Illustrated Maps

Traditional Street Maps in 2D Dimension.

Aerial 2D map illustration While bird’s eye view illustrated maps are certainly beautiful and functional, finding specific locations, understanding directions and giving concise instructions is often easier using a traditional 2-dimensional illustrated map. In a 3-dimensional bird’s-eye view illustrated map, some of the larger elements of the illustration may obscure smaller ones, making them less functional than a less complex 2D version of the same area.

Three-dimensional illustrated maps are excellent for navigating by landmark and understanding the visual nature of an area, more analytical users will general prefer the grid-style map that lays out blocks and streets without adding the elements of height and dimension. By offering both versions of a particular map, you’ll be sure to appeal to all sorts of users and please the broadest audience possible.

Our maps – both 3D and 2D illustrated versions – are created as digital files. This makes it simple to adapt the formats to any use including printed materials, electronic versions or even fully interactive functions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How are Street and Grid-View maps created?

When a client requests a 2D map, we discuss the ultimate goal and deliverable first before starting on the creation. As we’re charged with creating both a matching view of the street in a 3D product and a grid map as well. To best accommodate this, we choose an angle to approach the creation and start to lay out the viewpoint and building footprints.

Using digital technology, we create a vector or bitmap illustrations as the base for the map. This can become a fully illustrative map, or it may remain a 2D rendering of the location. Approaching the map design in this way allows us to show clients the difference and the possibilities presented with both styles of maps.

Will Illustrative Maps create a 2D map without the fully Illustrative 3D Map?

The short answer to this question is no. A gridline map is not as complex as a fully illustrative version. If you simply need a survey style map, a graphic artist or cartographer will likely make a fine product. Illustrative Maps specializes in creating the full 3D version of a location including building footprints, sidewalks, parking accommodations and a full range of other details.

The 2D maps discussed here are simply products of the 3D design process. The 2D maps are starting points for the fully map illustrations project without the 3D map concept fully realized.

Clients seeking a grid map are also generally seeking a precise vision of distance and space. Illustrative maps require adjustments and artistic liberties to design to create not just a map, but a work of art in a more user-friendly design. This means that even as a 2D map, our maps may not represent the precise dimensions and measurements of a building as we create a visual reference that is not only useful, but aesthetically pleasing as well.