I have just finished several maps for Whitehall Shop, and though I am not trained in formal cartography, I sure have put together a fair share of maps. Cutting each border, identifying each island, deciding on what to include/exclude, it all makes for a much more interesting project than I had originally bargained for.
|Canada - Shop Now|
For example, Canada has an extra province since I last had to remember them in school (Nunavut, founded 1999), and has so, so many islands (with such sparse population way up north). The cartographer had to make tough decisions (okay...it was me). Like, if the island was too small for me to hold with tweezers while cutting around the border, it was deemed too small to include. I do hope that I haven't offended any residents on Milne Island, though I don't think Sea Lions care much about art prints.
|Australia - Shop Now|
|Germany - Shop Now|
Germany has states that are completely surrounded by other states, like Bremen and Berlin (yes, Berlin is a state, and not just a city). Also, Freistaat Bayern is what the Germans call Bavaria. Good to know if you are trying to locate where your ancestors came from and swear up and down that it is on the boarder with Austria, but you don't see it because all you see is this place called Bayern, and you get so frustrated, and then you are about to pull out the genealogy book becasue you don't see Bavaria anywhere on this map and...oh, wait, this map is in German.
Other times I find answers to questions I didn't realize I had. For example, I remember from my college course on Mexican history that people always arrive by sea to attack Mexico in Veracruz. All we ever heard was Veracruz, Veracruz, Veracruz. Well, duh, the state of Veracruz takes up the largest section of the Gulf border of Mexico (and the section of Gulf nearest the capital city). Unless armies wanted to burn up in the desert of northern Mexico, or slash their way through a hundred extra miles of south Mexico's dense vegetation on their way to conquering the capital, Veracruz was a no-brainer. (Of course, like most college students, I didn't bother looking at a map to understand what the professor was talking about at the time. Lesson learned.)
|Mexico - Shop Now|
Maps are wonderful tools to help tell the stories of history, but they are also so insteresting all on their own. I love to see these maps completed, but almost miss the discovery that comes with making them. The good news is, I have only scratched the surface.
What maps would you like to see in the sections of Whitehall Shop? I am thinking that some historical maps might be in order.