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.

More info: Reddit | Twitter | Tumblr

#1

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

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

Doofinx Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
1 month ago

I want to marry this man

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#2

Occupied Bald Eagle Nests In Wisconsin. 1974 vs. 2019. Growth Credited To The Clean Water Act

Occupied Bald Eagle Nests In Wisconsin. 1974 vs. 2019. Growth Credited To The Clean Water Act

Norcan987 Report

IlovemydogShilo
Community Member
1 month ago

That's wonderful. It's so nice to see animal or bird populations increase like that. Thank you to all the conservationists who are making that happen.

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#3

USA In Drawn In 3 Lines. Boundaries Marked With Gaps (The Best I Could)

USA In Drawn In 3 Lines. Boundaries Marked With Gaps (The Best I Could)

tfoust10 Report

Capelli rosa e patate
Community Member
1 month ago

Really amazing!

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"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."

#4

The World Of Infrastructure

The World Of Infrastructure

reddit.com Report

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 month ago

Now this is really damn cool

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#5

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

orialairo Report

Pixie
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow

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#6

Light Blue Is A Map As We Know It And Dark Blue Is The Actual Size Of Each Country

Light Blue Is A Map As We Know It And Dark Blue Is The Actual Size Of Each Country

aisbosseth Report

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 month ago

Basically Africa, the Middle East and South America are the only ones not faking it.

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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.

#7

A Map Of Finland's Bear Population, Made Up Of Bears

A Map Of Finland's Bear Population, Made Up Of Bears

Asmodeane Report

J. Zingler
Community Member
1 month ago

:)

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#8

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

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

reddit.com Report

2WheelTravlr
Community Member
1 month ago

During the Dust Bowl in the US Midwest, President Roosevelt implemented a program to plant trees in rows as windbreaks to stop the wind from ripping up bare topsoil. The program worked well, and you can still see some of those trees standing today.

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#9

Just Walked In The Room And Found My 6 Year Old Drawing Countries By Hand

Just Walked In The Room And Found My 6 Year Old Drawing Countries By Hand

89LeBaron Report

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 month ago

That’s so me lmao

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"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.

#10

Map I Made Out Of Pressed Flowers!

Map I Made Out Of Pressed Flowers!

_grumpycat1 Report

Annie Banannie
Community Member
1 month ago

That is really lovely.

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#11

Wolf Distribution In Italy From 1900 To 2020

Wolf Distribution In Italy From 1900 To 2020

Risingmagpie Report

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 month ago

Lol at first I thought it was just saying that there were only two wolves left in 2020.

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#12

This Is Awesome

This Is Awesome

Physical-Order Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 month ago

Great idea

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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.

#13

Indo-European Language Family Tree

Indo-European Language Family Tree

Dovlatus Report

Dynein
Community Member
1 month ago

To anyone wondering about why it's just Indo-European languages depicted: This info-graphic is part of a comic set in post-apocalyptic Scandinavia. A pandemic has killed most humans (and other mammals, too) and turned surviving infected into zombie-like creatures. The survivors have turned back to their old gods and rely on mages and cats to guard them from the trolls and beasts roaming in the un-cleansed areas. Stand Still, Stay Silent: http://sssscomic.com

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#14

The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective

The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective

loliplip Report

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 month ago

Ha! I love this.

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#15

I Made A Retro Pixel Map Of The USA! Tried To Include Some Of The Iconic Monuments/Locations That Resonated With Me

I Made A Retro Pixel Map Of The USA! Tried To Include Some Of The Iconic Monuments/Locations That Resonated With Me

reddit.com Report

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 month ago

I really like the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. So cute! 🏔

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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.

#16

Newspaper My Great Grandfather Saved From The End Of Wwii (I Have More Photos But This Subreddit Doesn't Allow A Gallery)

Newspaper My Great Grandfather Saved From The End Of Wwii (I Have More Photos But This Subreddit Doesn't Allow A Gallery)

kndrio Report

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
1 month ago

Wowie-zowie!

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#17

The Topography Of Italy

The Topography Of Italy

boytutoy Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like a piece of vegetable.

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#18

Euler Diagram-Map Of The British Isles

Euler Diagram-Map Of The British Isles

InkyScrolls Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
1 month ago

That is interesting. I still get confused which is which.

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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.

#19

A Neat Little Map Guide

A Neat Little Map Guide

PPedroSSancheZZ420 Report

Pixie
Community Member
1 month ago

This looks like xkcd

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#20

What The Netherlamds Would Naturally Look Like If They Hadn't Built Any Dikes To Prevent Flooding

What The Netherlamds Would Naturally Look Like If They Hadn't Built Any Dikes To Prevent Flooding

DerpyRainbow506 Report

Pixie
Community Member
1 month ago

They built not just to prevent flooding, but to actually get more land from the sea

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#21

If You Flew In A Straight Line From Mcallen, Texas To Bangkok, Thailand, You Would Only Spend About 50 Miles Over Water

If You Flew In A Straight Line From Mcallen, Texas To Bangkok, Thailand, You Would Only Spend About 50 Miles Over Water

semsr Report

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 month ago

That would be an interesting flight.

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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.

#22

Map Of The 2191 Meter Deep Krubera Cave. The Deepest Known Cave System In The World

Map Of The 2191 Meter Deep Krubera Cave. The Deepest Known Cave System In The World

VictoriaLisz Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
1 month ago

Why would you do that to yourself

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#23

The Oldest Universities In Continuous Operation

The Oldest Universities In Continuous Operation

bodafir Report

Troy Parr
Community Member
1 month ago

Very similar to the map showing the Roman Empire above.

