Why we love it

This striking, retro-style US resources map has generalized land use data to form a brightly colored backdrop for point symbols representing mineral and energy sources. In a world of standardized mapping we love to see some mapmakers develop a different look and feel to their work.

Why it works

When a map made in 2014 reminds you of your grade school wall atlas, you know it has transcended the informational realm of most modern maps. The shapes that form the background come from the USDA CropScape database, but look hand-drawn. The massive USGS Mineral Resources data is filtered to show a reasonable amount of points that are nicely distributed using Esri’s cartographic representation.

Important steps


Tips and tricks

Stephen Smith, cartographer

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