Cool Cartography: The Art Of Mapmaking

Mind the Map, a new collection of artwork published by Gestalten, shows the skill, humour and care involved in map design, including one depicting New York’s smells, and a meticulously hand-painted ski map.

Whistler village, Canada, by James Niehues

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One of the most prolific ski-trail mapmakers at work, Niehues is known for extreme attention to detail, giving unique form, structure and shadows to trees, or adding cars to resort parking lots. He usually begins by gathering images of his subject from various angles, including archival photos and flying around the area at various elevations. A medium-size ski resort takes two to four days to sketch and seven to 10 days to paint. Larger regions have taken weeks.

London by Gareth Wood aka Fuller

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Fuller drafts impressionistic “mind maps” of places where he has lived. “I’m making a collection of cartographical love letters,” he says. This hyper-detailed, ink-drawn map is of central London. It contains the personal experiences of the artist, hidden stories, curiosities and factoids. The piece was started in 2005, archived in 2007, and drawing resumed in 2015. This jump creates a change in style and technique. It highlights the progress within the metropolis and the artist himself.

The Big Smoke by Mychael Barratt

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Canadian-born Barratt is a painter and printmaker based in London. His etchings of the city and the London underground are peppered with highly detailed site-specific anecdotal and historical references. Multiple plates are printed side-by-side in the manner of an ancient folding map.

A Guide to the Discovery of Machu Picchu by Kevin Cannon

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This is one of a series of maps made for the quarterly journal The Appendix charting the epic adventures of historical figures.

A scratch card map by Ken Perkins

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An artist based in Denver, Colorado, Perkins specialises in scratchboard and pen and ink drawings. In many of his maps, soft colouring combines with highly-contrasting marks to convey a strong sense of the natural landscape.

A map of smells in New York by Kate McLean

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An English graphic designer McLean has focused her passion for cartography on making sensory maps, charting the dynamics of what we smell, and to a lesser extent, touch, taste, and see. McLean uses various visualisation formats to map her data, which she gathers alone or with the help of collaborators.

A 3D map of Manhattan by Luis Dilger

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German designer Dilger took Google’s OpenStreetMap data of various cities and visualised the satellite-based information using DEM Earth in Cinema 4D, transforming them into 3D prints.

The south Pennines by Angela Smyth

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This work took six months to complete, eventually filling six large canvases of 3 × 2.4 metres. The map captures the spirit and landmarks of the breathtaking moorland landscape with its quaint towns and villages. Local residents were invited to suggest features they wanted to see on the final piece and excerpts were included from poems by Simon Armitage.

Le Tour de Fromage by Elly Walton

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A fun map of regional cheeses by English illustrator who combines hand-drawn work with digital techniques.

Barrio de las Letras, Madrid, by Andrés Lozano

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A cartoonist and illustrator based in Madrid, Lozano uses overlayed colours and strong lines to make essential landmarks easily recognisable in this weekend tourist map of the city.

The Atlas of True Names by Kalimedia

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German publisher Kalimedia has created maps of the US, Canada and UK, revealing the etymological roots of places.

Rome by Libby VanderPloeg

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In New York-based illustrator VanderPloeg’s playful maps, lines tracing major streets become decorative flourishes, while text bubbles call out her favourite shops, parks, restaurants and boutiques.

Via Guardian

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