The Best Paper Map of the United States

Mapmaker David Imus spent 2 years creating the best 3x4-foot paper wall map you'll ever see.
January 8, 2012, 11am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"David Imus worked alone on his map seven days a week for two full years. Nearly 6,000 hours in total... But Imus-a 35-year veteran of cartography who's designed every kind of map for every kind of client-did it all by himself. He used a computer (not a pencil and paper), but absolutely nothing was left to computer-assisted happenstance. Imus spent eons tweaking label positions. Slaving over font types, kerning, letter thicknesses. Scrutinizing levels of blackness. It's the kind of personal cartographic touch you might only find these days on the hand-illustrated ski-trail maps available at posh mountain resorts," writes Seth Stevenson.

"A few of his more significant design decisions: Your standard wall map will often paint the U.S. states different colors so their shapes are easily grasped. But Imus' map uses thick lines to indicate state borders and reserves the color for more important purposes-green for denser forestation, yellow for population centers. Instead of hypsometric tinting (darker colors for lower elevations, lighter colors for higher altitudes), Imus uses relief shading for a more natural portrait of U.S. terrain."

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Published on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Slate
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