Philip’s Decorative Map Blog

Do you want to learn more about decorative compass roses? Would you like to be inspired by other decorative maps? Do you need ideas for symbols on your maps? If so, read on to improve your map-making skills. 

Mike Reagan - Map Artist

Mike Reagan decorative map of Caravaggio's Italy

Mike Reagan is an incredible map artist. Although he doesn't consider himself a cartographer, I consider him one in the tradition of the those who reached beyond facts of geography to capture the feeling of place through maps. He has created his very distinctive maps for the Smithsonian Institute and numerous magazines, books, and advertisements. …

Richard Edes Harrison - Map Artist And Cartographer

Map of Venezuela by RE Harrison.

One of my favorite 20th century cartographers is Richard Edes Harrison. Here's why...

RE Harrison created many maps for magazines including Fortune magazine. In fact, Fortune even released an atlas of Harrison's maps during World War II to show the danger of Axis power to the US. …

Map Artist - Taige Zhang - Wellingtons Travel Co.

Sketches of individual buildings used in Wellington Travel's Grand Map of London

Taige Zhang is president of Wellingtons Travel Co. which focuses on traditional British maps, home decor and design. Please visit Wellingtons Travel Company‘s website to see his wonderful work. I thank Taige very much for taking the time to answer these questions.

Michael Karpovage - Digital Map Designer

Detailed view of the Hilton Savannah DeSoto on the map of the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia, by Michael Karpovage

Michael Karpovage is president of Karpovage Creative, Inc. Michael is a designer, map illustrator, and novelist. This interview took place shortly after Michael released his beautiful Savannah Historic District Map. Please visit Michael‘s website to see his wonderful work. …

Map Symbols For Roads, Rail, And Boundaries - Erwin Raisz

Erwin Raisz map symbols for roads, bridges, railroads, boundaries

Here are some symbols from Erwin Raisz's book Principles of Cartography published in 1932.


Click here to read more decorative map articles.

Map Symbols For Water Features Such As Rivers And Lakes - Erwin Raisz

Water features map symbols by Erwin Raisz

Map symbols for water features will differ because of scale and detail wanted. Small scale maps are maps that cover a large area and don't show a lot of detail about the landscape.

The important thing is to make the symbols similar over the map for consistency. …

Map Symbols For Physical Geography Features - Raisz's Physiography

Erwin Raisz developed a system of respresenting physiography. Physiography is a sub-field of geography that focuses on the natural environment. Raisz's designed his symbols to capture the landscape and reflect the patterns and processes of physical geography.

Map Symbols For Mountains - Erwin Raisz

Erwin Raisz map synbols for hills and mountains

Topographic relief, particularly mountains, have four important elements...

  • Relative elevation Height of mountains above adjacent land.
  • Elevation Height above sea level. For decorative maps, elevation is less important than relative elevation.
  • Average slope Steepness of the mountains is important to the human experience. …

© Philip Riggs 2007-2014  | Privacy Policy