The map might not be the territory, but gosh darn it both aren't fascinating to look at! We’re pretty big fans of maps and we can’t wait to set our eyes on even more unusual and peculiar ones in order to expand our minds and feed our imaginations which are hungry for aesthetic designs. Luckily for us, there are tons of like-minded internet users who are nearly bursting with their love of maps.

This subreddit about maps has nearly 1.5 million members and probably has more creativity than I’ve personally seen anywhere else on Reddit so far. Even though we can’t mention the subreddit’s full name because we'll get censored, the community is truly friendly and has stood the test of time since May 2011. And the person to thank is land surveyor Patrick McGranaghan, the founder of the entire project, whose passion for maps is beyond measure and keeps the online group together.

Patrick and I had a wholesome chat about how to get ourselves moving outside our comfort zones and on adventures, what maps he's recently been working on, as well as the ins and outs of moderating the subreddit.

"I've noticed, especially as I've gotten older, that you only have so much time on this planet and every day that is wasted is a day that you'll never get back. If you want to get out and explore the world you just have to do it. Some adventures will cost time and resources, but the real question I ask myself is can I afford not to do some goal I have my heart set on. There are so many opportunities in this world that it may be hard to choose, but if you wait too long those opportunities will be gone forever," he told Bored Panda to seize the day and really start living.

Bored Panda has featured the subreddit extensively in our previous articles. When you’re done upvoting and commenting on your fave maps in this list, keep in mind that there’s a whole land of adventure waiting for you in these earlier posts right here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

More info: Reddit | Twitter | Tumblr

#1

This Is A LEGO World Map I Designed! I Spent Many Hours Staring At Google Earth And Topological Maps To Make This

This Is A LEGO World Map I Designed! I Spent Many Hours Staring At Google Earth And Topological Maps To Make This

GooseWithDaGibus Report

TmKhr
Community Member
2 months ago

I'd buy this if Lego actually released this, looks so cool

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#2

Map Of Africa's Borders If Divided By Languages ​​and Ethnicities

Map Of Africa's Borders If Divided By Languages ​​and Ethnicities

Danielbrenim Report

Marny
Community Member
2 months ago

One of the terrible harms of colonialism was in drawing borders that utterly disregarded these connections among people and created terrible unnecessary conflict. (Just like Catalonia in Spain, etc. but on a much greater scale.)

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#3

Hello! I Was Told You Would Enjoy This- Took Me 3 Years!

Hello! I Was Told You Would Enjoy This- Took Me 3 Years!

avalonal5464 Report

Beatrice Multhaupt
Community Member
2 months ago

Hope YOU enjoyer making it!

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I was interested to hear about Patrick's recent cartography projects as well. He told me that recently he's been focusing on pixel maps which are bound to get some of you Pandas nostalgic. "This spring, I was making a lot of pixel maps that looked like old video game graphics. I picked some exotic places like Botswana and Mongolia to make these maps," he shared with Bored Panda.

"I think a great way to learn about an exotic place is to make a map of it and really give some hours and care into making the map look as good as possible. You really get a connection for a place as you're putting labels on and making decisions about what to include and where to lay everything out."

#4

World Map Of Borders

World Map Of Borders

krinkyee_113 Report

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
2 months ago

nice hand-drawn map

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#5

Hello! I Cross Stitch Earth Science Maps And Have Been Told They Belong Here. Great Lakes Bathymetry Is My Favorite So Far

Hello! I Cross Stitch Earth Science Maps And Have Been Told They Belong Here. Great Lakes Bathymetry Is My Favorite So Far

blondeboxshell Report

Mazer
Community Member
2 months ago

Excellent, excellent, excellent!! I can thank Covid for getting me in deep into the geology world!

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#6

How A Coastline 100 Million Years Ago Influences Modern Election Results In Alabama

How A Coastline 100 Million Years Ago Influences Modern Election Results In Alabama

IamShartacus Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
2 months ago

Now I want to know what caused the sediments to be laid down in this pattern to start with. We need to go back further.

