Cartography crowdfunders for map geeks

Jamie Stevenson
London 51° 30' 23.112" N, -0° 7' 37.956" E" E

With crowdfunding projects responsible for some of the more unique instances of cartography over the past few years, we take a look at some of the best map-related crowdfunders from the past few years.


The World Metro Map


It would be remiss of me to not point map geeks in the direction of G Cid’s World Metro Map, which achieved its goal after receiving a whopping $104,249 in donations.

The map brings together 214 metro/subway systems in a digital collage, with the lines all accurately representing real-life routes, but merged together. The result is a labyrinthine tangle of lines, bringing to life what the creator calls a ‘mega subway station.’


It’s a fascinating and strangely beautiful map, and, thanks to the success of the crowdfunding campaign, is now available to buy here.


Scratchy Map


For lovers of both cartography and travelling, the Scratchy Map offers a colorful way to chart your adventures on a map, and offers an alternative to the old ‘stick a pin in it’ trope.

The Scratchy Map is an accurate map of the globe, replete with iconic landmarks, and begins life with a rather dull, grey colour scheme. However, the point of the map is to scratch off the places you have visited to reveal a new, brighter colour, so that the more you travel, the more attractive the map becomes.


Think of a cartographical scratch card, only instead of unveiling symbols for a competition you will never win, you will, in the creator’s words, “capture bright moments of the past.” Another which is already available for purchase, Artem Starostenko’s Scratchy Map can be found here.


Map: The Unscientific Bay Area


A more irreverent take on cartography, The Unscientific Bay Area is the brainchild of creator Sasha Trubetskoy, who aimed to create an ‘honest depiction’ of Bay Area stereotypes.


Much like the Atlas of Prejudice, The Unscientific Bay Area takes a humorous glance at people’s perceptions and, while the location may make it a little niche,  is still a very funny look at Bay Area stereotypes, with entries including ‘Snob Hill’ and ‘No One Really Goes Here.’


Requiring a great deal of research from Sasha, the map paints a picture of residents’ experiences of the different parts of the Bay Area, and is available to donate to here.


Cartography: Make Your Mark on the Map


With a reminder that maps aren’t simply ornaments to hang on walls, Cartography: Make Your Mark on the Map is a board game that requires participants to both create and claim territory, mixing map-making with more traditional, Risk-like rules.


Players make use of the board (well, map), which is made up of interlocking triangular tiles, with walls that divide the map, allowing territory to be defended or captured. The map can be built out by players, adding tiles to create more territory to flex your strategic muscles.


Jon Adams, the creator of Cartography, stresses that the main inspirations for the game’s inception are Go, the traditional territory-claiming game, and his love of maps and map-making. If you’re either a maphead or board game fanatic (and I bet a Venn diagram would show a healthy overlap between the two), Cartography may be just what you’re looking for.


Are there any other map-related crowdfunding projects you’ve donated to? Let us know in the comments below. Alternatively, take a look at this campaign which we’ve previously covered.

Topics: Cartography, Features, Fun Maps