A map is a visual representation of an area, most commonly the surface of the Earth.

The map is a symbolic representation of the entire area it shows, with the emphasis on showing the relationships rather than exact distances, sizes, and topological shapes.

Maps can be printed on flat paper, made as a relief sculpture, or placed on a globe.

The word “map” comes from Middle English  “map” or Old French  “mappe”.  Both words come from the Latin phrase “mappa”, which means cloth or napkin. This likely stemmed from ancient surveyors that used small pieces of cloth to draft their designs.

Popular Map Artists

Mychael Barratt

Mychael Barratt is a Toronto-born artist based in London. Some of his notability comes from creating map art, including:

His map art has been used clothing designs and other forms of artwork made by artists all over the world. He has also worked with The British Postal Museum & Archive, Tate Britain, and the Royal Observatory Greenwich in creating his map art. You can see some examples of his work at his website:

Matthew Cusick

Matthew Cusick uses actual world maps and layers colors within their borders to create a “coloring book” effect, with the resulting images taking on a new form, such as a sunset, ocean waves, or plant life.

See examples of his map art here: