Streets of Gold

“London streets are paved with gold”

Streets of Gold is a spectacular map of greater London created on a base of 24 carat gold leaf and was a collaboration between Europa Technologies and London-based artist, Ewan David Eason. It is based on the folklore tale of “Dick Whittington and his Cat”.

Streets of Gold

“London streets are paved with gold” is a saying that came from the folklore tale of Dick Whittington and his cat, loosely based on the fourteenth century Lord Mayor of London, Richard Whittington.

The story tells of a young, Gloucestershire man, Dick Whittington who leaves home with his cat to seek his fortune in London, where he believes the streets are “paved with gold”. Upon arrival, he realises his mistake and soon decides to return home. Whilst leaving London he hears the sound of Bow Bells urging him to “Turn again, Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London”.

In reality, the impoverished Richard Whittington (c1354-1423), became a successful merchant, and did indeed make his fortune and become Lord Mayor of London three times.

We were inspired to create a map out of a precious material, settling on gold for its beautiful qualities. The use of gold is also associated with golden anniversaries and therefore serves as a homage to Esri, Inc. which in 2019 celebrates 50 years in business.

While gold is a wonderful material to work with, it is also costly when production mistakes are made. For this reason, the work is a collaboration between Europa Technologies and Ewan David Eason, a talented London-based artist who is skilled in working with 24ct gold leaf. While Ewan has made maps with gold leaf before, this work is the first-time Esri GIS software and Ordnance Survey data were used in production. This has resulted in increased detail from an authoritative source and, through improved layer management, enabled innovative new methods such as the precision application of UV varnish.

  Esri User Conference 2019 – WINNER: Most Innovative Map Award

  Esri User Conference 2019 – WINNER: Cartography Special Interest Group (CartoSIG) Excellence Award

  British Cartographic Society Awards 2019 – WINNER: Ordnance Survey Award

  British Cartographic Society Awards 2019 – WINNER: BCS Award

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Europa Labs

Europa Labs

Europa Labs is the experimental or “skunk works” brand of Europa Technologies. It is responsible for working on innovative location intelligence projects and cartographic works, often without a client or sponsor. Discover our fascinating infographics and award-winning map creations.

Europa Labs

Further information

If you have any questions about this Europa Labs project, please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help you.