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.
Oklahoma Man Hole Covers Have A City Map On, With A Blue Dot To Show Where You Are
Map Of Regional Rug Patterns Of Iran
Animals Of The World Map
"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.
World Map Mural
Someone Joked That Instead Of Google Earth I Should Make Doodle Earth. I Liked The Idea So I Gave It A Shot
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.
Europe In The Style Of Super Mario
Since You All Liked My Great Grandpa’s Drawing Of Africa At Age 12, Here’s One He Did Of Asia (Ca. 1910’s)
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."
Countries That Recognises The Uyghur Genocide As Of February 26, 2021
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.
“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.
An Artists' Impression Of The Roman Port City Of Londinium, Established Between 47-50 Ad
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.
The Island Of Sardinia As Seen From The International Space Station
Place Names That Contain The Word 'Peak', 'Mountain', 'Ridge', 'Plain' And 'Field' In The United States
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.
"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.
In A Straight Line You Can Go From Belguim To France 11 Times
In Which State You Can Find The Highest Percentage Of People With Ancestry From Every European Country?
The British Empire At It's Territorial Peak
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.