New Platinum Age of Maps

Plotting the landscape of digital information

 For this street map of the United States, pink shades represent roads that were mapped recently by OpenStreetMap users; bluer shades represent roads that were mapped years ago. OpenStreetMap

For this street map of the United States, pink shades represent roads that were mapped recently by OpenStreetMap users; bluer shades represent roads that were mapped years ago.

The 17th Century, particularly in The Netherlands, is considered the Golden Age of maps. The Dutch were spanning the globe for trade and their maps and atlases became lavish and colorful works of art depicting mysterious worlds encountered by explorers.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and with the ubiquity of GPS devices, navigational maps have more or less gone the way of the horse and buggy. But maps themselves are seeing a renaissance as the landscape of digital information needs plotting.

Andy Woodruff, a cartographer with Axis Maps, primarily makes Web-based, interactive maps, much like the ones found on his website Bostonography says we’re experiencing a boom thanks to revolutionary advances in digital mapping tools and software.

“Technology has allowed people to see what people like us always knew: that geography is endlessly fascinating and hugely important in our lives,” Woodruff told Discovery News.

There’s nothing quite like poring over a great map, so click through our collection and get a glimpse of how today’s digital cartographers are indeed ‘pushing it further.’

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