Garage Sale Finds into Framed Art

K & I have a small obsession with maps.

We already have a map of Cape Cod Bay and Washington DC in our apartment.

So when I stumbled upon a copy of the Charts of the Illinois Waterway at a garage sale, I knew I had to go back and get it. K also told me I had to go back and get it.

garage sale1

It has maps of the Mississippi, the Chicago River, the lock system, and the canals that helped reverse the flow of the Chicago River.

K was thrilled with the purchase. We knew right away they would make great additions to our growing map collection.

The maps hung around for a few months until I finally got around to finding frames for them, even though we did not have much wall space left anymore.


We picked our favorite two: one of the waterways of the U.S. and one of the downtown portion of the Chicago River.


They look pretty good over the TV and am happy with the purchase and placement of them. It is also always a way better story when you can say you got something at a garage sale!


Maps, Maps, Maps

This probably makes me super nerdy, but I really love maps.

I am a visual learner and physically seeing information helps me absorb it better than just reading or hearing about it. Maps and visuals also make a bigger impact on audiences.

Due to class scheduling conflicts, I was never able to take Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a course in graduate school. Basically, GIS uses data to spatial create maps and layers of different types of data and information to help answer questions and solve urban planning problems.

Now that I am out in the real world, I realize that I should have tried harder to fit it into my class schedule.

When I saw there was an opportunity to attend a 2-day GIS workshop here in Chicago, I jumped at the chance to learn a new skill for professional development and my own personal map fetish.

Over two days, we covered the basics of a skill that takes years to fully master, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

We worked with data sets and transformed them into spatial data and then applied layers of other data on top. It was so cool!


Don’t mind the Cheshire cat, he was just a placeholder for what would have been a company logo.


The most awesome part is that tons of regional GIS data is available for free!



BRB let me go make some maps.