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Thread: Learning the art and science of hand drawn cartography

  1. #1

    Default Learning the art and science of hand drawn cartography

    Hi all,

    I am new to the forum, and have a few questions. First off, I have a BA in Geography, and am an MS student in Geography. That being said, I have not taken any courses solely focused on cartography. Multiple courses have had digital cartography sections, but nothing on manual/hand drawn cartography. Anyways, I am interested in hand drawn cartography. Where is the best place I can go to understand and learn about hand drawn cartography? I want to learn manual cartography, and make some hand drawn maps as a hobby. I am not necessarily interested in being a cartographer as a career, but I am extremely fascinated with making maps, and the history or maps. I look forward to hearing back. I'm excited to learn about making hand drawn maps!

  2. #2


    Well, the absolute best place to start, I think, is with Delgondahntelius' excellent description of his method:

    My next best piece of advice is to look at lots of examples of the kinds of things you'd like to make. There is an excellent sticky thread in the Resources forum here with links to all kinds of historical maps to drool over. The Rumsfeld Collection is of particular note, since it's very deep and features images of decent resolution.

    Some general study of the crafts of manual drafting and graphic design is also a good idea. You don't need to get deep into design, but I think it's helpful to have an understanding of the principles and elements of design, as well as at least a rudimentary understanding of both color theory and typography.

    There are also quite a few resources on general presentation principles that apply equally well to both hand-drawn and digital cartography. I think it was either ravells or RobA who posted a terrific guide to label placement a couple of years ago.

    Of course, as you have specific questions, never hesitate to ask them. There are many people here eager to help, and most of the time the advice is pretty good.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  3. #3
    Guild Member priggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    For ideas, there is a great little older book called Decorative Maps by Heather Child. I also like Principles of Cartography by Erwin Raisz.

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