This remarkable pictorial bird’s-eye-view can be understood as part of a series of maps produced in the 1980s by City Graphics of America, Inc., based in Fremont, CA. In a recent interview, Maryanne Hoburg, the illustrator behind the first iteration published in 1982, related how the maps were designed. Hoburg and John Crupper, the founder of City Graphics, would drive around with a polaroid camera and Hoburg would jump out of the car and take a picture of each business or landmark. Later, back in her home studio, Hoburg would then render the images into 1-2 inch illustrations.
The artist behind our map (as indicated by a signature at bottom middle-right) was Stephanie Russell, but we haven’t been able to find any information about her life or work. Russell’s view takes a slightly different scope and perspective than Hoburg’s 1982 and 1983 productions. It stretches north to include the San Francisco skyline, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. It uses a flatter vertical perspective with less of the Bay; the result being that the bend around the southern part of the Bay is almost imperceptible, and Fremont and San Francisco are situated on the same visual plane.
A remarkable visual document capturing the history of Silicon Valley in particular and computer history more generally. Crupper sold space to businesses on these maps, and they became a kind of reference in the ever-changing dynamic environment of the region in the 1980s.
Of the City Graphics bird’s-eye-views published in 1982 (Hoburg), 1983 (Hoburg?), 1985 (singed ‘Johnson’), and 1986 (signed ’Stephanie Russell’), this one seems to be the rarest: we found no other private or institutional holdings.