Here are four things to know about pictorial maps:
1. Pictorial maps are a genre in which the cartography is embellished with drawings and illustrations.
These maps reveal the character of a place more than its actual geography.
This 1950’s map “The World Makes an Automobile,” tells the story of the global resources involved in car manufacturing through cartography, illustrations and text. Did you know that materials such as sugar cane, soybeans and cotton were used to make cars?
2. Pictorial maps are a slice of history.
The advent of inexpensive color printing in the mid 20th century resulted in a boom of pictorial maps as advertising and promotion for companies, governments and other organizations.
In this 1953 chocolate map, Hershey provides an education about where chocolate comes from and invites the reader to spend time engaging with its product - chocolate.
3. Pictorial maps can be funny!
In the 1943 “Good Natured Map of Alaska,” tourism is promoted with a map of the positive attributes of the 49th state. This map features hand-drawn cartoon art of the amusing experiences you will have on a cruise to Alaska.
4. Pictorial maps can depict imaginary lands.
Reflective of allegorical maps of the Romantic era, the1960’s illustrated “Geographical Guides” to the hearts of women and men used stereotypes and humor to envision the metaphorical heart as two separate gendered lands.
Pictorial maps are only one example of how there is more to maps than the distance between locations.
To Program for Writing and Rhetoric (WRTG) Teaching Associate Professor Rebecca Dickson, maps are an avenue for making a good argument. WRTG regularly partners with the Earth Sciences & Map Library to explore how maps can facilitate new ways of learning for first-year students.
Buckminster Fuller, the creator of the Dymaxion Map Projection, spoke at the 1956 Conference on World Affairs. Then he gave CU Boulder a signed map. Learn about him and the humanitarian purpose of his famous map projection, in our World of Printed Maps series.