What are pictorial maps? It is another category of maps that is known in other names such as Geopictorial maps, panoramic maps, bird’s eye view maps, perspective maps and illustrated maps. The difference between pictorial maps and the usual road maps or Atlas we knew is that it illustrates a certain area in a more artistic approach rather than technicality. The drawings can be presented using a landscape with three dimensional perspectives or it can be very simple with graphic elements that symbolize people, animals and buildings within it.
These pictorial maps are being made since a century ago by a team of artists who specialize in the field. There is diverse art involved in the process and artworks made are either as simple as a placemat used in eateries or arts displayed on museums nowadays.
The most conventional way of portraying a pictorial map is usually by designing a territory from an unusual angle viewed from above. It is not in the characteristic of illustrated maps to be drawn according to scale and does not follow the usual street patterns indicated. The buildings as well as the landscapes on the map are usually drawn depending on the artist’s perspective. In contrast to the usual maps purchased where everything is drawn in scale in order to determine the approximate distance of places from one point to another, pictorial maps focuses more on an area’s landmarks and uses diverse scaling in order for the viewer to appreciate the more important parts or establishments in an area.
Throughout history, it has been proven that pictorial maps are mostly used for various reasons and not just for direction or to pinpoint landmarks. Most pictorial maps are used to showcase a country’s cuisine, the tourist attractions in a city or the history of a certain place. Nowadays, in a more modern setting, these pictorials maps are either hand drawn by artists or created using various computer software of the modern age. Depending on the artist’s point of view and style, illustrated maps can vary greatly from one drawn as if from a cartoon or an artwork with more detail and focus.