Category Archives: City Maps

Map Art: Dog Map Collages

There is a reason why they’re called man’s best friend. They’re lovable, loyal, adorable…the list goes on and on. If you’re a dog lover, this stunning collection of collages is right up your alley. They merge a love for pooches with a love of maps. It’s an unlikely marriage, but the result is breathtaking.

[Read: Cheers to Your City!]

Artist, Peter Clark arranges old maps and manuscripts into the shapes of our canine friends. The resemblance is uncanny and lifelike. These old maps come to life and the best part is that there is absolutely no chance that these pups will chomp on your prized pair of leather loafers. There are no bones about it, these are clearly something special. Let’s just hope that Fido doesn’t turn green with envy when you fall in love with these magnificent works of art.

[Read: A Map for Movie Buffs]

Image credit: Peter Clark

Map Collection: Vintage Maps

In world that’s consumed by the latest and greatest technology, sometimes it is nice to slow down and embrace items from the past. Travel to a time when beauty frequently took precedence over function. We’ve pulled together a collection of our favorite vintage maps and you are cordially invited to see the world though the eyes of the cartographers of the past.

Map of Sydney, Australia

Image credit: The Cartography Collective

You won’t find any kangaroos on this map, but you can take a look at the complex waterways of Port Jackson as they existed over ninety years ago. This historic map focuses on Sydney, Australia in 1922.

[Read: Awesome Map: Unrealized City Plans]

California Map

Image credit:

This is truly California Dreamin’ on a map! It colorfully displays the various cities throughout the Golden State, while the darling pictures tell a story about each region.

Map of Santa Barbara, CA

Image credit:

We love this beautiful map of Santa Barbara, although we may be a little biased. This panoramic view of our coastal city is a reproduction of a map created in 1877,  filled with intricate details. Look closely and you’ll see livestock and even boats in the harbor.

[Read: Awesome Public Domain Map: Nature is Calling]

New York Subway Map

Image credit:

This map takes you to a time when there were elevated routes on the New York Subway and the 1939 World’s Fair was still proudly on display. New Yorkers can take a historical look at their city and marvel at the changes.

[Read: Awesome Map: You Say “Tomato” and I Say “Tomahto”]

Amazon River Map

Image credit:

This vintage map follows the Amazon River as it winds down from the Andes and eventually runs into the Atlantic.

We love awesome maps! Do you know of any that you think we should feature? We would be delighted to hear from you. Send your submissions here.

Awesome Map: Unrealized City Plans

Thinking about the what-ifs in life can be exciting, terrifying or anything in-between. Have you ever thought about the things that could have affected your everyday life?

What if the Boston T System had been expanded in 1954? Would it be easier to travel from the suburbs to the city?  What if a network of elevated highways existed in San Francisco? Would it allow commuters to sleep 15 minutes later in the morning?Would there still be traffic gridlock in Los Angeles if they had maintained a solid network of trolleys? These are questions that will never be answered, but it still makes you wonder..

[Read: Awesome Map: You Say “Tomato” and I Say “Tomahto”]

Whatever happened to the unrealized city plans that were rejected, underfunded, or just never came to fruition? Hyperreal Cartography and the Unrealized City has discovered these fascinating maps.  Scroll through them and you’ll see the ghosts of city plans that could have changed the cities that you love.

[Read: Awesome Map: A Blustery Map]

Photos credited: hyperreal cartography & the unrealized city

We love awesome maps! Do you know of any that you think we should feature? We would be delighted to hear from you. Send your submissions here.

Cheers to Your City!

[See: NYC Street Maps Rocks]

What city is near and dear to your heart? Los AngelesBoston? Maybe you left your heart in San Francisco and you want a memoir. Or you don’t want your memories of Chicago to be blown away by the wind. Why not pay tribute to your favorite city by adding a beautifully etched street map to your glassware collection?

[See: NYC Street Maps Pint]

The theUncommonGreen has created this handsome and smart glassware collection that will be the talk of any party. They supply pints, carafes and rock glasses to match your taste preferences. Whether you want to show off your hometown or a memorable vacation spot, these glasses are a classy way to do it.

[See: San Francisco Street Maps Pint]

[See: Boston Street Maps Rocks]

[See: Boston Street Maps Pint]

PS. these would also make a spectacular Christmas gift!

Photos via theUncommonGreen

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5 Artistic Map Overlays for Your Open Street Map Display

A good map uses both parts of the brain: accurate and informative data to satisfy the left hemisphere, and beautiful and interesting design to delight the right. Stamen has published five gorgeous map tile overlays anybody can use to for their own digital map data needs to spruce up the tired old base design. Like many open API creative developers, Stamen’s goal is to “spread the wealth” for a better, more expansive public domain buffet, and has thus provided tool kits for map libraries including Modest Maps, Leaflet, Open Layers, and Google Maps.

Watercolor Blog - Stamen Watercolor map

Talk about artistic maps,  Watercolor is downright incredible. Inspired by the Bicycle Portraits project, the watercolor map applies raster effect area washes and organic edges over a paper texture that brings a handmade, otherworldly element to data visualization.

Toner Blog - Stamen's Toner Map

Toner’s high-contrast B+W (black and white) maps are featured in Stamen’s Dotspotting project. They are perfect for data mashups and exploring river meanders and coastal zones. Available in six flavors: standard tonerhybridlabelslinesbackground, and lite.

