🌍 A *MAP* of all the places you have a postcard from!

@agapara, a few days ago, gave me an extremely cool idea. She has a map with all the places she’s received a postcard from, and it’s just such a neat idea! The official website itself already has a similar concept; however, it doesn’t show all the postcards one has – just the ones that have been registered through the website itself.

Click here to see my map (it took me a few hours to make it, but it was fun to go through all my postcards…)!

I sorted everything by colour:
Blue: Postcards sent by myself to myself (I know it sounds sad, but I actually keep a diary which I call a “postal diary”, whereby all my trips are neatly recounted in the form of mailables!)
Red: Postcards sent by people I personally know (relatives, friends and acquaintances)
Green: Postcards sent by people I don’t know (official Postcrossing cards) or by online acquaintances (swaps and cards I get from people I talk with but haven’t met in real life yet).

Please make your own maps as well! It’s so satisfying to see a map full of dots and, moreover, you can also easily see where you’d like your new card to come from… Also, it makes popular countries such as Germany and Russia interesting as well, because you can see whether you’ve already got a card from a certain city or not. Moreover, it’ll be super fun to see what your northernmost or southernmost cards are, and single out more special cards based on their location.

(The perfect project would be that of linking each dot with a scanned image of the postcard it refers to – both sides would be even better… However, this would be such a time-consuming job that I think I’ll just postpone it ad infinitum!)

In order to create a map, you just need to use “My Maps”, which is a service offered by Google Maps. I have around 400 postcards in my collection, and it took me a little bit over two hours. If you’re one of those pros with 1,000+ postcards, making a map should still be an achievable endeavour – just spread it over a few days!

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Hi! This has been happening very often in the last few days… I open a topic and I get unrelated swap requests :sweat_smile: I would’ve appreciated it if the replies were inherent to the specific thing we’re talking about (in this case our maps)! Swap requests should happen elsewhere!

And no, I haven’t received anything from your country, as my map clearly shows. As I said, all the 400 (actually more like 350) postcards in my collection have been catalogued into that map.

Now let’s keep the conversation in topic! :relaxed:

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I am sorry for my mistake. :cry: I am a bit new here. Still learning.

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Christian, I’m very glad you opened this topic. I can’t wait to see other people’s maps!

I liked the color sorting idea that you came up with. It’s a good way to remember how every postcard got into your hands.

My map is here.

I’ve sorted the postcards by continent, excluding Greece, which is a category by itself, because I wanted to create specific subcategories (postcards from mainland/postcards from islands). I took a photo of every postcard of my collection and attached it on each pin on my map, but as you said it’s very time consuming (and I probably wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for the lockdown :laughing: ).

My Maps has some limitations, especially regarding categories and subcategories. For example, I’ve created two categories for Europe, because you can only place 20 pins under each category. But overall I think it’s the best solution I’ve found so far to keep track of my postcard collection by using a map.

I also use the Visited World Map app on my phone, but it’s not as detailed as My Maps. However, if your goal is to collect postcards from every country of the world, it’s definitely useful:

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I do keep a map and have since I started. I don’t share it, it is only for my own information. I like it because I record where the postcard really came from or where I sent it to (to the Postal Code level or as close to that as I can get) instead of what Postcrossing says. Sometimes people send cards from vacation (without travel mode, or before travel mode was introduced) and sometimes they say on their card “greetings from Town X” and it turns out their profile is registered to a somewhat larger town nearby. Also on the map I track where I have sent cards from and where I have been to. Especially now with travel restrictions, I enjoy reminding myself that yes, there really is a bigger world out there!

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I have simple map showing only countries and territories. It’s quite hard to make detailed map pointing each city card came from :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Gray countries still missing

Omg! How many postcards do you have in that map? I can’t find the number, maybe it’s simply not displayed? And how long did it take you to scan everything? If it’s a number close to mine, then it’s definitely feasible and I’ll also do it one day. By the way, it also looks like there are ten pictures attached to each pin. Only the first one was uploaded by you, right?

Oh true, this is definitely better than Google Maps at keeping track of each country you’ve collected a card from. I don’t have it because my goal has never been that of collecting cards from every country; however, I think you just gave me another idea – I’ll make a map similar to yours as well! And it’ll definitely take less time aha!

Cataloguing cards to the postcode level is a great idea! However, I decided to take a different approach. For instance, there are only 22 sorting centres in Italy, so all postmarks (except, obviously, for the ones affixed at local post offices) bear common names such as “Milano Roserio”, “Lamezia Terme” etc., which means that it’ll only look like you’ve got (at most) 22 postcards from Italy. I always research the place the postcrosser lives at, and then put that on the map, because I like to think that they live there and have mailed their card from the local postbox / post office. That’s how I managed to have so many dots in countries where there are only a handful of sorting centres! It makes the whole thing more detailed (which I love).

