Posted on May 24 2021
Compiled by Ali Harford
For Earth Day last year, National Geographic Magazine created this interactive map that shows priority for protection of ocean areas all over the globe. The map, or globe, holds a plethora of data, but gives it to the user in bite-sized chunks. The data itself is incredibly easy to read, as it’s really only pointing out priority levels. This map is an excellent example of creating a user experience that everyone can get something out of, and that’s easy to pay attention to.
We sometimes forget that cartography can be a type of art—most cartography has to be precise and analytical. This article, written by Alex Myall for ExplorersWeb, tells the story of cartographers working for Swisstopo who hid “whimsical images” in their maps. Swisstopo’s response was that “creativity has no place on these maps”—which I disagree with. This story serves as a reminder that without creativity, there can be no innovation—and what’s the point of that?
The Outside Podcast recently created this episode about the story of the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt—10 years ago, Fenn filled a box with treasure, hid it in the Rocky Mountains, and left clues in poems and interviews. While this podcast isn’t specifically about the mapping process, it’s definitely map-adjacent: multiple treasure maps were created by enthusiasts of the hunt, as well as an official map created by Benchmark Maps. The podcast host, Peter Frick-Wright, interviews journalist Daniel Barbarisi, who followed the story of the hunt from the beginning and broke the news when the treasure was found.