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map graphics for the fun of it

I have this weird, borderline manic obsession with maps. Not in the making them sense – that would be too logical – but in the sense that I have them decorating my house like, everywhere.

When I embarked on this assignment, I was going to show everyone this map of Michigan:


But then I realized someone made this to show off how good they are at making maps to the internet community. I think this map is so cool, but honestly too light in general. The grey background, with the white lakes…coupled with the light blue just doesn’t work for me. But it’s interesting to know that you’re never far from the water in Michigan.

Anyway, since I’ve embarked on this cool maps thing, I realized my favorite map is hanging in my room!

It’s this adorable map of the Chicago neighborhoods.


Why yes, I am from Chicago, thanks for asking!  This map is a never ending source of entertainment for me because a) I’m boring, but also because b) every time you look at it, you recognize different landmarks. The highways that divide areas aren’t labelled, but you can see the clear lines. What I think makes this map visually interesting the most though, is, of course, the typography they choose to fit into the weird shapes that are the neighborhoods. The larger the font, the bigger the neighborhood, generally speaking and it’s arranged cleverly to make it fit. I think that makes it interesting to look at – obviously, since I have it on my wall – but I will mention that I think if you were looking for a neighborhood map of Chicago for utility purposes…this would *not* be the map for you. The colors work, because as the website mentions, the color of the blue line and of course, the color of Lake Michigan. I don’t know if that’s clever marketing or why they chose to make the poster in this color, but I love it. And it matches my room. So there you go. (Quick side note, the website calls this a “Cubbie blue,” which it is NOT. It’s like, almost teal. The Cubs are definitely on the royal blue end of the spectrum. Fact error, minus 100. But it’s the cubs, so no one cares, right?)

And since we were talking about my weird obsession with maps, here’s a cute pinterest-y thing my roommates and I made last year. Each of us has one with our names on it! If you can tell, the heart has a map in it with my hometown..


That probably doesn’t really count as an infographic, I just wanted to humblebrag about my pinteresting accomplishments!

NOTE: The interwebs will not let me make that last picture smaller. Sorry!


About Samantha Kubota

Producer/Web Editor for KOMU-TV, President of Mizzou RTDNA. Animal lover, foodie, Michigander/Chicagoan at heart.


2 thoughts on “map graphics for the fun of it

  1. Being from Chicago, too, I loved the second map especially. I know you say that it’s not exactly the best utility map, but I think it can still be helpful for people who are just visiting or don’t know the city that well. With a reputation for having so many subdivided neighborhoods in the city proper, Chicago often gets referred to by these specific areas, so for anyone’s reference, it might be yet be a helpful, fun map to get your bearings with. The use of relative size is really creative and offers further insight into the breakdown of geographic location within the city. I’d love to get one of these myself!

    Posted by esst2d | October 3, 2012, 1:44 am

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