THE BEST Maps

People in Places

People in Places

Artist Ingrid Dabringer discovers hidden forms of people in paper maps. While they’re not always the most realistic human images, each one brings unique character and charm to its locale.

USA Map, NY Style

USA Map, NY Style

Dan Abramson’s very amusing map of the USA as interpreted by New Yorkers, who apparently have no sense of geography, seems pretty fair, considering the world revolves around Gotham.

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Street Map Sculpture

Street Map Sculpture

Artist Nikki Rosato makes intricate portraits by cutting maps along the street and river lines, forming a vein-like structure for her art. These 3D human forms are her most dramatic works.

Map Collages

Map Collages

Artist Matthew Cusick makes portraits and illustrations using nothing but map cutouts, using the lines, symbols and patches of colors to his advantage, to create detailed and jaw-dropping art.

Streetview Road Race

Streetview Road Race

While it’s not the speediest way to get around, you have to hand it to these guys who spent 5 days clicking their way across America using Google Streetview for their Demo Slam entry.

Google Earth Engine

Google Earth Engine

Google Earth plus Wayback Machine equals Earth Engine. The new technology stores historical and daily satellite imagery and data to allow scientists to observe planetary changes over time.

Antarctica Street View

Antarctica Street View

We knew that Google Street View was a cool way to explore big cities and country backroads, but we had no idea they had POV shots of Antarctica. No cars. Just snow, rocks, and lots of penguins.

Video Game New York

Video Game New York

This insanely detailed digital map of New York City was created by gamer Asterion for use in the PC game CitiesXL. Try and find actual buildings you’ve been in. It’s not yet released, but we want to play.

Microsoft Street Slide

Microsoft Street Slide

Doing their best to one-up Google Maps’ Street View, Microsoft’s prototype Street Slide uses panoramic photos to provide improved context when moving between locations on the street.

My Scratch Map

My Scratch Map

At first glance, it’s a shiny but unassuming world map. But the layer of gold foil can be scratched off to reveal a colorful and more detailed map. Perfect for globetrotters – and lottery players.

Springstreets Map

Springstreets Map

Dan Cassaro’s clever Garden State map based on Springsteen lyrics shows us where they haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets, among other places. (Thanks Nik!)

8-Bit Cities

8-Bit Cities

Starting with an accurate and zoomable 8-bit map of NYC, Brett Camp now has maps of other major cities as well. The names of places in London makes its map more awesome. To Knightsbridge!

The Geography of LOST

The Geography of LOST

It took Jonah Adkins, a GISP (and LOSTie), about 4 years of research to finish this detailed map of the castaways’ island. Buy the poster, or find a high-res version for your desktop on Jonah’s blog.

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Bing Destination Maps

Bing Destination Maps

Going on a road trip? Someone coming over to visit? Then you should check out Bing’s Destination Maps feature. Use it to make custom maps that are easy to read and fun to look at.

Google Maps Historypin

Google Maps Historypin

This clever website mashes up Google Maps street view locations with old photographs taken at precisely the same spot years ago. So far, they’ve got over 2000 pics, and you can submit your own.

Mapping Stereotypes

Mapping Stereotypes

Yanko Tsvetkov pokes fun at how Europeans supposedly view each other. Apparently France thinks Italy is full of “Noisy, Friendly People,” while Germany thinks it’s just “Pizza and Museums.”

There and Back Again T-Shirt

There and Back Again T-Shirt

Because one does not simply catch the 11:15 to Mordor, this convenient map of Middle Earth from Reagan Lee for Threadless brings Tolkien’s world closer to ours in a modernized fashion.

Ork Brain Poster

Ork Brain Poster

Chicago designer Jenny Beorkrem has added some anatomy to her typographically cool screenprinted city map poster collection. Check out this brain poster – do we really use all those parts in there?

Google Maps Manipulated

Google Maps Manipulated

Artist Christoph Niemann apes the style of Google Maps in his clever cartographic illustrations in his Abstract City column in The New York Times. We’ve been down all these roads at some point.

Website: 8-Bit NYC

Website: 8-Bit NYC

It’s loading a bit slowly at the moment, but Brett Camper’s 8-Bit NYC turns New York into a 1980s RPG-style map (think Zelda); it’s created using OpenStreetMap with 256×256 tiles.

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Google Maps: The Boneyard

Google Maps: The Boneyard

The Boneyard near Tucson, Arizona is where old military aircraft permanently bail out, and is viewable on Google Maps; there are over 4,000 planes spread out across 2,600 acres.

Atlas of the Verse, Vol. 1

Atlas of the Verse, Vol. 1

Firefly captains can learn the New Canaan run with the Atlas of the Verse: Volume One; the giant 12″x16″ book features 26 full-color pages and 11 planetary systems on 100 lb. paper.

The Zoomable Map

The Zoomable Map

Technology continues to unfold even in the analog realm with The Zoomable Map; made out of an ancient material called paper, it zooms into London with a patented folding mechanism.

The Earth Atlas (Book)

The Earth Atlas (Book)

Because a big planet needs a big book: the limited edition Earth Atlas stands two feet tall by 18 inches wide, with 480 pages and 800 images; it’s “only” $4,800 before 1/1/2010.

Book: Strange Maps

Book: Strange Maps

Based on the successful blog of the same name, Strange Maps is a fascinating mix of social commentary and cartographical creativity; it includes 138 graphics and spans 256 pages.

Bing Maps x Photosynth

Bing Maps x Photosynth

Microsoft introduces Photosynth to Bing Maps with its own version of street level view; we actually prefer it over Google, as it boasts higher quality images and feels much more 3D.

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