Thursday, July 03, 2014

If We Were Dutch

This week I really liked the Newcastle Brown map If We Won. The map presents an alternate history of the USA, showing what towns and cities might be called now if the USA hadn't won the War of Independence.

This morning I decided to have a go at creating a similar map. The result is New Amsterdam, a little map of what New York might look like today if the Dutch were still in charge. The map isn't nearly as good as the Newcastle Brown map but not bad for a couple of hours work.

For the sake of speed I decided not to create my own base map tiles. Instead I used Google Maps Styled Maps to give the map a slight vintage look and to remove the Google Maps labels. I then used the Map Label library to add my own Dutch names to the map. I also added a few map markers to add windmills, mountains and a ship to the map.

The map only took a couple of hours so it looks a bit ragged. It could be improved by changing the style of the map labels to make them a bit more pronounced - like on the If We Won map. The map marker icons also need a little work on the transparency. If I had the time the biggest improvement would be to create and add my own vintage looking base map tiles (but that's never going to happen).

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