A fan of Shaun the Sheep? Well, you are going to be seeing plenty of him in the capital over the next couple of months. On Saturday, 50 fibreglass Shaun the Sheep statues will be placed in various locations in central London – for “Shaun in the City”. 45 of the 50 are featured on the main official map, an excerpt of which is above, the full version below (click the latter for a larger version). The map shows four trails of 3-5km where you can visit several in quick succession. Each statue is painted differently – from a solid gold-painted one in Canary Wharf, to one dressed as a beefeater. Above is part of the official map and there is also a full list of the designs. Some of the sheep, marked with a diamond, are indoors.
In late May, the exhibition packs up and 70 more designs appear in Bristol, and then in the autumn they’ll all be back in Covent Garden for a weekend, to be auctioned off. If the concept sounds a little familiar, it follows on from Cow Parade, Elephant Parade, a set of kangaroos, Gromits (in Bristol), giant books and miniature Boris Buses, the last of which have just had their closing auction.
We like the official map which we have excerpted here. It’s an attractive, green-tinted custom-made map from OpenStreetMap data, with vignettes of key tourist sites in central London, and largely clutter-free, with just the key streets and tube and railway stations named, as well as the walking routes and the sheep locations themselves. The cartographer/designer (Matthew Hitchcock for Shaun in the City) has taken care to curve names on wiggly streets, and add a watercolour effect to soften some of the lines. The maps is also mainly a vector PDF, which means it should print really crisply. It’s great seeing attractive, boutique maps like this created for these sorts of events, which will be hugely popular with Londoners and tourists alike, and also great seeing this kind of use of the OpenStreetMap dataset that contributors in London have carefully customised over the years. Now we can go and hunt Shauns on a map we helped create!
[Update – paper copies of the map can be obtained from the City of London Visitor Centre which is the sharp, angular building just south of St Paul’s Cathedral.]
Map obtained from the Shaun in the City website. There is also an iPhone and Android map. The excerpts here contain OpenStreetMap data which is Copyright OpenStreetMap contributors. The Shaun image is ©&TM Aardman/Shaun the Sheep Ltd. 2015