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As for moderating the subreddit, which continues growing, it's always been about finding the right balance. Patrick also told me that moderating things, just like doing anything in life, means that there will always be someone who's unhappy with your decisions.

"Moderating is always a delicate balance. It is impossible to please everybody. If you are too laissez-faire you get a lot of low effort and ugly submissions and the users complain. If you are too strict, then you risk alienating those who supply the content for the sub. I try to find a balance between these two extremes. Overall, I'm satisfied with the moderating and I don't foresee any changes in the immediate future," he said.

As for the future? Patrick's finally traveling to Europe again and plans to have a grand old time in Italy soon.

#7

I Am Working On A Picture Book With Each State Drawn With One Line. I Finished My 7th State Last Night

I Am Working On A Picture Book With Each State Drawn With One Line. I Finished My 7th State Last Night

tfoust10 Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago

now i wanna see all of them !!!

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#8

Hand Drawn Map Of China And Neighboring Countries With Placenames In Mandarin (I Drew It As An Exercise To Memorise All The Provinces)

Hand Drawn Map Of China And Neighboring Countries With Placenames In Mandarin (I Drew It As An Exercise To Memorise All The Provinces)

LuKing-Ra Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
2 months ago

Wow, great skills and memory.

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#9

Antarctica Without Ice, U Don't See That A Lot

Antarctica Without Ice, U Don't See That A Lot

Rajni_Rao Report

Bill
Community Member
2 months ago

Give it a few years

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Previously, I had a couple of in-depth chats with Patrick, the founder of the subreddit, about the project, learning to navigate better, and the state of travel during the pandemic. In the decade since its founding, the subreddit has blossomed into a welcoming niche for cartographers—professional and amateur alike—all over the globe. Everyone’s welcome, so long as they stick to the rules and stay polite. Patrick developed his love for maps very early in his childhood as his family traveled and moved a lot.

"The older I get, the more I realize that spatial awareness just comes naturally to some people, and for others, it's a struggle," Patrick pointed out to Bored Panda that just like with any other skill, getting good at navigating requires patience, dedication, and repetition.

“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," he said.

#10

Are You Closer To Georgia, Or To Georgia?

Are You Closer To Georgia, Or To Georgia?

atlasova Report

qwerty
Community Member
2 months ago

I'm closer to Georgia.

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#11

Mythical Beasts Of The United States Of America

Mythical Beasts Of The United States Of America

NeilParkinsonMakes Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 months ago

I would've thought the mythical monster would be "healthcare".

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#12

The Topography Of The Roman Empire, Ad 117

The Topography Of The Roman Empire, Ad 117

boytutoy Report

René Studer
Community Member
2 months ago

All of Gaul? No. There is one village that disagrees.

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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 hometown. 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," the subreddit’s founder, Patrick, gave us some pointers on how to up our navigation game.

With mass vaccination programs continuing to gather steam, global travel and adventure are nonetheless still in a very confusing situation right now. On the one hand, lockdowns had ended in some countries (and in the case of the United Kingdom will end on ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19, though with some confusion over mask-wearing going forth).

However, the quick rise in new cases after ending restrictions (e.g. in the Netherlands where cases soared by a whopping 500%), along with the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, mean that these same regulations are returning. And the rules keep changing very quickly, so it’s a nightmare to follow if you’re traveling, even if you’re double-vaxxed and immune.

#13

Average Number Of Languages Spoken By The EU Population

Average Number Of Languages Spoken By The EU Population

JeannaLeavy Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
2 months ago

The extra 0.6 in the UK is definitely from immigrant families and their descendants, plus those Brits that continue to use Welsh/Gaelic/Irish after school. The average indigenous Brit doesn't speak more than English with anything approaching fluency.

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#14

How To Read A Topographical Map

How To Read A Topographical Map

World-Tight Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
2 months ago

Very oniony.

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#15

I Drew A Map Of All Japanese Prefectures (Took 6 Hours). Hope You Like It

I Drew A Map Of All Japanese Prefectures (Took 6 Hours). Hope You Like It

GoroMajimaKun Report

Mazer
Community Member
2 months ago

I do, thank you. You’ve got some talent there!

