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Making art with maps…

2011 May 15

It must have been one my first classes in college, cartography 101, when definitions about cartography were discussed. “Cartography is the art, science and technology of making maps, together with their study as scientific documents and as works of arts” (lecture notes by Koeman/Ormeling, quoting ICA’s multilingual dictionary of technical terms in cartography. Wiesbaden, 1973). That “art, science and technology” part stuck with me. Countless examples of maps of works or arts come to mind, but I doubt if many of today’s map have any art in them.

I did spend a bit more time searching for arts & maps, beyond how to make map art and make butterfly art from maps. Cartographers may be artist and sometimes artists use the cartographers’ art to produce new art. A form of derived work, if you will. Wired (UK) pointed me to the work of Niki Rosato, the headline “Artists creates intricate portraits out of old maps” says it all. I really like the artwork here, roads connecting brains, no road to the heart? The mapwork of Matthew Cusick was just a quick search away. Some of his work seems fixed on woodpanel. Very nicely done, I would visit the art exhibition if I could.

More examples of art with maps? Any feedback is appreciated; the more –maps-, the merrier!

One Response leave one →
  1. May 16, 2011

    Go check out You Are Here ( and The Map as Art ( by Katharine Harmon. Another interesting exploration of the fine line between cartography and art is the book Else/Where: Mapping (, edited by Janet Abrams and PeterHall.

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