Yes, you must have almost 1,000 cards, so it’s defo more difficult for you to manually insert everything into a map on My Maps. (But you should definitely do it when you’re bored – your map would really look super beautiful!) By the way, you’ve collected a lot of countries, that must’ve been such a tough endeavour! I wish you all the best – you’ll be able to complete everything soon!

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I love maps - a great idea…I did something similar.
But I’ve been collecting postcards for 45 years, since 1974, and have about 10,000+.
So I started a folder.
I started with A4 sheets of paper, and each sheet of paper had one country outline on each sheet, and I put dots where the postcards come from. I have a postcard from nearly every country and island of the world.
But it’s such a big task! I’m far behind with my dots…
How will you manage when your collection outgrows the room for dots? :grinning:

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With a quick count I think they’re about 200. It took me two days to do it (I don’t have a scanner, which I think saved me a lot of time). The number is indeed not displayed when someone else sees my map, but I can see the number of pins each level has.

The photos are also another thing that bothers me on My Maps. You can add multiple photos to each pin, but the way they’re displayed to everyone else is awful. Again, the creator of the map sees more clearly the data of every pin. For example, when I click on the pin on Frankfurt, this is what I see:

It shows that I’ve uploaded 3 pictures. But when someone else clicks on the Frankfurt pin on my map, they only see a sidebar which displays by default 10 photos. If you click on them, the first 3 are the ones I’ve uploaded and the rest of them are just google maps photos.

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Wow, that’s really organised! I would love to see some pictures of your neat work… Share them only if you feel comfortable enough – after all, that’s your collection! But anyways, I always love when stuff is neatly organised like that.

Right now I don’t think this is a particularly tangible problem for me, as my postcard collection is growing super slowly; moreover, since I’m using a virtual map, I don’t really have to worry about physical space. I know that a cluster of dots can be an unholy sight sometimes, but you just need to zoom in a little bit more for it to look more orderly :stuck_out_tongue:

Hahaha! I love that phrasing! It means that, if you had a scanner, you would’ve most definitely scanned everything instead of simply photographing it!

Ok that’s extremely inconvenient. I still believe that My Maps is the best way to keep track of our postcards; however, there are things that need to be improved. But My Maps is still way better than any other service… maybe because Google feels stable and “granitic” – it’s simply not something that can suddenly disappear in 5 years or something like that.

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So beatiful.

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Thank you for sharing this. I love the idea so much and I made one too!

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I hope you have better luck than me with My Maps.

A few months ago I saw someone else who had created a map of her postcards and I loved it so much I started building my own map too. I have roughly 4,000 postcards, though, so it was a project that took multiple hours over multiple days. Then one day when I sat down to start working on my map again, I discovered that about 600 postcards I had entered over the previous 2 days were gone. They had simply disappeared over night.

I gave up the project at that point. What was the purpose of spending so much time entering my postcards if I couldn’t trust the computer software to keep them there from one day to the next. I was quite disappointed.

Here what I managed to upload before it happened though. I had finished all of the USA and had started my foreign postcards alphabetically by country. It randomly deleted everything middle of the E’s and K. I had just finished uploading through letter O when I discovered the missing cards and quit using it.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=142sCraQ-FSv-BqE1VUBS5af8V4Km3xpR&usp=sharing

And after looking at that map again, I notice that some of my Cs are also missing. I have no idea what else might be gone.

Wow, that’s a neat map! And we can already see a cluster forming in Germany and Russia :stuck_out_tongue: Also many of them from China! I guess you’re using red for cards sent by people you know?

That’s really really unfortunate… It shouldn’t happen though – I thought My Maps would be as reliable as all the other Google services? Was your internet on the whole time? (Of course it was…) This is kinda discouraging, I’ll let you know whether my stuff will disappear as well!

By the way, I can’t open your map… I think you need to give me permission first! Or maybe you can share it through another link – you just need to activate “Public: Everyone on the internet can view and access” before sharing the link.

Thanks, I think I corrected the link :slight_smile:

And please do let me know how your map goes. I would love to continue my map if I could be convinced that losing hundreds of entries was one-time fluke.

Wow, your map is really really impressive! I’m sure you’ve got so much more from Europe and East Asia… But, obviously, the majority of your cards still need to be inserted. It’s crazy how much you’ve received from the United States alone… If you ever want to continue inserting your postcards, please make the place-markers smaller, so that we can see everything more clearly even when it’s completely zoomed out!

I’ll let you know! If in one year of constant updating something gets deleted, I’ll know why. But if nothing happens, maybe you can resume this gargantuan project of yours! I’d be delighted to see more :wink:

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I use a Chinese App called Red and found lots of people swapping postcards there. It’s kinda like the same thing when people using IG or FB to exchange. The Yellow and blue dots are sending or receiving thru official website like PC, PU and PF. I also put the links and pictures of the postcards on the descriptions. I personally prefer using the Google Maps than using the continents, cuz I’d love to see the specific locations. I felt so accomplished after I made the map. :smile: