Space Station Earth

February 27 2014 by Eleanor Lutz

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.

Link to the fullscreen map

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.

I had a lot of fun making this and playing with textures. Explore the fullscreen map and let us know what you think about the finished map!