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“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," Patrick told me in late spring.

According to Patrick, who makes maps for a living, he’s heard tons of people say that everything has already been mapped. However, he points out that there will always be a need for new maps as time goes by.

"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," he said.

#16

This Is My Friends Wood Shop Project, Thought It Would Be Fitting Here

This Is My Friends Wood Shop Project, Thought It Would Be Fitting Here

Fleebo-1 Report

Mazer
Community Member
2 months ago

Very fitting (snort - not sorry)

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See Also on Bored Panda
#17

If US Land Were Divided Like US Wealth

If US Land Were Divided Like US Wealth

mapsfactory Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago

this one is scary !!! in one year american billionaires earned more than 900 billion dollars whan the rest of the country is struggling to eat. the richest 1% owns more than 30% of the national wealth when the 50% of the poorer americans own less than 2%

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#18

The United States — All Of It

The United States — All Of It

guspolly3 Report

Chris Longski
Community Member
2 months ago

The Pacific Trust Territories are frequently ignored and forgotten. They are very big.

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"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,” Patrick told Bored Panda about the need to map and remap the world that surrounds us.

"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. Maintaining the world's databases of spatial information is the task of the modern map-maker." There will always be a need for maps and, we hope, for the entire subreddit as well.

#19

What Are Your Thoughts On This Breggsit?

What Are Your Thoughts On This Breggsit?

the_Eggshibit Report

BingeFest1
Community Member
2 months ago

eggscellent

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#20

My Son’s (12) Map Of The Balkans

My Son’s (12) Map Of The Balkans

Lindadorse Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
2 months ago

Speaking as a guy from the region, great job (My country's name has a tiny spelling error, but let's not make a fuss about it :-) ).

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#21

Rural Equivalent Of New York City, Los Angeles And Chicago

Rural Equivalent Of New York City, Los Angeles And Chicago

kapowitz9 Report

Chris B
Community Member
2 months ago

Okay. This is impressive. Very impressive. Haven't thought it would be so... well... impressive.

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#22

Children’s Map Of The World (Only Shows Countries Where Smacking Children Is Illegal)

Children’s Map Of The World (Only Shows Countries Where Smacking Children Is Illegal)

OwlRepair Report

Potatogamers2
Community Member
2 months ago

Should be illegal everywhere!

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#23

The Great Lakes And Saint Lawrence River Superimposed On A Map Of Europe

The Great Lakes And Saint Lawrence River Superimposed On A Map Of Europe

fraterkretert43 Report

Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
2 months ago

wow, they´re huge!

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#24

Why Is [country]...? - Google Autocomplete Results (European Countires, 2021)

Why Is [country]...? - Google Autocomplete Results (European Countires, 2021)

Morwon Report

Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
2 months ago

Slovakia so rich? Wtf? :D

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#25

I Made A Gingerbread Eastern Hemisphere!

I Made A Gingerbread Eastern Hemisphere!

etymologynerd Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
2 months ago

Gingersphere.

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#26

Age At First Marriage

Age At First Marriage

latecomer11 Report

kjorn
Community Member
2 months ago

the poorer the country the younger the marriage

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#27

Africa, 10 Million Years Later. (Based On Current Predictions And Data)

Africa, 10 Million Years Later. (Based On Current Predictions And Data)

TheAssConsumer Report

Al Christensen
Community Member
2 months ago

Great Rift Valley.

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#28

The Most Culturally Chauvinistic Europeans

The Most Culturally Chauvinistic Europeans

tiredeggy Report

pebs
Community Member
2 months ago

Mmh, something is wrong with France data.

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#29

What Does A Horse Say In Your Language?

What Does A Horse Say In Your Language?

atlasova Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
2 months ago

Holy s**t, Santa is a horse.

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#30

Territories Of Modern Ghana And Ghana Empire

Territories Of Modern Ghana And Ghana Empire

logatwork Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
2 months ago

The blue is striking :-)

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Note: this post originally had 130 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.