10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

Categories: Art | Design and Architecture | History | World

With the rapid development of technology, people might easily assume that maps are gradually disappearing. However, they are still thriving in the digital age, only in a more refreshed and advanced form. Some are even transformed to keep us updated with population density or what the Earth will look like in millions of years. 

As a result, the World Wide Web is full of interesting and captivating maps that teach us something new and expand the way we see the world. Eager to share them with you, Bored Panda has collected the best ones that might make you see things from a different perspective. To find them, all you have to do is scroll down!

While you’re busy admiring them, don’t forget to check out a conversation with map enthusiast, artist, and cartographer Anton Thomas, who kindly agreed to answer some of our questions about all things maps.

10 PHOTOS

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#1 To Increase Local Tourism, Lithuania Has Made A Map With Magnets That You Can Only Find In Corresponding Cities

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

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

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#3 An Image Of GPS Tracking Of Multiple Wolves In Six Different Packs Around Voyageurs National Park Shows How Much The Wolf Packs Avoid Each Other's Range

 

Anton Thomas’ approach to maps is one of the most unique and beautiful ones out there. The Australia-based artist hand-draws them in meticulous detail with only a pen and colored pencils. His giant map of North America took him nearly 5 years to complete and was recognized as one of the best maps of 2016 by National Geographic.

Naturally, we were curious to know what initially sparked his interest in them. He told us, “I was born and raised in New Zealand's South Island, surrounded by beautiful landscapes. This geography influenced my love of maps. 

The places around us were so interesting, so rich in mood, emotion, and grandeur. I would see fictional fantasy maps in books or video games, and I loved the way geography was displayed so expressively. But then I would look outside at New Zealand, and realise I was somewhere far more amazing than fantasy. And it was all real!

From childhood, maps helped me understand reality, fall in love with the world, and instill a sense of adventure. And combining maps with illustration was a bridge between science, art, and storytelling.”

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#4 This Is My Wedding Gift To My Wife

We get married next Sunday. I used a wood burning kit to burn a map of all the states we have visited as a couple. We both love to travel and backpack so I want to keep adding to it as we get older.

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#5 The Baltic Way. On 23 August 1989, Two Million People Joined Their Hands To Form A Human Chain Spanning 675.5 Km Across The Three Baltic States

The protest was against the Soviet occupation, and to support the independence movements of the three States (2014).

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#6 Map Of Regional Rug Patterns Of Iran

What inspires his distinct method of cartography is a love for the vast planet and all the amazing places it holds. Therefore, he strives to create maps that give off the feeling of what it’s like to be at a certain location. “Maps allow you to show this at any scale, and art allows you to bring it to life,” he adds.

Even though his maps are known for their illustrations, he’s passionate about ensuring their graphic accuracy as well. He tells us, “I want to create artistic maps that are also great educational resources. I believe art is one of the best ways to communicate science, so about 30% of my labor is pure research. When preparing a new map, I will first choose a projection - and then trace that outline accurately on the drawing paper.

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

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

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#8 The United States Of America: Alaskan Perspective

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#9 There Is A Lake In Finland, That Looks Like Finland

Taking his ‘Wild World’ map of nature as an example (which took three years), he further shares its creation process. “I chose the Natural Earth projection, printed a high-resolution base map at the drawing size, and then stapled it to the back of the art paper. I then traced all the coastlines, rivers, and mountain ranges with a light pad (a tracing tool).”

When the framework is completed, he then goes region by region, continent by continent, researching and learning about the wildlife and physical geography of each place. “Our world is so complex, so filled with information, that a cartographer's job is often to choose what NOT to draw. What to omit. So it's helpful to have rules and conventions with each map, to help select the data and stories you wish to tell. Once you create these guidelines and filter out some of the noise, it's easier to see your creative opportunities,” Thomas says.

10 Fascinating Maps That Show The Side Of The World We Rarely See (Best Of All Time)

#10 This Is Awesome

Keywords: Fascinating maps | Technology | History | Millions of years | Development | Maps | Digital age

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