You get what you pay for: Very Expensive Maps is a podcast by cartographer Evan Applegate in which he interviews better cartographers.
Remember: you can, and should, make your own maps.
Anyone I should talk to? Let me know below or via veryexpensivemaps at gmail dot com
Episode 9: Aurélien Boyer-Moraes
Lisbon transit cartographer and designer Aurélien Boyer-Moraes talks learning to use a computer at 19, creating his first 3x4 ft. transit map of an imagined Brazilian city after reading Jacques Bertin’s Semiology of Graphics cover-to-cover, preempting Google Street View in Lyon with his 6x6 Seagull camera, ten years of designing transit maps for French cities with Attoma, and his heavily-annotated collection of 2,100 transit and city maps (which he might let you see someday.)
Indented below are Aurélien’s notes on my notes (he is, as you can imagine, a precise man).
Episode 8: Bill Marsh
Philadelphia cartographer and New York Times graphics editor Bill Marsh describes his 30-year project to map his adopted city, getting the Philadelphia Inquirer to chopper a photographer over the city on his behalf, his collection of hyper-dense axonometric maps, and the bygone days of hand-inked editorial graphics (an early project: mapping the nuclear annihilation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.)
Episode 7: Travis Folk
Travis Folk, Green Pond wildlife biologist and map designer for New World Cartography discusses working with artist Tony Waters, radio-tracking northern bobwhites (quail) under the pines of the Conecuh National Forest, memorializing Aldo the Llewellin Setter on a map of game birds, and agreeing to a 9x14-ft project before knowing exactly how to uh, install a 9x14-ft project (it turned out great).
Episode 6: Alex McPhee
Val Marie independent cartographer Alex McPhee describes teaching himself to make enormous reference maps, his pre-mapping road trips, rural Saskatchewanians’ surprise in finding every train station on his provincial map (they didn’t believe him), how cartographers need to observe people interacting with their maps, and how nothing sells huge paper maps like a radio interview.
Episode 5: Kate Tarling
Bristol textile artist and mapmaker Kate Tarling talks freehand machine embroidering coastlines onto lampshades, her preference for silk paints (despite the hassle), color inspiration from her garden, and how she does most of her sketching in her head during dog walks.
Episode 4: Sara Drake
Fremantle mapmaker, artist and illustrator Sara Drake on her first globe, her two-year wait list, the challenge of photographing her ultra-detailed 3D maps, and adding to a piece until “someone physically wrestles it out of [her] hands.”
Map artists she likes:
Episode 3: Mike Hall
British illustrator and cartographer Mike Hall talks early mapping projects of his native Harlow, his favorite map aesthetic, the relaxing practice of coastline-tracing and how he will type and place 1,500 labels but will not make a “Where's Wally?” map.
Episode 2: Anna Eshelman
Oregon cartographic designer, illustrator and production artist Anna Eshelman talks sketching Mt. Rainier while pulling 26-mile days on the Wonderland Trail, why she begins her illustrations with a blunt pencil, and the enormous manual shaded relief she’d finish if she had any time.
Episode 1: Alex Hotchin
Australian cartographer and illustrator Alex Hotchin talks about cycling from Scotland to Cambodia sans GPS and “a career drawing how beautiful the world can be.”
Interviews recorded with Cleanfeed or Ennui Castr or, if I need to use an actual phone call, Google Voice/WhatsApp + Audio Hijack (vidcalls delenda est), edited with Audacity, hosted with Spotify for Podcasters, audio sometimes cleaned up with Adobe Podcast, I do not recommend this mic. Site designed with Dorik which I like because it’s fast.
Evan Applegate, I’ve mapped for twelve years, you’ll see my work in National Geographic, Manhattan lobbies, at the fête next to the funnel cake. Anyone can make a map and everyone should try their hand.