Maptorian Vector world maps: download editable, layered, royalty free vector maps (AI, EPS, and PDF) Mon, 14 Jan 2019 14:43:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Maptorian 32 32 133853886 Population thematic layers Mon, 14 Jan 2019 14:43:59 +0000 Depending on the type of map you want to create, different levels of detail can be found in Maptorian maps. Today I’m going to briefly comment something about the different thematic layers about cities and populated places that can be found in the more detailed maps of Maptorian. These thematic layers are distributed in five levels but, before describing them, here are two screenshots in which you can see the five layers activated at the same time. (Click on the images to enlarge).

Now, let’s visualize the different thematic layers of the vector maps. We start with a graphic layer that can be used as a base. It is the layer of urban areas. As you can see, when you turn off all other labels and point layers, the urban areas layer appears as a gray shading above the background.

Next, we’ll see what happens when you activate the thematic layers of large cities (as in all these cases, there is a layer for dots indicating the presence of cities and another layer for text labels, all of which are editable).

Maps of the United States also include layers for state capitals (Red squares).

By raising a level, we can activate the layer of cities that gives us the full picture…

And, of course, there are layers dedicated to the capitals of countries, which differ in their typography and their starry symbol.

You can find more details about the complete collection of Maptorian maps here.

Maptorian update: new simple maps Sat, 15 Dec 2018 15:53:48 +0000 Many times I have been asked to create new map templates simpler than the detailed maps already published in Maptorian. From today, a new collection of vector maps is available in Maptorian Full Edition. These are maps in AI format for Illustrator, and also in PDF with thematic and fully editable layers, that are designed to create simple maps for presentations or web. They are available in four different cartographic projections: Mercator, Miller, Robinson and WGS84, and are as easy to use as the rest of Maptorian. The following gallery shows some screenshots of these new vector maps.

Naturally, whoever bought the full version of Maptorian in the last edition of the product, will receive by email an update link at no additional cost.

Google Maps says goodbye to Mercator (but only on certain scales) Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:15:46 +0000 A curious detail is the one that Google Maps discovers in its new update of August 2018 in its desktop version (not so in the mobile version, although everything seems to indicate that the change will also take place in that version soon).

In a district, city, regional or even country scale, there are no differences with previous versions, but when we rise above the earth globe we begin to see the differences. Until now, moving away from the continental scale and beyond, what was shown was a “two-dimensional” map of the world in Mercator projection.

Technically, it was a “Web Mercator” (WM) projection, a variant of the classic one known to all (remember that a cartographic projection consists of a mathematical construction that allows a spherical surface, or a geoid like the terrestrial one, to be represented on the two dimensions of a paper or screen, which is not easy). The deformations introduced by the Mercator projection in these scales, being a projection based on a cylinder tangent to the terrestrial equator, make the polar regions appear very distorted. This is the classic example where Africa appears smaller than the island of Greenland.

However, the projection devised by Gerardus Mercator in 1569 continues to be used since, in order to represent cities or regions, it is very adequate, the calculations necessary to manage it are relatively simple and it is proportional, that is, it distorts the space in both the north-south and east-west axes in order to maintain the forms. Otherwise, representing a square building in the real world would lead us to have to draw it as a rectangle (and so on with any object, which will keep its “real” shape, as well as preserving, for example, angles on roads and the like).

Okay, but when we leave our neighborhood and fly over the world, Mercator reveals a very distorted world to us. Until now it was considered a lesser evil in Google Maps but, following the example of Google Earth, here’s what happens in the new version when we move away (simulating a three-dimensional spherical landscape, fixed matter)…

Google Maps mainly uses the Mercator projection because it allows to preserve the angles. At first, Google Maps did not use this projection, and as a consequence in cities at high latitudes, right angles could not be maintained on roads and the like. That’s why they decided to go to Mercator, because although zooming in on a continental scale introduces distortion, at the level of city maps is much more appropriate.

A map of Atlantis Mon, 04 Jun 2018 09:59:10 +0000 I dare say that, of all the stories about lost continents, lost islands and other geographical myths, one of them stands out above the rest: Atlantis. It is incredible how many articles, books, films and similar products have been created around what, in principle, were just a few simple Plato’s comments. As if it were some kind of madness, since the 18th century many have been searching for the location of the mythical island sunk by the gods in the sea.

There have been so many authors who have believed that Atlantis was in the Sahara, or in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or the Far East, that if a red dot is placed on a map for each of these suggested locations, we will obtain a mosaic of polka dots. Others have focused on what Plato said, letting their imagination run wild and, among them all, it was undoubtedly the map created by Jean-Baptiste Bory of Saint-Vincent that was the most attractive and curious. This French geographer was a tireless explorer and academic, one of the forerunners of modern volcanology and, in addition, a passionate fan of myths. It was this passion that led him to speculate what Atlantis might have been like, as a mythical great island situated “beyond the Pillars of Hercules” (the Straits of Gibraltar).