Maurettis
Community Member
1 month ago

Amongst the many tyrannical actions perpetrated by the Roman empire

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Signe Manat Hansen
Community Member
1 month ago

Aww, my university is too young to be on this map. It was founded as late as 1479.

Analyn Lahr
Community Member
1 month ago

I wonder what Oxford will do for its 1000th anniversary in 2096. I won't be here. Well, maybe, if I live to be 109.

あんぱんまん
Community Member
1 month ago

i actually want to study in al azhar or al qarawiyyin.... they are one of the oldest universities

debora shuger
Community Member
1 month ago

How should one define a university to differentiate it from other communities of scholars?

Gin
Community Member
1 month ago

Institutions of higher, or tertiary, education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines.

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Sawdust
Community Member
1 month ago

Imagine how many names are carved into the desks by now!

Dave P
Community Member
1 month ago

Some of these stopped operating for hundreds of years and were later re-started

Carrie Laughs
Community Member
1 month ago

Which ones?

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Gyro Pilot
Community Member
1 month ago

Left off Jagellonian U. in Krakow

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

It is quite old! However there might be an issue with the "Continuous Operation" part due to some 18th-century hard-times for the University.

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Kristan Waterman
Community Member
1 month ago

Timbuktu?

Jindra Kraus
Community Member
1 month ago

Charles university in Prague (1348)...

Jindra Kraus
Community Member
1 month ago

Charles university in Prague (1348)

szatan667
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Jagiellonian in Poland, 1364

Markus Holstein
Community Member
1 month ago

And during the whole time, the University of Paris had to shut down only once - during the student revolts of the late 60s

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
1 month ago

Know a couple missed in Britain

El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

I can barely read it but there's a north African uni that's been going since 737AD? Why do we never hear of this? We always hear of how Oxford pre dates the Incas..

Gin
Community Member
1 month ago

You can google it and see that it started life not as a university but as a college for Islamic instruction. Over a long period of time education was expanded and the definitions changed.

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Amy Begun Saab
Community Member
1 month ago

Amazing

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Note: I think they used 1300 as a cutoff date, b/c a LOT of universities in Europe date to the pre-BlackPlague Europe (Krakow, for one) and aren't here.

Signe Manat Hansen
Community Member
1 month ago

That's because it hasn't been continuously running

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Nicolas Schirvel
Community Member
1 month ago

There is a slight error, even if University of Montpellier is legally born in 1220, it exist since 1089

Karin
Community Member
1 month ago

No Asian universities? I wonder why?

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
1 month ago

Lack of continuity from foundation to today? This isn't about the best remember or even the oldest ever - just the oldest still going.

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Chris Kane
Community Member
1 month ago

Didn't ancient Greeks have universities? Would loved to have seen them on this list.

Liam Walsh
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, but do they meet the continuous definition?

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Qw3stion
Community Member
1 month ago

737 wow

Jenny Li
Community Member
1 month ago

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WHY ISN'T HOGWARTS THERE. IT'S FROM THE 1200'S

Signe Manat Hansen
Community Member
1 month ago

I beg you, read another book

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Sum Guy
Community Member
1 month ago

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Africa has the 3 oldest universities... and yet if you google it, they start with Bologna in Italy

Liam Walsh
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

When looking up one of the African ones they were in continuous education but it was founded as a mosque in 859 and subsequently became one of the leading spiritual and educational centres of the historic Muslim world. Is that equivalent to a university? At what point did it become equivalent? I don't know. These things evolve. It was incorporated into Morocco's modern state university system in 1963 and was officially renamed "University of Al Quaraouiyine" two years later. That might be why though.

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Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

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Notice how the ones in what we usually consider "the third world" have existed far longer than those in Europe...

Joey Marlin
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Were they all founded as universities though? Or started life as something more specific and became universities? For example the University of Ez-Zitouna was first established in 737 as a madrasa and subsequently became a university in 1956. That is somewhat different.

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#24

Where Flamingos Are Found Naturally In The World

Where Flamingos Are Found Naturally In The World

cheeseface35 Report

rgr8
Community Member
1 month ago

Florida has Flamingos?!

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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).

#25

Olympus Mons On Mars, The Largest Volcano In Our Solar System, Compared To Arizona

Olympus Mons On Mars, The Largest Volcano In Our Solar System, Compared To Arizona

ADarkcid Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
1 month ago

Imagine if that volcano is under Arizona and it erupted 😱😱😱

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#26

Relief Map Of Baltic And Scandinavia

Relief Map Of Baltic And Scandinavia

Adaffor Report

Meike H
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks mossy

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#27

The True Size Of New Guinea

The True Size Of New Guinea

BerryBlue_BlueBerry Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago

F**k

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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?

#28

The Shire - English Counties Ending In 'Shire'

The Shire - English Counties Ending In 'Shire'

trail_bagger Report

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 month ago

Also the Shire, where the hobbits roam

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#29

Satellite Map Of Vatican City

Satellite Map Of Vatican City

AJgloe Report

EA
Community Member
1 month ago

Vatican City has the highest crime in the world in relation to the population. As in more crimes per person than any other country, due to the high number of crimes and small population.

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#30

Europe Seen From Russia (Made In The 1950s)

Europe Seen From Russia (Made In The 1950s)

cpt_t37 Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
1 month ago

Had to tilt my phone to see the rest of Europe.

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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.