The latest edition (Volume III) of the Atlas of Design is available for pre-order! The Atlas is an amazing compilation of cartographic design, selected in a worldwide competition by a panel of experts. The range of creative approaches in the 32 maps that make the book presents a wonderful picture of the broad scope of mapmaking styles as well as its challenges. Each map is accompanied by comments from the author, giving us insight about the conception and the ideas behind its creation.
The book is published every two years by the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) a not-for-profit professional organization for mapmakers. In their words:
The Atlas aims to inspire readers both within the field of cartography and without toward new understandings of design, and of the power that a well-crafted map can have. In an age when more and more mapping tasks are being turned over to computers, the Atlas provides one more answer to the question: What do cartographers do?
I was honored to be asked to write an introductory essay for the book, which I ended noting: “This book is a formidable compilation of beautiful and informative cartography, from classically designed to bold and daring; from hand-drawn gems to multilayered interactive presentations. It is a collection of short stories about the world we live in, each as fascinating and unique as the cartographers who made them”.
When I was Art Director at National Geographic I was lucky to work with some of the best mapmakers in the world (including Ginny Mason, an active force behind the publication of this book), and I was in awe of their skill to achieve beautifully crafted and precise pieces of journalistic storytelling. The work in this compilation speaks to that great skill.