Map Hole Points The Way

Map Hole is a new road guidance tool designed to direct pedestrians and travelers to their final destination using existing elements in the urban landscape. It locates the pedestrian with a starting point and provides information on the exact distance or average walk time to the listed landmarks. It sounds intriguing but I feel like I need a cartography degree to understand it. If this were real, you might just enter a city full of confused people looking down at the ground.


Designer: Jiae Kwon

Map-Hole High-tech Manhole Cover With City Map by Jiae Kwon

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38 Comments

  • Brennan says:

    This is almost exactly like the man hole design a few weeks ago except without rain collecting.

    The first one was shut down because man holes are in the middle of the road; where cars, trucks and busses are traveling remarkably fast.

    Completely dangerous design, making people look down in the middle of a busy street to get directions that they probably have on their phone/PDA.

    Irresponsible. Design should not endanger people.

    • venati says:

      true, but i reckon some country have their manhole on pedestrian, such as japan and few other asian countries.
      so it might be suitable for those nations rite?:)
      and also compared to that manhole from few weeks ago, this one is more visible.

      • Brennan says:

        Actually, it’s true. Theme parks and zoos might really like this, even just as a map idea and not for manhole purposes.

        Perhaps place them on sidewalk corners?

        It defeats the manhole purpose entirely, but it keeps the citizens safe and (hopefully) not as lost.

  • Nice design but as Brennan says, “man holes are in the middle of the road; where cars, trucks and busses are traveling remarkably fast.” Just for design.

    • midget says:

      wow i thaught i was gonna be the only one that thaught of that 1 guy tanding in the middle of the road scratching his head focused on the ground and not the fact that your hurtling towards him, or the other guy thats a little short sighted and decides to kneel down for a better look- IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD! the zoo/theme park idea would be great though so… press on!

      • midget says:

        hold up! imagine you read a 15-20 year old manhole cover,continued on walking for 8 mins only to find out maccas has hasnt been there for 10 years, or do we plan on updating these things? whoops expense just trebbled!

  • 1 – It will be way more expensive to produce every-single-manhole in the city with a different pattern than to produce all of them the same, like they normally are.
    2 – Sooner or later, manholes are actually opened! Guess what’s going to happen to the map if the worker just place the manhole in a random fashion.
    3 – Yes, its pretty unsafe stop in the middle of the street, but even if it was in a sidewalk, it will get dirty soon. And, with the passing of the years, the map will fade. But even worse; in a few months it’ll be outdated. Things change places in a city.

    p.s..: What’s with this obsession with manholes around here???

  • RB says:

    Nice concept, but industrial design is all about cost. This project will cost too much(nowadays) for the cities who will want to implement it.
    But once again… nice concept!

  • AlienzExist says:

    Im tired of these photoshop projects where nothing has actually been designed except a piece of paper and some graphics. This is the same as the other man-hole-cover-map idea. What is going on? Where do you get your ideas from?

  • b0g3l says:

    why do i have a very strong feeling i’ve just seen this recently… ow yeah, there was this directive manhole design that doesn’t work

  • Tony says:

    Designers and future designers. Please think of your end user and purchaser. Doing a mental exercise is fine put say that upfront. The usability on these is horrible for all of the reasons mentioned above.

    Why is it that some designers seem to want to mental masturbate then putting their design powers to something that can really be produced and/or used effectively by an end user?

  • r4i karte says:

    Designer is proposal would create a cover that would be applied on top of manholes with the center indicating where the pedestrian is currently standing. Placed around the circle are pointers to sites of interest with the approximate walking time listed next to them. Kwon also provides a proposal for selling advertising space to local establishments.

  • Klappstuhl says:

    It would be easier to just spray-paint a stencil of a vectorized map on each street corner. Add a red dot for the current position, and you’re done.

    PS: Assuming that someone does maintenance and has to go down there, do you really think he’ll place it back on the same way as before!?

  • Ted K. says:

    The manhole cover could be keyed with a bump on the underside that fits into a notch on the seating ring. Also, if the map were a keyed sticker (notch on the North direction) then the manhole covers could be mass produced with an “N” wedge and curve [e.g. (N>]. Also, it would be easy for an arrangement to be made with a nearby merchant to mop the map every so often.

    P.S. The bump on the cover’s underside has a safety benefit in that it props it up when dismounted. Then the worker can readily hook on to drag it back into place.

  • 여기서 한국인 디자이너 분을 보게되네요^^ 좋은데요 ㅎㅎㅎ 근데 비오면…;;; 어떡하는건지..?

  • Out fear is lost, if there is a device that is able to map the better.

  • Out fear is lost, if there is a device that is able to map the better.

  • patrice offman says:

    interesting concept, interesting similarity… i did send a similar concept for city mobility in 2008 for the seoul design olympic but did not make it pass the abstract stage. indeed a lot of the above observations were already taken into account in my proposal. my concept though was based on a mapping system. i would be motivated to represent it again if there are any genuine interest.

  • patrice offman says:

    interesting concept, interesting similarity… i did send a similar concept for city mobility in 2008 for the seoul design olympic but did not make it pass the abstract stage. indeed a lot of the above observations were already taken into account in my proposal. my concept though was based on a mapping system. i would be motivated to represent it again if there are any genuine interest.

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