I’m a big fan of science fiction and computer games, so I couldn’t resist making a space themed map this month. I crammed it full of bright lights and chrome like some of my favorite post-apocalyptic worlds: the Matrix, Battlestar Galactica, and Starcraft.
My favorite part about making this map was adding oversized markers for stores, parks, and other points of interest to simulate city lights. I lowered the contrast for landmasses and buildings to highlight the lights and the galaxy ‘ocean’.
I took advantage of TileMill’s extensive text customization to change the names of all major cities into space colonies. I also removed all of the water labels, since they distracted from the illusion of floating in space.
To add depth to the map I made custom textures for all road, building, and ocean edges. I used Lost and Taken’s free textures to build pseudo-3D edges and steel plates. And just for fun, if you look for our Mapbox DC office you’ll find a spaceship :)
I also made fake grid lines by outlining forests and other land types that are normally left hidden.
Paris is probably my favorite city to look at while designing maps. I love all of the large round plazas and intricate buildings all over the city.