Cartography Scrapbook #1: Large-Scale City Maps

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January 10, 2010 by E

I’m working on a map of Moscow for Buster to include in his dissertation. So I went digging through my dusty old collection of paper maps, looking for large-scale city plans to inspire me. Most of what I have in this category are  freebies handed out to tourists — some are beautifully designed, some not as much. Comparing them, I did pick up a couple of tips which may be obvious to accomplished cartographers, but are helpful to me:

1. Bring attention to the network of streets by making them white against a lightly colored field.

From: “NYC Cycling Map”,by New York City Department of Transportation.

From “The Map,” Center City Charlotte North Carolina. Distributed by Charlotte Regional Partnership

2. There’s no substitute for red when you want to draw attention to landmarks.

From “Queens Art Map,” distributed by Queens Council on the Arts

I won’t post the not-so-greats, since I don’t feel like I’m in a position to be throwing stones, but if you’re interested in less-than-effective maps, check out Cartastrophe, owned by a blogger whom I hope begins to post more regularly.

Do you have any favorite city maps?


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