I made a woodcut-inspired, textured map to showcase the complexity of urban streets. The map was created in TileMill 2 using different wooden textures for everything from parking lots and hospitals to wetlands and forests.
A close-up look at Tokyo, Japan.
I also added custom wooden placards behind every country name and wooden stars to mark major cities around the world.
To make the placards for each country, I first made several copies of the image in different sizes. Then I sorted the country names by length in Java so that long names like “The Dominican Republic” were in a different category from shorter names like “Peru.”
Sorting the names made it easy to assign different placard images at each zoom level. When the map zooms out far enough those country names are abbreviated to two letters and the placards change size to better fit the shorter name length.