We can’t stop feasting our eyes on gorgeous and interesting maps, and we know that some of you Pandas can’t either. That’s why we’ve put together another list of the coolest content to come from this subreddit that has a dedicated community of nearly 1.4 million fans.

And while we can’t mention the full name of the subreddit (the internet’s gotten a lot stricter in recent years when it comes to certain words! Gosh darn you, internet censorship!), we can tell you all about the project that was started up way back in 2011 by map lover Patrick McGranaghan. What started out as a labor of love has since grown into a dedicated niche for map geeks the world over.

Patrick, the founder of the subreddit dedicated to maps told Bored Panda about how we can improve our spatial awareness and navigational skills. "The older I get, the more I realize that spatial awareness just comes naturally to some people, and for others, it's a struggle," he said, highlighting that practice and repetition are key to honing this skill.

However, just like spell check can make our grammar skills go numb, so can GPS and easily accessible digital maps harm our ability to orient ourselves. "In a way, reliance on Google Maps has made us dumber. We let the navigation app do all the work for us and don't engage with making the decisions," Patrick said. Be sure to read on for the rest of our latest interview with the subreddit's founder, Patrick, below.

In the mood for some more amazing maps? We know you are! When you’re done upvoting your fave maps in this list, check out Bored Panda’s previous posts about the cartography-loving community here, here, and here.

More info: Reddit | Twitter | Tumblr

#1

Oklahoma Man Hole Covers Have A City Map On, With A Blue Dot To Show Where You Are

Oklahoma Man Hole Covers Have A City Map On, With A Blue Dot To Show Where You Are

CatherineCortez Report

N G
Community Member
1 month ago

Clever!

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#2

Map Of Regional Rug Patterns Of Iran

Map Of Regional Rug Patterns Of Iran

knownothingwiseguy Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 month ago

beautiful

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#3

Animals Of The World Map

Animals Of The World Map

ShapeShiftingCats Report

Sara Rodrigues
Community Member
1 month ago

This is a beautiful drawing and really interesting!

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"If you live in a place with a tall hill or some viewpoint, go up there some time and look around. Try to identify as many landmarks as you can. Notice where they are in relation to each other. Look for new landmarks that you've never noticed before and keep them in mind as you navigate your home town. If there are rivers or other features that cause chokepoints on bridges or highways, memorize all the bridges and where they go. In this way, you'll know the layout of your city and how to get around," Patrick gave us some awesome and practical advice on how to improve our navigation skills.

#4

World Map Mural

World Map Mural

eveildancer Report

Jaekry
Community Member
1 month ago

Love it!

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#5

Someone Joked That Instead Of Google Earth I Should Make Doodle Earth. I Liked The Idea So I Gave It A Shot

Someone Joked That Instead Of Google Earth I Should Make Doodle Earth. I Liked The Idea So I Gave It A Shot

tfoust10 Report

*me*
Community Member
1 month ago

Awesome

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#6

United States Elevation Map

United States Elevation Map

blntdfam Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

The Great Plains are indeed great...

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Bored Panda also had a chat with Patrick about the current Covid-19 situation worldwide. Vaccines are being rolled out, plenty of map-lovers would love to visit the places they've been staring at on their maps for a long time, but is it safe to travel yet? Patrick was very upfront that you have to trust your local medical and scientific experts in these matters.

"I think we all have to take precautions, get vaccinated, and avoid risky behaviors. That said, I think we need to remember that we're fighting to eradicate this disease and get back to a normal state of affairs. I really miss the freedom of travel. We're losing years of potential happiness to the lockdowns and at some point, we need to open up. Those are issues above my pay grade though and I hope it's sooner rather than later," he shared his take on the current climate.

#7

My Great Grandpa Drew This Map Of Africa In The 1910’s

My Great Grandpa Drew This Map Of Africa In The 1910’s

zherper Report

RadiatorAnkleSpider
Community Member
1 month ago

He did a great job 👏

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#8

Europe In The Style Of Super Mario

Europe In The Style Of Super Mario

vladgrinch Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

This is brilliant

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#9

Since You All Liked My Great Grandpa’s Drawing Of Africa At Age 12, Here’s One He Did Of Asia (Ca. 1910’s)

Since You All Liked My Great Grandpa’s Drawing Of Africa At Age 12, Here’s One He Did Of Asia (Ca. 1910’s)

zherper Report

*me*
Community Member
1 month ago

He can DRAW

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There are plenty of people out there who feel like everything's been mapped and Patrick's heard this response plenty of times when he's told then that he's a land surveyor and that he makes maps for a living. "People say, 'Hasn't everything been mapped?' The world is constantly changing and accurate spatial data is a fleeting thing. Google Maps certainly gives the impression that everything is mapped, but there is selection and generalization in their data," Patrick pointed out that there's a constant need to map and remap the world.

