Friday, March 23, 2018

Mapwork Quilts

When I was a lad we were so poor we had to make our own interactive maps, stitching together the old scraps and castoffs we found on the cobbled streets outside the New York Public Library.

OpenWhateverMap is a very useful map for anyone looking for distinctive map tiles for their latest interactive mapping project. OpenWhateverMap is a random map of the world made up of a hotchpotch of different map styles, sourced from lots of different interactive mapping providers.

OpenWhateverMap is a showcase for a number of different base map styles that can be used with any of the leading interactive map libraries. It includes base maps designed by Mapbox, OpenStreetMap, Thunderforest, Stamen and CartoDB. If you like the look of any of these map styles then click on the tile on the map. This will open an information window containing the base map's template URL and the attribution you need to use the style in your own interactive maps.

When I first saw OpenWhateverMap I thought it might be interesting to create a similar map using random map tiles from vintage maps. I have therefore completely ripped off OpenWhateverMap to create Random USA.

RandomUSA creates a random map of the USA made from 18 vintage maps held in the NYPL Digital Collections. The effect, as I suspected it would be, is a bit of a mess. The good thing is, if you don't like the look of a random vintage map of the USA, then you can just zoom in and out to change the look of the map.

It is definitely not as useful as OpenWhateverMap.

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