In 1803 he published a book on the subject in which he included his hypothetical map of Atlantis, undoubtedly the best map on this evanescent subject. In this map, which is reproduced below, the geographer proposed the existence of Atlantis as an continent between the Canary Islands, Madeira, the Azores and Cape Verde, locating in its interior all kinds of mythical places, such as the country of the Amazons.

Atlantis map

California as an island Thu, 31 May 2018 14:12:16 +0000 In some science fiction films there are several visions of the future of California in which this portion of the United States is shown separated from the continent as if it were an island, generally after a great cataclysm in which the San Andreas Fault has much to do with it. However, this hypothetical future has its roots in the past, as California was long thought to be an island.

Map of the island of California, circa 1650.

The island of California, ruled by Queen Calafia, where the fearsome Amazons lived, was an imaginary island that was mentioned in a certain Spanish book published in 1510 under the title of “Las sergas de Esplandián”, as the fifth book of a series that had begun with the famous “Amadís de Gaula”, by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The fact is that when the Spaniards began to explore what is now the Mexican peninsula of Baja California, it occurred to someone to call that new territory California (probably after having read Rodríguez de Montalvo’s fantastic narrative). It is not known who it could have been, but the “joke” ended up naming those lands after them (on the subject it has been published a lot and it is no place to go any further, because there is no agreement on it).

Map of North America showing the island of California, by Nicolas Sanson, 1650.

The influence of the novel, coupled with a poor understanding of what lies further north on the peninsula, caused California to appear as an island for a long time on maps, even into the 18th century. For this reason, it is considered one of the most outstanding cartographic “errors” in history.

Lost Worlds (poster map) Wed, 30 May 2018 08:12:05 +0000 I just completed a new poster map for a Kickstarter project. This time I wanted to shown my passion for ancient maps, lost continents, phantom islands and, of course, mythical creatures.

Thank you all for your support!

An imaginary inland sea in Australia Fri, 04 May 2018 15:09:17 +0000 Alan Day narrates in his book The A to Z of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia the following about a curious map of Australia dating from the early 19th century:

The Friend of Australia [is a book] attributed to a Retired Officer of the Hon. East India Company’s Service, now known to be a Mr. Thomas J. Maslen. The Friend of Australia (1830) combined the principal unexplored inlets and other topographical features round Australia’s coastline (…). Maslen was not shy aboutrecommending named individuals to be entrusted with the exploration of different regions. Should an inland sea be discovered, then Captain Bayfield and Lieutenant Fraser, the surveyors of the Canadian Lakes, should be sent to determine its length, breadth, and course. A fold-out map Sketch of the Coasts of Australia and of the supposed Entrance of the Great River together with accompanying notes, adds much to the book’s interest. Some unfamiliar and speculative geographical names appear…

Australia inland sea

Minimal Geography now available Thu, 03 May 2018 18:34:22 +0000 After a successful campaign in Kickstarter, my cartographic poster “Minimal Geography” is now available in digital edition ready for high quality printing (PDF and TIFF), and also in PSD for Photoshop, with no limitations for printing and/or editing: Further information.

Minimal Geography

Globally change Colors and Text with Adobe Illustrator Sun, 15 Apr 2018 14:35:31 +0000 In vector maps, as in Maptorian, the layers of text labels are usually very numerous. Editing these layers of text labels is very simple, especially if you want to do it in large sets. First we will select in the layers panel the one we want to edit. Once all the objects in that layer are selected, all you have to do is change the options for all the labels at once by simply changing the parameters in the text properties panel. But, why not use the text styles? The next video (really interesting) shows how to edit text using these styles, which are a very useful tool.

Gall-Peters projection Wed, 11 Apr 2018 13:07:13 +0000 The Peters projection (named after Arno Peters), also called the Gall-Peters projection, is a cartographic projection that was first described in 1855 by James Gall. This projection is equivalent, that is to say, it preserves the proportion between the areas of the different zones of the Earth. This is its main difference with the Mercator projection, which preserves the angles but not the areas.

This projection tries to avoid the Eurocentric image of the world, since the Mercator projection gives great space to the lands closest to the poles and therefore makes it seem much larger than they really are in northern Europe, Greenland, Russia and Canada.

I created a vector world map with Gall-Peters projection (using QGIS) and thought about including it in Maptorian. However, I have decided to postpone the incorporation to Maptorian until I clear up some problems with its use. If anyone needs a map with this type of projection, please contact me.