't just any old Google Maps. In collaboration with Stamen Design, OpenStreetMap.org, and Cloudmade (under the creative commons license SA-by-SA), we're using open source data provided by OSM to design (or modify in the case of Midnight Commander) the style of the map, including all the city infrastructure, land details and icons. So we feature colorful, fun versions created by Stamen's design hotshot Geraldine Sarmiento. I mean, why shouldn't rivers in a candy colored world look like rainbows?
The design is one thing. Yes, they are amazing! But, we've taken this idea one step further by printing on fabric! Deluxe, warm, cozy (yet lightweight) fleece for the blankets and 100% Kona cotton for the table napkins. We are working with a great company also located in San Francisco who prides themselves on printing GREEN (no toxic chemicals in the printing process, nor do they produce waste water) and being sweatshop free. YAY!
While the napkins are 100% cotton, the fleece is not natural. However! It IS recyclable, unlike the cotton...weird huh? Ah the world of recycling. The point is, you can feel good about the purchase. All the sewing, assembly and shipping happens in San Francisco too, so very low emissions went into making your beautiful one-of-a-kind textiles!