I’ve acquired a large number of folded poster maps over time. Most of them I’ve earned through organized play events and others I’ve purchased from various sources. After a while my collection was getting quite haphazard – most of them being stored in a box with no particular means of organization.
Eventually, I decided to change that. I collected every map I could find and piled them into one stack and then tackled how to organize them. What I did worked out pretty great so I thought I’d share it.
What you need:
- 3-Ring Binder
- Plastic sheet protectors
- Something to print/write/label with (I used my computer & printer)
- Optional: Digital Camera (I used my tablet)
Using my camera I snapped my own quick pictures of each side of all my poster maps. You could also use Sly Flourish’ awesome Poster Map Visual Index. Using the pictures is entirely optional (especially if you have no means to print them with) so you can skip this – but I highly recommend it for the next part.
Uploading all the pictures to my computer, I dropped the pictures into a word document. I made one page per physical map – if the map was double-sided or had multiple sections I made sure all relevant snapshots were on the same single page. I typed in quick captions to the pictures like “Large Tavern w/ Stables” or “Gladiatorial Arena”. I call these the “cover sheets” for the poster map folio.
Printing those out, I matched up the pages to their maps. Sliding the cover sheet into a plastic sheet protector I added the matching map behind it. That went into the binder. Once I finished all the maps, I had a binder full of quick reference images I can flip through at any time and pick out whatever map I need at any given moment.
Skipping the Pictures?
Well, if you can’t or don’t want to use a printer then you can just slid your maps into the plastic sleeves. I recommend adding labels though, as a folded map hides a lot of detail that you think you’ll remember. Trust me, you won’t. You’ll forget about those opposite side maps after a while. I rediscovered the flip sides of a lot of maps I hadn’t looked at in a long while. Just write out a quick description of each side of the map and add it to the sleeve with each map. At the very least add keywords of the scene that will jog your memory when you’re flipping through your binder looking for something specific.
I added a nice title to the binder’s front cover. Here’s the finished product:
If you like the cover and are considering making your own binder, I shared a pdf of the cover if you want to use it: Poster Map Folio PDF