UCB Libraries

Art & Maps

landsat image


Explore the links below to learn more about maps and art. Return to the Map Library main page to search for maps by topic.


  • In the Library
  • Maps as Art (online)
  • Artists (online)


Maps are visual information resources that readily lend themselves to referencing in other visual media, such as traditional art forms like painting and quilting. There is a natural affinity between the graphic qualities of maps and art. There is also a rich metaphorical language of mapping which artists use to express ideas about aspects of our lives (for example, the concepts of "place" or "travel" or "topography"). We have selected a few sites that display evocative artistic uses of map forms and symbolism.


A:shiwi (Zuni) mapping project
"Jim Enote, Zuni Tribal member and Executive Director of the A:shiwi Museum received a grant from National Geographic to help Zuni artists and cultural advisors re-map their lands with their traditional non-western names. They are using these maps to reconnect with their history and culture. Some of these maps are for public eyes, and some are for tribe members eyes only as they contain sacred place names."


Art & Cartography
A blog from the Working Group of the International Cartographic Association.


Cartographic Perspectives : Bulletin of the North American Cartographic Information Society, Winter 2006 no.53

Special issue on art and cartography.


Cutting Edge Maps
From the the cut 'n' paste weblog


Earth as Art (Earth Resources and Observation Science (EROS) Center (USGS))

"A collection of Landsat 7 scenes created for aesthetic purposes rather than scientific interpretation."


Hand Drawn Map Association
"An ongoing archive of user submitted maps and other interesting diagrams created by hand." Includes sbumitted maps and curated collections.



Here are some artists that incorporate cartographic themes:


Lisa Call: Contemporary Quilts
Bold, geometric quilts in part inspired by geologic forms.


Lauren Camp, Fiber Artist

Map Series.


Brian Dettmer
At the Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago. "Dettmer's work creates new relationships and meanings that emerge from the alteration of text and image, through sculptural subtraction and forces the viewer to respond with their own loaded feelings and views." (from the webpage)


William Kentridge: Tapestries
Exhibition in the "Notations" series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (December 12, 2007 - April 6, 2008). "Incisively political and profoundly poetic, William Kentridge's protean artistic investigation continues in his beautiful series of tapestries begun in 2001. The tapestries stem from a series of drawings in which he conjured shadowy figures from ripped construction paper and collaged them onto the web-like background of nineteenth-century atlas maps..."


Geospatial Art by Nikolas R. Schiller
Art using aerial imagery.


Brenda Schwarz-Yeager
Marine artist -- some paintings include maps and charts.


Emily Miah Stewart
Fiber-collaged memory maps


Ruth Watson


Nikki Rosato

Explore the artwork made with handcut road maps.