There’s a wonderful online community on Reddit that’s dedicated to beautiful, intriguing, and artistic maps that will wow you and make you see the world from a whole other perspective. As someone who loves doodling maps in my spare time, I’m in heaven. And even though our generous and benevolent social media overlords [cough cough] don’t allow us to mention the full name of the subreddit because of one particular word that it uses, make sure you visit the group, check out their latest maps, and maybe even become members yourselves, dear Pandas!
In the meantime, let’s enjoy some gorgeous and interesting maps, shall we? Remember to upvote your fave pics as you continue scrolling. In need of an extra mega map fix? You’ll find Bored Panda’s previous posts about the ‘Map [Whoops Can’t Mention That Word Here Anymore]’ community right here, as well as here.
We reached out to the founder and moderator of the subreddit, Patrick McGranaghan. He told Bored Panda all about how his passion for maps was first sparked, as well as how amateur cartographers can develop their sense of style and design to create better maps and do their imaginations justice.
This Is My Wedding Gift To My Wife. We Get Married Next Sunday. I Used A Woodburning Kit To Burn A Map Of All The States We Have Visited As A Couple. We Both Love To Travel And Backpack Do I Want To To Keep Adding To It As We Get Older
Occupied Bald Eagle Nests In Wisconsin. 1974 vs. 2019. Growth Credited To The Clean Water Act
USA In Drawn In 3 Lines. Boundaries Marked With Gaps (The Best I Could)
"I developed my passion for maps very early. My family traveled and moved around a lot. My dad taught me how to read maps and I would help him navigate. I used to flip through our Rand McNally atlas to pass hours traveling across the countryside. Maps are invitations to explore and visit new places. They give security in the knowledge that there's a way to get to your destination. If all else fails, a map will be your guide," Patrick shared how he first became acquainted with maps and how his passion grew. It hits close to home.
Patrick also reminisced about the moment he came up with the idea for the subreddit, back when he was living in a small flat in Taipei, in Taiwan. "I knew that I had a good idea and it felt almost electric. Like a fork in the road and your destiny is changing. When I moved back to the states I was able to find a career making maps (as a land surveyor) and I am grateful every day that I can do something that I love."
Light Blue Is A Map As We Know It And Dark Blue Is The Actual Size Of Each Country
Doing what we love for a living is a godsend. And though everyone might be there, plenty of us have felt the 'electric' feeling that Patrick's talking about where genuine excitement meets the potential for greatness.
Even though a lot of the amateur cartographers found on the subreddit have great ideas and are overflowing with creativity, their execution needs work to make the end results look less "hasty and skeletal." Patrick explained that some people need to develop their tastes for style and design. Luckily, he had some helpful tips for you and me.
"It is not that they are bad, it's just that they don't know that they can make their maps so much better. I'm talking about things like fonts and information boxes, detail and vicinity maps, adding gradients to water features, thoughtful color choices, shadows behind place markers. The subtleties are what make maps exquisite," he detailed.
A Map Of Finland's Bear Population, Made Up Of Bears
To Combat The Threat Of Desertification Of The Sahel (The Region Immediately To The South Of The Sahara), The African Union Is Leading An Initiative To Plant The Great Green Wall, A 7,775 Km (4,830 Mi) Belt Of Trees Crossing The Entire Breadth Of North Africa
Just Walked In The Room And Found My 6 Year Old Drawing Countries By Hand
"The best way to learn how to do these things is to look at lots maps and see how other cartographers solve these problems. Imitate the masters. Read a few books on cartography and design. Some of the books that influenced me are 'Info We Trust' by RJ Andrews, 'Cartography' by Kenneth Field, and 'Things Maps Don't Tell Us' by Armin Lobeck. If you can integrate the ideas in these books you'll be a league above the average amateur cartographer."
As for the future? Patrick's waiting for the Covid-19 pandemic to die down and go traveling again. Among his plans is visiting the Baltic countries, especially the Soviet map store in Latvia.
