Have you had the opportunity to view a hand drawn panoramic map with childlike caricatures and spectacular landscape graphics? Panoramic maps are generally not drawn according to strict scale to be able to highlight street patterns, buildings, landmarks and major features in the landscape. Aside from being informative, panoramic maps are more attractive than traditional road maps.
There are nearly 10 million square miles of prairies, forests, mountain ranges, taigas and deserts and 40,000 miles of convoluted coastline in North America. It is huge and lively with so much detail that will be challenging to any cartographer. However, Melbourne-based Anton Thomas was able to draw North America by hand. Anton Thomas used a pen and about 24 colored pencils for 4 years and 9 months and completed his final product that spanned 20 square feet in February 2019.
Anton Thomas is a freelance cartographer who tours the world to exhibit the North America map that is filled with all sorts of landmarks, fauna and flights of fancy. The map is a stunning reminder of how much can be accomplished with skills, imagination and hard work.
According to Anton Thomas, map making is a combination of technical execution and research. Although it is not an exact split, the two aspects are intertwined. The reason why panoramic maps work is because the world is very interesting with plenty of real content. He believes that places must be drawn with respect and patience because the map represents a real world with real people and places that are part of what people are.
The North America map has so much detail but Thomas relied on people’s feedback to provide the geographic vision. People will tell whether something is right or wrong about their state. However, with so much information, rules and guidelines must be created around the map.
When a town or city is represented by hand drawn panoramic maps, it delivers more than just geographical information. It provides a visitor with a realistic feeling of the place because of the technique used. The artist uses a combination of skills, creativity and information to show a moment in time as it looks from above.