Trees, Cabs & Crime Blog - Stamen's San Francisco Map

Trees, Cabs & Crime combines three data sets (street tree locations, taxi cab GPS positions, and crime reports) with subtractive blending to reveal halftones hidden in the urban fabric of San Francisco. Cool!

Terrain Blog - Stamen's Terrain Map

Terrain showcases advanced labeling and linework generalization of dual-carriageway roads. Terrain was developed in collaboration with Gem Spear and Nelson Minar. Available in four flavors: standard terrainlabelslines, andbackground.

Burning Map Blog - Stamen's Burning Map

Burning Map use toner-lines as the foundation on which to draw fiery animations. Zing! Requires a WebGL-enabled browser, such as Google Chrome.

We hope to see more in the world of open mapping API – where there’s a way, people make the most incredible things. Cheers to open information!



Never Get Lost – DIY Map Case for the iPhone

Stocking Stuffer DIY: A Map Alternative for the Chilly Tech Lover

VIDEO: How to Make an iPhone Case Out of an Old Map

We are certainly not making any negative allusions to Apple Map’s recent iOS6 blunders, but in the new age of mapping technology, we recognize that not everything that can be plugged-in can (or should) be fully trusted with our lives. Sometimes, the handiness of analog just makes better sense, especially when it is easier to access than the alternative.

Dose of truth: mapping where you need to go over the holiday season is going to be difficult. Why?  Though some have been clever enough to solve the ever frustrating glove/iPhone experience, the rest of us will still be fumbling about hopelessly with our noses, chins and other numbed extremities. Shouldn’t life be easier? We think so. That in mind, we’ve taken a moment to put together two DIY iPhone cases that can be easily stuffed in your favorite Apple fanboy/girl’s stocking this year.

The Repurposed iPhone & iPad Case

We are all about repurposing old maps. There really isn’t anything like them. They evoke nostalgia and romance, which is incredibly fun when coupled with modern gadgetry. The juxtaposition is both quirky and clever: innovation at it’s finest!

Grab an old map (or printed!) and lets get started.

VIDEO: How to Make an iPhone Cover Out of an Old Map

What you’ll need:

  • Map
  • Clear iPhone Case
  • Scissors
  • X-acto Knife
  • Pencil

Step 1

Cut the map to the size of your case, taking care to leave a bit around the edges so it doesn’t come up short. Take a look at some of our favorite cases for the occasion.

Cut it out. (Don’t forget to cut out the camera hole!)

Step 2

Pop your newly cut map into the clear case and voila! Easy as 1 and 2.

Short on ideas? Here are some we can’t get enough of.


1. City Map

2. Bike Map

3. Road Map

4.  Subway Map

5. Topo Map

6. Vintage Map


What do you think? What other maps could you use for a quick iPhone case redesign?






Historic Panorama Cityscapes

We are pleased to now offer a antique historic Panorama Cityscapes collection from Surf by Summit at These panoramic city photos display a wide-angle view or representation of a various City Skylines with a historic and antique look.  The city skylines show views of particular city’s tall buildings and structures in front of a sky in the background. The Historic Panorama prints are professionally retouched historical photographs that have been uniquely printed into coated aluminum at 400 degrees F with 60 tons of pressure for an embedded image that will last for decades. This uniquely printed panoramic art makes for a durable, ready to hang, price of art for any home or office.

Historic Panorama of New York

Historic Panorama of New York

We offer historic a range of City Panoramic Prints including Downtown San Diego, Skyline art of New York East River Bridges, Historic Boston, MA Harbor, historic Panorama of Los Angeles and much more. Shop our entire Panorama Cityscapes collection here.

City Maps are Better on Paper

Many people could easily argue that city maps printed on paper have become all but obsolete in this day and age. Certain websites can give detailed directions to practically any destination on the planet, and many modern vehicles are equipped with GPS devices that are meant to ensure that drivers will never be lost again. Printed maps are still available at truck stops and convenience stores across the country, but it seems like more and more people are more willing to forego traditional atlases and city maps in favor of modern technology. And yet, there are still times when it is best to have an old fashioned paper map in a car’s glove compartment.

It is true that GPS navigation is the wave of the future. The technology has been progressing to the point where maps are downloaded much more quickly, and they often are capable of delivering directions to destinations in real time. Free online map services also provide easy-to-read directions to a destination for those who have an internet connection but lack a GPS system. Still, neither GPS systems or online map services are perfect. CityMapsFirst of all, GPS devices run on batteries. An expensive GPS navigation system may get a driver to where he or she needs to be most of the time, but what happens when the battery dies during a long road trip? The fantastic source of up-to-the-minute information that was so convenient just moments before is essentially useless. Fortunately, a driver doesn’t have anything to worry about if he or she has a city map on hand. It won’t give anyone directions in real time, and it won’t tell anyone if there is road construction or any detours that should be avoided, but it will give the driver an idea of where to go. As a navigational backup alone, paper maps can be endlessly useful.

There’s also the fact that plenty of drivers have been spoiled by their GPS systems. GPS devices are amazing tools, but they are far from perfect. A GPS map can be outdated, a fact that some people may not realize. Those precise directions that they can give also may steer a driver in the wrong direction if they are followed someplace in the middle of nowhere. Yes, paper maps can never be updated, but the basic layout of road doesn’t change that much.

No driver should be left without a paper city map on hand during long trips. As wonderful as GPS systems can be, sometimes they simply cannot beat a folded up piece of paper when it comes to navigation.