The Art Of Mapmaking

A new collection of artwork published by Gestalten, shows the skill, humour and care involved in map design and mapmaking, including one depicting New York’s smells, and a meticulously hand-painted ski map.

Atlas of True Names KalimediaThe Atlas of True Names by Kalimedia

German publisher Kalimedia has created maps of the US, Canada and UK, revealing the etymological roots of places.

Le Tour de Fromage Elly Walton



Le Tour de Fromage by Elly Walton

A fun map of regional cheeses by the English illustrator who combines hand-drawn work with digital techniques.



London Gareth WoodLondon by Gareth Wood aka Fuller

Fuller drafts impressionistic “mind maps” of places where he has lived. This hyper-detailed, ink-drawn map is of central London. It contains the personal experiences of the artist, hidden stories, curiosities and factoids. The piece was started in 2005, archived in 2007, and drawing resumed in 2015. This jump creates a change in style and technique. It highlights the progress within the metropolis and the artist himself.

Discovery of Machu Picchu Kevin CannonA Guide to the Discovery of Machu Picchu by Kevin Cannon

This is one of a series of maps made for the quarterly journal The Appendix charting the epic adventures of historical figures.



Smells in New York Kate McLean


A Map of Smells in New York by Kate McLean

An English graphic designer, McLean has focused her passion for cartography on making sensory maps, charting the dynamics of what we smell, and to a lesser extent, touch, taste, and see. McLean uses various visualisation formats to map her data, which she gathers alone or with the help of collaborators.

South Pennines Angela SmythThe South Pennines by Angela Smyth

This work took six months to complete, eventually filling six large canvases of 3 × 2.4 metres. The map captures the spirit and landmarks of the breathtaking moorland landscape with its quaint towns and villages. Local residents were invited to suggest features they wanted to see on the final piece and excerpts were included from poems by Simon Armitage.

Rome Libby VanderPloegRome by Libby VanderPloeg

In New York-based illustrator VanderPloeg’s playful maps, lines tracing major streets become decorative flourishes, while text bubbles call out her favourite shops, parks, restaurants and boutiques.

Whistler Village Canada James Niehues


Whistler Village, Canada, by James Niehues

One of the most prolific ski-trail mapmakers at work, Niehues is known for extreme attention to detail, giving unique form, structure and shadows to trees, or adding cars to resort parking lots. He usually begins by gathering images of his subject from various angles, including archival photos and flying around the area at various elevations. A medium-size ski resort takes two to four days to sketch and seven to ten days to paint. Larger regions have taken weeks.

Credit: The Guardian