Mon
Feb 11 2013 4:30pm

Explore a Living Map of Ankh-Morpork!

Explore a Living Map of Ankh-Morpork!

See that, up there? That’s part of Ankh-Morpork, the sprawling megacity from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Random House has released an app for iPad that is, at face value, a map of this most excellent of cities. What you don’t see in this picture is that the map is dotted with itty-bitty little people walking around Ankh-Morpork, doing their Ankh-Morpork business. Walking around, being themselves.

When you zoom the map, it’s possible to get down to actual street level, where the citizens of Ankh-Morpork are going about their daily business. While many of these figures are indistinct civilians, the city is full of characters from the Discworld novels. Of course Death is there, (I imagine him walking up to another tiny figure, swinging a tiny scythe, and then leaving the tiny figure to slowly and tinily decompose), as well as members of the City Watch and Havelock Vetinari, the dread Patrician of the city, but there is also the humble Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, peddling incredibly miniscule sausages-in-buns.

The app features a full street directory, a stunning level of detail, walking tours, and the opportunity to do busywork for shiftless Postmaster Moist von Lipwig, as well as a full soundscape. Yes, this app allows you to hear Ankh-Morpork.

Luckily, it doesn’t make you smell it.


Stubby the Rocket is the occasionally random voice of Tor.com. Stubby enjoys long walks along Abattoirs Lane and pies with personality.

12 comments
Nathan Love
1. n8love
This is a level of awesome I don't have a word for. I'd love to see it in other formats besides iPad... you know, for real people to enjoy.
Puff the Magic Commenter
2. Puff the Magic Commenter
There are 85 million iPads out there. Certainly some of them are owned by "real people?"

What other formats would you like to see it in? This kind of stuff is made possible largely because of iOS.
Puff the Magic Commenter
3. Mistwraith
Puff ...
Not everyone has bitten into the Apple .

There are over 300 million Android devices in public hands worldwide.
A worthwhile format i think.
Puff the Magic Commenter
4. Abigail@StoryFactory
Makes me wish I had an iPad. If I ever do get one I'll certainly be downloadng this one!
Puff the Magic Commenter
5. stygyan
DAMN. NOW I want an IPAD just for this!
Puff the Magic Commenter
6. Puff the Magic Commenter
Just bristling at the crack about iOS users not being real people, Mistwraith.

But as long as I'm here... (I know it's OT, Stubby. This will be my last comment on the subject.)

I Googled poorly, first of all. The actual number of iOS devices is more than 500 million, 60% of which run the latest version if the OS. There are certainly many more Android devices. However, by Google's own estimates, nearly half of them are running an OS that's at least two years old. That's five versions back! THAT'S why developers who want to make money go iOS first and sometimes exclusively -- Android fragmentation. Here's a chart.

Undoubtedly, the situation will change in coming years, just as soon as Google gets a choke chain around the necks of the carriers and OEMs. As always, developers have to put their resources where they'll get the most return.
Puff the Magic Commenter
7. Trib
I want to get this. Anyone have it? Is it worth the cost?
Puff the Magic Commenter
8. Nicholas Winter
It's fourteen dollars but be advised it only runs under iOS 6 so iPad classics won't run it.
Puff the Magic Commenter
9. Thaeryn
I have it. I've only read a couple of novels, seen two of the movies and play the Ankh-Morpork board game whenever I get the chance...

...and I think this app is totally worth the price.

You can't get the paper version of the "mapp" for any cheaper, and this is interactive, allowing you to search for places and instantly show them on the map.
Jennifer Kendzior
10. irisclara
Android app please. It makes me very sad that I can't have this.
Nathan Love
12. n8love
The real people crack was perhaps uncalled for. I like technology, but am in the midwest on an average income (for here, not nationwide), so paying Apple's prices is unrealistic, not to mention the proprietary nature of their... everything, which is a large philosophical hurdle for me. The stereotype is that iPad users can't be bothered to know how things work and would rather pay extra for things that look cool and are a status symbol regardless of the fact that they provide no benefit to them that their iPhone and Macbook don't have covered. This leads to the running gag where they are "old money" and only use tablets in between rounds of mounted polo or yacht races. Hence, we "real people" who work for a living have to muddle through with affordable and necessary products that occasionally become more than 6 months out of date but function nonetheless, and must sigh each time a new thing is released only for those who keep full coverage on their Bentleys.

More to the point: shut up and take my money, programmers, as long as I don't have to buy a mac first.

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