Playfulness And Cheerful Optimism Of Illustrated Maps


It is common to find map illustrations in posters or brochures as a form of marketing. Others are commissioned by travel websites, tourism agencies and local chambers of commerce to gain the attention of consumers. One example is the New York City Illustrated Map that shows the major landmarks of the city as seen from above and used to spark an interest among travelers.

Some illustrated maps are geographically accurate while others do not bother about geography as long as they can make a point. There are illustrated maps that show the tourist destinations in a city with a selection of particular features to illustrate a place. In the New York City Illustrated Map, one can see the favorite tourist destinations that include the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, Union Square, Empire State and many more interesting landmarks.

One common thing that is particularly noticeable in illustrated maps is playfulness. According to Stephen Hornsby, professor of geography at the University of Maine, the pictorial maps that thrived in the United States from 1920 to 1960 were examples of the enormous vibrancy of America’s culture. They were created to appeal to people and spark an interest on the places.

Illustrated maps are great fun and reflect the cheerful optimism of Americans. While they are not serious enough to become a topic for a graduate student in geography, they can be favorite items for collection. However, the most popular application for illustrated maps nowadays is as an advertising tool.

Even if photography is taking over advertising, many cartographers and artists still make illustrated maps because they are fantastic content for a travel website. Online users want something different from the typical photographs of people and places. They want something that is fun, unique but informative to generate a first impression.

In today’s media-rich environment, the New York City Illustrated Map perfectly incorporates an original illustration and an electronic medium to create a more dynamic experience. The illustrated map includes way finding images that can be transformed to rich digital formats of a work of art. The technique allows maximum flexibility and convenience in the application of the map illustration.

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