THE BEST Maps

Origin 3D Wood Maps

Origin 3D Wood Maps

Based in Tahoe Woods, California, Origin Artwork creates awesome laser-cut wall art with a tremendous amount of depth and dimension. Their designs feature topographic maps of real world locations, fictitious places, and the occasional video game screen.

U.S. Cork Maps

U.S. Cork Maps

Geo 101 Designs makes these great wall art pieces for chronicling your journeys. The self-healing nature of the 1/2″ thick cork makes it perfect for pinning locations, tacking up photos from your trips, or even poking in commemorative pins. Comes in 15″h x 23″w and 21″h x 34″w sizes, as well as a giant 8 foot-wide version.

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XXL Map Desk Mat

XXL Map Desk Mat

This oversize padded mat covers a 31.5″ x 15.7″ area on your desktop with a world map, offering an expansive mousing surface, and protecting your desk surface from scratches. It’s easy to clean, features a rubberized backing to prevent slipping, and stitched edges for durability.

Cinemaps

Cinemaps

Artist Andrew DeGraff’s cinematic atlas is filled with intricate isometric maps which guide us through the locations in popular movies. The hardcover book features 11″ x 14″ reproductions of his hand-painted maps from 35 movies including King Kong, Fargo, The Princess Bride, The Shining, and many more.

LED “Neon” World Map

LED “Neon” World Map

Joy Neon makes custom lighting that looks like neon, but is fabricated from flexible LED tubing, which isn’t fragile and runs on low voltage. Their most impressive work is this low-poly world map that would make an amazing centerpiece in any room. Available in three sizes: 21.6″ x 39.9″, 43.3″ x 78.7″ and 65″ x 118″.

The World Ocean

The World Ocean

Technically, all of the world’s oceans are connected and therefore they’re a single, giant body of water. Still, geographers sliced them into sections and named them so we’d know roughly where we are. Minute Earth explains where the boundaries are located, and suggests a more logical way of breaking them up based on science.

Wooden World Wall Map

Wooden World Wall Map

EnjoyTheWood’s laser-cut wood maps are a beautiful addition to any wall. They can be ordered blank, or with shaded countries and engraved country names, and with pushpins to document your travels. Comes in M (39″ x 24″), L (59″ x 35″), XL (79″ x 47″) and XXL (118″ x 69″) sizes.

Via

Via

Maria Constanza Ferreira created this short using screen grabs from Google Street View. By setting the perspective to a fixed view, it creates the illusion of an impossibly long road. As the film progresses, it uses digital manipulation to turn satellite images into abstract art.

Hexagon Cork World Map

Hexagon Cork World Map

Geo 101 Design presents a compact, global version of their cork map. Set agains a rich blue dyed backdrop, it measures 12″ point to point, and is perfect for tracking your travels across the globe – assuming you don’t visit the Arctic or Antarctica.

2D/3D Map Prints

2D/3D Map Prints

Artist Scott Reinhard creates images of America’s national parks and other notable locations by rendering a topographic relief map onto a survey map, then printing them onto high quality photographic paper for a stunning 3D effect, despite being flat sheets of paper. Each one has lots of nifty geographic and geological details.

Topographic Wood Maps

Topographic Wood Maps

Elevated Woodworking creates a variety of wooden maps of the U.S. and individual states, each featuring a textured topography. Pieces range from small tabletop versions up to an enormous 8′ wide wall map with separate pieces for each state. There’s also a magnetic version you can buy complete or piece-by-piece.

NiteLanding Lamp

NiteLanding Lamp

The NiteLanding lamp is a framed map of one of the world’s famous cities. It doubles as a night light, illuminating the structures with LEDs. The end result is a nighttime cityscape. Sign up on their website to be notified when its crowdfunding campaign launches.

Scott Reinhard’s Maps

Scott Reinhard’s Maps

Graphic designer Scott Reinhard makes maps that look old and new at the same time. Each design consists of a decades-old topographic layer and a computer-generated elevation, complete with shadows. The resulting map looks like it’s in 3D.

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Frontgate Magnetic World Map

Frontgate Magnetic World Map

The Heirloom world map has a magnetic surface. It comes with 50 magnets in five different colors so you can chart past, current and future travels. Additional magnets are available for purchase. There are also variants of the map with different frames and colors.

Floating Wood Maps

Floating Wood Maps

Meridian Maps started out making laser-cut wooden maps that come framed. Now they’re offering the maps as wall-mounted pieces that stick out 0.5″ from the wall. They are also working on a web-based program that will let you customize the map you want to order.

Google Maps’ Fake Neighborhoods

Google Maps’ Fake Neighborhoods

Services like Google Maps have way more influence on the world than you might think. Since people trust these maps, any information that ends up on them can become adopted as fact, like the names of areas which didn’t exist five minutes ago. Half as Interesting explains.

Video Game Map Size Comparison

Video Game Map Size Comparison

While we wish that MetaBallStudios had included The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Bros. 3’s world maps for comparison, we still enjoyed watching this 2016 video which shows the relative sizes of world maps from video games from GTA III to Minecraft.

US Geography Weirdness

US Geography Weirdness

We’ve all gotten so used to seeing maps of the world in cylindrical and pseudo-cylindrical projections, that our sense of where things are placed and their sizes is pretty distorted compared to reality. RealLifeLore explains many misperceptions of our nation’s geography.

ARENA

ARENA

Motion artist P├íraic Mc Gloughlin compiled a collection of thousands of satellite images captured by Google Earth, transforming the top-down view of Earth’s landscapes, roads, and structures into a dizzying work of modern art.

TravelScratcher World Map

TravelScratcher World Map

We love the idea of the TravelScratcher, a 24″ x 36″ wall map that features a gorgeous gold scratch-off foil layer. Scratch off the areas you’ve visited to reveal bold pops of color and remind yourself that there are many more places out there to explore. (Thanks Chris!)

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JACE Map Drinkware & Accessories

JACE Map Drinkware & Accessories

JACE.design offers drinkware, phone cases, posters and more that you can customize with a print of your desired location or coordinates. For the cases, bags and posters, you can zoom in on or out of the location and pick from a handful of drawing styles.

Game of Thrones 3D Wood Map

Game of Thrones 3D Wood Map

Etsy store OriginArtwork specializes in beautiful layered wooden maps. Most of their products are based on real locations, but they do have the occasional fictional subject, such as this detailed map of the world of Game of Thrones. It’s available in four sizes.

Around the World in Google Maps

Around the World in Google Maps

Instead of spending months traveling the globe for real, Matteo Archondis used a combination of the Maps API, editing, and stabilization to combine over 3300 individual Google Earth screenshots to take us on a whirlwind tour of some of the world’s greatest sights.

Why All World Maps Are Wrong

Why All World Maps Are Wrong

“The surface of a sphere cannot be represented as a plane without some form of distortion.” That pretty much sums up the fact that there’s really no way to accurately represent the earth in flat maps, as Vox explains. After you stop saying “Winkel Tripel,” go play with this.

Lonely Planet Guides

Lonely Planet Guides

Lonely Planet’s free Guides app for iOS and Android comes with offline maps, location-aware functions, curated sights and handy tips. It also lets you bookmark places. It covers 38 cities, with more to come soon.

NES Subway Maps

NES Subway Maps

Matthew Stevenson used real subway lines to make alternate world map prints for six NES games: Metroid, Maniac Mansion, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy and the first two Zelda games. He’s also selling them as high res digital files.

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