The graphic design warlocks at Stamen Design have come up with another awesome production that demonstrates how cartography really can be a gorgeous work of art. Using this map of London’s Kerning as inspiration, the studio conjured up several different map tiles using OpenStreetMap that sport minimalist designs of cities throughout the world. Some of them depict only the names, which recalls the borderless Maps Without Maps, while others depict the exact opposite and only display the veiny network of streets without labels. Below is a street-less map of Soho in London.
The map of London without labels has taken on an aesthetic that recalls De Stijl painter Piet Mondrian‘s compositions of black and white grids, only these maps are missing the requisite red or yellow squares (although I’m sure if a developer really wanted to make a Mondrian-style map, that wouldn’t be too hard with these tiles). Below is the same neighborhood in London as seen in the previous map.
Here’s another map Stamen created of Chicago that’s a lot less graphic than the other two. This map reminds me of why I love flying over Chicago because, as you can see, Chicago is one of these brilliantly designed cities in how it’s expertly compartmentalized into a lattice of perfect squares.
Hop over to Stamen Design where you can see more maps and actually interact with the map tiles to see how your town looks when rendered to appear like a piece of 20th century abstract art.[Via Stamen Design.]