This Guy Is capitalising On The 250-Year-Old Concept That Inspired Google Maps

Matt TomasuloMatt Tomasulo with the blueprints for his T-shirts

Photo: City Fabric via flickr

Google maps can be traced back to Giambattista Nolli, who invented “figureground” mapping in 1748. Nolli was the first to scientifically survey, and present, Rome in 2D — he created La Pianta Grande di Roma (“The Great Plan of Rome”), which is considered one of the most influential urban plans in history.Matt Tomasulo says Nolli inspired his designs for City Fabric, which he launched last August. The concept is to sell “civic-minded” T-shirts with city maps on them (which will cover multiple U.S. cities). They’re also meant to be conversation starters.

The University of Richmond grad started the company by selling 75 shirts in Raleigh, and is now soliciting funding from Kickstarter. At this moment, his company has 150 backers and is halfway to meeting its $13,000 goal by Aug. 31. He launched the business six months after winning the national ULI Graduate Student Urban Design Competition.

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