There’s A Map For That.

Imus Map Close UpI love maps, always have. From the maps that came with  The National Geographic when I was a kid to the Google Earth of today, I’ve always been fascinated with finding my way around a map.

It would seem I am not alone in this love of things *cartographic*, because no sooner does a news story break about a new U.S. map then Amazon.com is completely sold out of it. Apparently, this is not your average map. Designed by Davis Imus, it was entirely handmade over the course of 6,000 hours, and was recently awarded “Best in Show” by the Cartography and Geographic Information Society. He has focused on simplicity and user-friendliness, trading distracting state border colors for thick, consistent lines. This allows him to use color to indicate really neat things like forestation, elevation and other natural features.

Most maps made today are designed and published by large corporations, using complex algorithms to determine name-placement, landscape features etc.  Mr. Imus’s map-making skills are more akin to a craft than an industry, it would seem, where one man’s vision and hours of dedication have apparently produced a thing of beauty. And yes, I want one.

He’s also left off the names of the more minor cities and towns to leave room for listing major attractions for large cities such as Chicago. I imagine I will spend hours standing in front of my beautiful new map, planning out my ultimate cross-country drive. That is, as soon as the publisher can keep up with the demand.

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