Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration

GeoHipster’s Geo Merch List

November 30th, 2015

Not sure what geo related merchandise to get your map obsessed loved-one for the holidays? Check out the 2016 GeoHipster Holiday Gift Guide, presented as a top 10 list, culminating of course with their GeoHipster 2016 calendar.

Recognize the map on the October page of the GeoHipster calendar? It’s my Ye Olde Pubs of London’s Square Mile map. I’m thrilled to have a map in the calendar again this year! If you buy the calendar remember to select January 2016 as the starting month.


New Notes and GIS Coffee!

October 19th, 2015

I was just updating my company website and realized I could copy and paste the “recent activities” section on this blog and expand on the GIS Coffee bullet too. So here goes:

We are:

  • in the throes of writing QGIS Map Design, a book that’s due out in 2016. This immersive experience is giving us all kinds of fun while we use SourceTree, Git, and LaTeX in a new kind of continuous-build book writing process. This is not the way traditional publishers do it!
  • buying coffee over at This was just announced today so it’s very recent. I bought The Experience and can’t wait for it to get here, though I noticed that they really aren’t shipping until Dec. I’m a bit confused about shipping and how this all works so I have some questions out to the owners of the site. Once I hear back I’ll probably write up a longer post. If you decide to buy now, remember to use the coupon code QMD at checkout for 10% off.
  • continuing to support the Hood Canal Coordinating Council (See our NOAA CCAP map here!) and will even be doing some d3 for them in Nov/Dec 2015.

We were recently:

  • keynoting the Manitoba GIS User Group Fall Conference on October 7, 2015. Check out the slides.
  • collaborating with Bright Rain Solutions and Mangrove Services to create interactive d3 charts for an NGO. See this in action here.

More Mark Twain, on His Paris Map

July 17th, 2015

I previously wrote about Mark Twain’s Paris Map but I don’t believe I had come across this particular account of it in his autobiography at the time. I’ve been re-reading the autobiography lately and when I read the bit shown below I figured I should pass it along. It sets up the reasons why he made the map–in a fit of creativity resulting from the somberness of having just taken care of two people who ultimately died–and also goes into what he (imagines?) the map’s effects were on those who saw it.




It seems as though Twain forgot to mention in this part of his autobiography the fact that the map had been printed in reverse. Elsewhere he says:

By an unimportant oversight I have engraved the map so that it reads wrong end first, except to left-handed people.




Tweeting at #gistribe today

July 15th, 2015

Edited to add: Hey if you missed out on all the color-theory, cartography tips, map examples, and mapions (map + minion) then head over to @wildlifegisgirl’s storify to see all the tweets for the #gistribe chat in one place! I was honored to be asked to be a featured guest for the chat and had a lot of fun. Thanks everyone!


The #gistribe people asked me to speak on cartography today at 12:00 PT. These typically run about one hour. Follow along with us on twitter and be sure to ask a few questions and post some of your favorite map techniques.

Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration