Are you ready to grab your Turf?

Turf Tokyo

Our next interview is with a very interesting project, a project that can offer a personal touch to your NFT.

I have, in the past, bought various pieces of wall art that tie directly to a specific location. Maybe the place I got married, where my kids were born, our honeymoon destination etc. With Turf you get the opportunity to not only mint an NFT tied to specific location but you also get a beautiful piece of cartographic art that you can print and hang on your wall.

We chatted to one of the founders, @ralphie40, to find out more about the project and where he feels NFTs are heading in general.

Tell us a little about Turf, what type of artwork is it, what size drop?

Turf creates cartographic NFTs / wall art. Each NFT is a gorgeous 1/1 map of your favorite place on earth.

That means there’s only 1 NFT with your home turf on it – if you buy it you’re the only one who can claim ownership of your neighborhood.

Turf NFTs are interactive cards made up of 5 distinct elements and 4 unique features:

  • Zoom and rotate around your Turf
  • Press “A” to go into art mode – showing what a print of Turf could look like.
  • Press “B” to go into bare mode – showing just the map floating in space
  • Press “Space” to shuffle the colors

Here’s a work-in-progress beta version of Melbourne made up of 9 Turfs in a 3×3 square.

In Q2 we plan on offering a physical printing service so you can order a high quality print of your Turf.

On March 31st 8PM UTC we’ll do a first small scale mint of up to 900 Turf squares to test our unique minting system. Why 900? We’re going to give access to 100 lucky individuals who can mint up to 9 Turf NFTs to start.

Where did the idea for the project come from?

Almost 10 years ago @ralphie40 created the cartographic art project Rotterdam Retro – you might see the resemblance to Turf’s art style!

This project was an instant success in his hometown because of the art style’s visual appeal and the strong emotional response the art triggers with people who live in the depicted city.

Of each design 50 identical prints were made, which sold out within 3 months & are still being resold today to people who proudly want to hang a print of their hometown.

It has always been a dream of @ralphie40 to continue working on cartographic art, and with Turf’s NFTs we’re taking the leap!

What about the team behind the project? Tell us a bit about the team, what are your background(s) and what has lead you to start this project.

Turf is created by two software engineers with a heart for Cartography.

@ralphie40 is a software engineer at a company that plants trees by day, cartographic artist by night.

@geyr_garmr is one of the co-creators of @CardanoSpaceNFT and is involved in a variety of different crypto projects at any given moment.

We worked together intensively at one of our previous employers and got to talking about NFTs and Rotterdam Retro one day. One thing led to another!

You have mentioned that it is not a random mint, that the minter gets to choose the Turf they want. How will this work? Will it mean a delay between minting and delivery of the NFT?

To mint a piece of Turf you’ll select the precise square on a Google Maps like interface.

Here’s a work in progress preview of what this could look like:

Turf Map

We 100% automate minting and delivery of the NFT so there’s no hours-long delay after you buy the NFT. Actually creating the NFT itself is computationally intensive however, so it may take 10 minutes or so before it’s fully created and on its way to you.

Presumably when requesting a Turf NFT you need to be quite specific? You couldn’t just get a map of London for example, it would be a much more localised area?

That’s correct, you’ll get to select the exact 2×2 km area you’ll mint. London is pretty big, so if you want the entirety of London you would need to click fast enough to beat out everyone else who is also trying to get London!

With regards to the location, how restricted is it? Does it have to be a major city? What if someone wanted a Turf of their relatively small town or village?

We want to give everyone around the world the ability to own a Turf of their hometown. That means our drop needs to be as inclusive as possible, which is why we have gone through great technological lengths to figure out how to support minting anywhere on earth from the start.

That means that everyone is able to mint where they live, no matter how small their town or village!

Somewhat counter intuitively we may actually restrict minting major cities initially so as to prevent whales scooping up the entirety of Manhattan straight away, which is a concern that a lot of our community members have raised.

If the mint is not random and the minter can select the Turf that they want, is there a limit on how many will be minted in total or will it be an open mint?

We’ll start with a first mint of up to 900 Turfs on March 31st 8pm UTC to test the minting system.

If all is successful, we intend to progressively make available more major cities with new mints on a regular basis.

With this drop design, we want to enable everyone who wants to mint a Turf of a place they love because of an emotional connection to have the opportunity to do so, while making it fun for collectors to hunt for the best pieces of Turf of major cities.

After all, there can be only one Turf with Times Square on it…

Turf New York

What rights pass to the NFT owner once minted? Would, for example, someone be able to sell prints of their Turf NFT if they wanted?