Map I Made Out Of Pressed Flowers!
This Is Awesome
With nearly 1.3 million members, the map-loving subreddit is a cartography powerhouse on the net (and it’s making me itch to start drawing a few maps of my own again). In June of 2020, the subreddit had just shy of a million members, so they're continuing to grow steadily.
The group has been on Reddit since the late spring of 2011 and will be looking forward to its 10th birthday in just a few short months. What with the rise and fall of online groups every single day, reaching the decade-long mark is no easy feat and it speaks to the quality of the content they share.
The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective
I Made A Retro Pixel Map Of The USA! Tried To Include Some Of The Iconic Monuments/Locations That Resonated With Me
In previous interviews with the founder of the subreddit, Patrick, Bored Panda learned all about the history of how the group was founded, as well as what kinds of maps you can expect to find. Patrick, a land surveyor from Colorado, founded the community while he was living in Taiwan in 2011.
A map geek through and through just like some of my colleagues and I, Patrick wanted to create a place where people could easily find and discuss beautiful maps. Patrick is also a member of the North American Cartographic Information Society, the Carles Close Society for the Study of Ordnance Survey Maps, the Rocky Mountain Map Society, among other groups.
Newspaper My Great Grandfather Saved From The End Of Wwii (I Have More Photos But This Subreddit Doesn't Allow A Gallery)
The Topography Of Italy
A Neat Little Map Guide
According to the founder, there was a time not too long ago when the internet was much more chill about using certain words while naming online groups. “In the years since the culture on the internet has taken a much more puritan bias and some people don't like that name,” he explained and I can’t help but agree with him—you have to really watch what you write and say nowadays. And the internet sometimes seems like it doesn’t understand subtlety, sarcasm, irony, or jokes anymore.
Euler Diagram-Map Of The British Isles
What The Netherlamds Would Naturally Look Like If They Hadn't Built Any Dikes To Prevent Flooding
If You Flew In A Straight Line From Mcallen, Texas To Bangkok, Thailand, You Would Only Spend About 50 Miles Over Water
Patrick explained to Bored Panda that there’s a bit of everything for everyone in the group: from historical and funny maps to imaginary and linguistic maps and more. “One of my favorite interactions is when a map is posted of an obscure place and someone in the comments says they live there or has a story about that place,” he said.
“Maps are a way to visualize the world in a way that is easy to grasp. They are an aid in learning about new lands and faraway places. They help us find our way when we are lost,” Patrick pointed out, adding that during the pandemic they can be great ways for us to travel while staying at home.
Map Of The 2191 Meter Deep Krubera Cave. The Deepest Known Cave System In The World
One of the categories on the subreddit is dedicated to political realignments that redraw borders and all I can say is that I’m a major fan. They’re imaginative, creative, funny, and make us look at history in an entirely different way. Playing ‘what if…’ games is a lot of fun.
Why do people love maps? Because they’re aesthetic. Because they’re like picture books for adults. Because you can get lost in them for days and they awaken your sleeping desire to go on an adventure. Because they reveal a novel way of looking at life that we’re not used to. And because squiggly lines are fun to draw. Or at least these are all the reasons why I love cartography (yours might be different).
Olympus Mons On Mars, The Largest Volcano In Our Solar System, Compared To Arizona
The True Size Of New Guinea
Personally, I don’t mind that the map precedes the territory, no matter what Jean Baudrillard says. Why? Because, like unusual and intriguing books, they have ways of sparking new ideas and expanding our minds. Who needs the actual territory when we have such gorgeous maps to look at from the safety of our homes?
Europe Seen From Russia (Made In The 1950s)
Note: this post originally had 174 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.
Which map was your favorite one and why? What’s the most aesthetic or interesting map you’ve ever seen in real life? Do you have any maps at home? Are you a major geek like me and love drawing maps for your Dungeons & Dragons groups (I hope I’m not alone!)? Share your thoughts and, hopefully, your love for maps in the comment section below.