In a world where maps are available to us at any moment, and so widely used that we hardly think twice about them, the art of cartography may seem to have been relegated to a few engineers and product designers working on global mapping systems. We’re happy to say that custom cartography is still alive and well, giving us all a unique perspective on the world we live in. Just under a year ago, we ran a post calling for submissions to the Atlas of Design. The North American Cartographic Information Society got about 300 submissions from 23 countries, and they collected the top 32 entries into a gorgeous book of maps. The map styles run the gamut from hand drawn illustrations to digitally generated maps clearly showing a dataset. The book includes overview images of each map as well as zoomed in pages showing full details of the beautiful work that went into these maps. Each map has commentary from the map’s creator, putting the map into context, and guiding the reader to a deeper understanding of the work. Sales of the Atlas of Design benefit the not-for-profit North American Cartographic Information Society, a professional organization for mapmakers and map librarians, which promotes the advancement of cartographic science and design, as well as map knowledge and education. Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure
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