Owners of Turf NFTs are allowed to sell as many prints of their Turf NFTs as they want. Note that legally speaking we do retain copyright over the NFTs, allowing us to sell high quality physical prints of the Turf NFTs to owners of the NFTs who prefer to let us take care of that instead of sourcing an appropriate printer themselves.

You recently made a Twitter thread on the challenges the NFT space faces in bridging the gap between early adoption and mass appeal. How do you see the NFt market changing in the coming months?

We’re in a tough market right now. Last week total CNFT ADA volume dropped -45%. That means there’s a lot of self reflection going on in the community, and people are looking critically at their portfolios and even more critically at upcoming new drops.

There’s still a lot great projects out there, but the margin for error got a whole lot smaller.

That’s why we think we’ll see an increased interest in really high quality projects with a unique angle in the upcoming months. Most likely, the NFTs that will be most successful are the few that are able to breakthrough to the mainstream and appeal to a much wider audience of art collectors.

In this recent Twitter thread of ours, we argue that in order for NFTs to be everywhere, the mainstream needs to start thinking of NFTs as “consumption goods” rather than odd investments.

aka “a thing you buy to satisfy a need or want” -OECD https://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=433

Some people have a need to show off apes on Twitter. Most don’t.

You may have heard of THE CHASM – the challenge to transition from early adopters to early majority that every new technology must overcome.

With NFTs we’re at the innovators stage right now, but early adopters aren’t jumping on the bandwagon yet. And it’s not for a lack of trying. We speak to typical early adopters on a daily basis that have extensively looked into NFTs. They see the potential. They desire to use NFT tech.

But they are turned off by the status quo, and form what I call a “Wall of adoption resistance”.

Thankfully it’s not too late. Early adopters want to join. They see value in truly owning in-game items, but think that’s for the next generation.

Buying odd expensive apes to join some decentralized club? Not for them. But if we create what they DO need, we COULD climb the wall and start inching towards the early majority.

To go from “expensive apes for expensive people” to “early adopters regularly buying NFTs” we need to:

  1. Create NFTs with mass market appeal
  2. Price them for the mass market
  3. Tell early adopters why to buy these
  4. Make it easy-ish to buy them

With Turf we hope to create something that appeals to a mass market, and we’re calling for other NFT creators to start creating projects with mainstream appeal as well so that all of your friends start buying too!

There is a LOT more content in the original Twitter thread – take a minute to read it if you like this thinking!

If you had to explain to somebody new to NFTs what NFT’s might look like in the future, what would you say? At the moment we are very early and we have a range of NFT’s from 10k jpg drops to 1/1 art drops and now we are moving into NFT’s with more utility behind them but in terms of mass adoption, what do NFT’s look like and how will they be used?

Great question, and one that can be answered from so many different angles. In the aforementioned Twitter thread we talk at length about 4 types of NFTs you’ll hopefully buy one day:

ultra cheap ones you’ll probably get for free & throw away. An NFT with your happy meal.

Affordable NFTs you’ll buy to keep for a while, but eventually discard. An NFT to support a band.

Splurge NFTs that aren’t cheap but add value in some tangible way. An NFT unlocking a game, or art you might frame & hang at home.

Luxury NFTs that are multiple paychecks expensive but come with a promise: status, access and profit. Think BAYC (many many many multiple paychecks 😉

The only way to achieve mass adoption is if we get more early adopters to start spending their own hard earned cash on NFTs in the affordable & splurge range.

To get there, it’s probably best to create something that people outside of crypto can easily recognize as valuable: access to a music venue, backstage passes or simply something they can hang. Time to start creating ✊🎨🧑‍🎨!

Why did you choose to launch Turf on Cardano?

3 main reasons: scientific grounding, environmental impact & community.

@geyr_garmr originally was pretty sceptical of Cardano’s scientific claims but after a literature review concluded that Cardano indeed has the most robust underlying principles and makes the best trade-offs balancing security, scale and decentralization.

The lower environmental impact of Cardano’s Proof of Stake model is incredibly important to us. Blockchain technology is amazing, but the only sustainable way to run them is in an environmentally conscious manner.

Finally, the Cardano community is unique in being so welcoming and supportive – it’s great to be here and an honour to be able to participate in this interview!

Do you guys collect NFT’s too? What’s your favourite?

Absolutely! A lot of our favorites are art-based drops. Aeoniumsky’s work is amazing & we’re quite fond of unsigs. We recently did a giveaway of an unsig which was won by @CheesusCrust420. We also value equal rights a lot, so are very much into women led projects.

One of our latest mints was one from Sacred Femmes!

We’ll probably do another GeoGuesser game with arty NFT giveaways on our Twitter account soon-ish!


We hope you enjoyed the interview, if you’d like to learn more about Turf you can do so on their website.

Before you leave be sure to check out our CNFT drop calendar to see what is minting this week.

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