"Infrastructure is a key thing that we all rely on and don't realize it. The electricity to turn on your lights, the fiber that carries this message, the water that you drink. All those things are traveling to you above and below ground. Construction is constantly happening along this route. Knowing where to safely build is critical."

He continued: "There are other themes that have spatial data too. Municipalities pass zoning and other restrictions all the time. Cities like London have an umbrella of rules about the preservation of old buildings, view-lines, noise nuisances, and other regulations. Making accurate maps is a constant struggle that is going to stay with us for a long time. As more things get built, knowing where these are located is important. Maintain the world's databases of spatial information is the task of the modern map-maker."

#10

Abstract World Map

Abstract World Map

CHWDP_2137 Report

Jos Poisquet
Community Member
1 month ago

Mondriaan

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#11

A Map Of All Of The World's Roads

A Map Of All Of The World's Roads

RossBoss31 Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't see the one going to where I live

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#12

Countries That Recognises The Uyghur Genocide As Of February 26, 2021

Countries That Recognises The Uyghur Genocide As Of February 26, 2021

Blulien Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
1 month ago

So, Canada and the Netherlands... seems about right

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During my previous chat with the founder of the subreddit, Patrick, he told me all about what sparked his passion for maps and how amateur cartographers can learn to create better maps. For Patrick, his love of maps started very early on in his life, all thanks to his father.

“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,” he shared earlier with Bored Panda.

#13

Some Alternate Maps Of Down Under

Some Alternate Maps Of Down Under

UggBootPimpJuice Report

LuckyL
Community Member
1 month ago

Had me laughing with the last map

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#14

Map Of Most Photographed Places In The World

Map Of Most Photographed Places In The World

the-70s-kid Report

Mihai Mara
Community Member
1 month ago

In Australia you are killed before you have the chance to take a photo.

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#15

The Iberian Peninsula At Night By Nasa

The Iberian Peninsula At Night By Nasa

Homesanto Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

Gorgeous from above but the light pollution must be horrible

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“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 opened up about the romantic side of his passion for all things related to cartography.

#16

An Artists' Impression Of The Roman Port City Of Londinium, Established Between 47-50 Ad

An Artists' Impression Of The Roman Port City Of Londinium, Established Between 47-50 Ad

last_goodbye1 Report

Mihai Mara
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks great!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#17

World Map Resized According To Population

World Map Resized According To Population

fasterthanksi Report

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
1 month ago

As a Canadian, that map is pretty accurate to where most of us already live anyway.... the rest is (more or less) vacant, minus some sporadic beautiful towns in the territories.

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#18

The Roman Empire vs. The Mongol Empire At Their Peaks

The Roman Empire vs. The Mongol Empire At Their Peaks

vladgrinch Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Quite impressive. At least over here, Asian history is not taught much in school.

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See Also on Bored Panda

He actually came up with the idea to start the subreddit way back in 2011. At the time, 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,” he shared how his excitement for the project grew from a single powerful idea that simply captivated him.

#19

The Island Of Sardinia As Seen From The International Space Station

The Island Of Sardinia As Seen From The International Space Station

MXN006 Report

jpaul
Community Member
1 month ago

probably in spring. much dryer in summer

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#20

Most Popular Lastnames In Europe

Most Popular Lastnames In Europe

vitor350z Report

Phendrena
Community Member
1 month ago

We are the Borg. Resistance is Futile. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us.

H Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

hehehe... but it's actually pronounced Borj with a soft G sound. Joseph Borg is the Maltese equivalent of John Smith.

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DanieLegz
Community Member
1 month ago

Patronymic Names is a weird surname

Hiie Posti
Community Member
1 month ago

Tamm means oak in estonain

Jamie S. Martindale
Community Member
1 month ago

Berzins in Latvian means Birch

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Erik Granqvist
Community Member
1 month ago

I am almost sure that no one on Iceland has the name "patronymic names" in their name.

Charlotte A.
Community Member
1 month ago

"Popular" might not be the right term seeing as most people get the name of their parents (or spouse). "Common" seems a better choice... (If I may do a bit of nitpicking.)

AdoptALLtheKitties
Community Member
1 month ago

We know that the popular names change over time as well, with the increase/decrease of family sizes/ends of lineages. What time snipet does this represent?

Sara Diogo
Community Member
1 month ago

Isn't it Silva in Portugal?

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
1 month ago

No, but that is common.

