The story behind Landscape

By company founder Andy Allan

I originally started work on the Landscape map when people were asking for something similar to OpenCycleMap, but without all the cycling-specific information like the bike route highlights and bike parking icons. However, as the project developed, I realised that I wanted to create a map that is just focused on the natural features of the landscape, instead of the urban and man-made features that are the focus of most other maps.

Inspired by traditional cartography

I’m particularly pleased with the way that we show cliffs and scree, using patterns that were inspired by traditional cartography.

Traditional cartography tends to be less abstract than modern maps, instead representing an actual feature.

Scree is shown with what looks like a random pattern of large and small circles, rather than with regular patterns.

Cliffs are shown with a series of squiggly lines, which are like you’re viewing the outline of the edge of the cliff from above. This is in contrast to straight lines with triangles shown on some other modern maps.

Almost imperceptibly, these cartographical choices give your customers a sense of being in the landscape, rather than one-step removed. This is ideal for hikers and adventurers wanting to appreciate and enjoy the natural landscape.

These traditional cartographical patterns, along with the patterns we use for scrubland, fields and orchards have found their way into some of our other maps too.

A map showing valleys in California

Future direction

I’m really excited about developing Landscape to show more features of the natural landscape – perhaps different types of trees and wetland, for example. It’s an unusual map, without man-made features, and there’s so many ways we can innovate.

A map showing lakes and different landuses in Rugen

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