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CORLEONE
Community Member
1 month ago

Beqiri - That is not true the most popular last name in Albania is Hoxha

Dynein
Community Member
1 month ago

At least in Germany, the way you factor in spelling makes a difference. The equivalent of "Smith" has various possible spellings - if you count all of them together, that surname is actually the most common.

Lina Touba
Community Member
1 month ago

lol the the last name of the only finnish person I know is Kohonen

Cip IESAN
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm from Romania and I know only 5 families named Popescu.

Luís Franqueira
Community Member
1 month ago

Not correct for Portugal. Most common last name is "Silva".

Emir
Community Member
1 month ago

Martin is the most common last name in France?

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
1 month ago

I've never met a Papadopoulos, Beqiri, Stojanovsjki, Borg.... Actually most of these

H Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

and. yet. Have you ever been to Malta? or any of the places where you would encounter those particular surnames? I can assure you the there are plenty of people called Borg in Malta, despite your own little experience of the world.

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Glynna Bowood
Community Member
1 month ago

I would love to see this map for the U.S.!

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
1 month ago

i have lived all my life in Britain yet I do not and never have known a Smith or a Jones

H Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

and yet...

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#21

Place Names That Contain The Word 'Peak', 'Mountain', 'Ridge', 'Plain' And 'Field' In The United States

Place Names That Contain The Word 'Peak', 'Mountain', 'Ridge', 'Plain' And 'Field' In The United States

AJgloe Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

Haha very clever, I like it

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Patrick was very friendly in sharing some tips and tricks on how we can all make our maps look better. For instance, he drew attention to the fact that plenty of amateurs have great ideas, are overflowing with creativity, but their execution needs a bit of work. That way, the maps can end up looking gorgeous and less “hasty and skeletal.”

"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," the founder of the subreddit explained.

#22

La Plata.. Buenas Aires.. Argentina

La Plata.. Buenas Aires.. Argentina

mitozzzzzz Report

Phendrena
Community Member
1 month ago

Impressive urban planning. This is a clipped and rotated shot though. The road running as a diagonal from the Northwest to Southeast actually runs North to South.

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#23

Every Roman Settlement, And Nothing Else

Every Roman Settlement, And Nothing Else

ImUsingDaForce Report

Fluffy monster
Community Member
1 month ago

They tried very hard but never did get Scotland

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#24

Ancient Lakes Of The Sahara

Ancient Lakes Of The Sahara

ZOODUDE100 Report

Mihai Mara
Community Member
1 month ago

i like it. Looks like a fantasy map .

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"The best way to learn how to do these things is to look at lots of 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."

Earlier, Patrick shared that he plans to start traveling again once the Covid-19 pandemic dies down a bit. On his bucket list is a trip to the Baltics, specifically, to the Soviet map store in Latvia.

#25

In A Straight Line You Can Go From Belguim To France 11 Times

In A Straight Line You Can Go From Belguim To France 11 Times

Percentagon Report

Katz
Community Member
1 month ago

How many of you counted the connection points? Just to be sure it is correctly referred in heading :)

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#26

In Which State You Can Find The Highest Percentage Of People With Ancestry From Every European Country?

In Which State You Can Find The Highest Percentage Of People With Ancestry From Every European Country?

ceskemapy Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

It would be interesting to also see the numbers along with this...

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#27

The British Empire At It's Territorial Peak

The British Empire At It's Territorial Peak

freddyfredric Report

Phendrena
Community Member
1 month ago

More Tea, Vicar?

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Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the subreddit’s upcoming 10th birthday. The community will be celebrating the anniversary on its founding day, May 21. We can’t wait for the big day!

Be sure to give the subreddit a follow to stay up to date with the community’s latest posts, dear Pandas. And we also can’t wait to hear which of the maps featured here were your favorite and why. Got any amateur maps to share with us? Post them in the comment section for everyone else to see.

#28

Hand-Drawn Map Of The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth In 1618, By Me

Hand-Drawn Map Of The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth In 1618, By Me

Pochel Report

the child
Community Member
1 month ago

You were alive in 1618????

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#29

Oldest Still Open Universities In Europe (The Word University Is Omitted On The Map)

Oldest Still Open Universities In Europe (The Word University Is Omitted On The Map)

efisha Report

Jos Poisquet
Community Member
1 month ago

Belgium: not correct. Catholic university of Louvain (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) founded in 1425. Ranking 45 worldwide!

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#30

People Employed In Science And Technology In Europe

People Employed In Science And Technology In Europe

betoelpro Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Unsuprisingly, there is a correlation with economic strength.

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Note: this post originally had 161 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.