This map is of the Atari 2600 game, Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was drawn circa 1983 by Justin and his brother on computer paper of the time period, green and white striped on one side with perforation holes down the edge. Justin says, "I was in the first grade at the time, and appear not to have been in the habit of recording information in sentences. Information about the game was recorded on the back side in pictorial form. This is the file I've labeled 'notes', which was on the green and white striped side of the paper. I think this is a record of how much items cost to acquire and when to use (and not to use) the grenade, but my memory of the game is a little foggy." view larger image
1983-00-00 : Fictional Location : Justin Bastow
These fictional maps are by Kowalsky, an amateur cartographer from Poland.
2011-06-06 : Fictional Locations : Kowalsky
Ishkabibel is an imaginary place where author Marry Morris and her cousin inhabited when they were very young. Here is a recent rendition.
2011-05-21 : Fictional Location : Marry Morris
Marilyn Murphy sent this great map along with the following email: "This is somewhat of a self portrait. When my grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ireland, the term 'murphies' was slang for potatoes, a common Irish name as well as a staple in the immigrants diet. If I had ancestors who were artists, I like to imagine that perhaps they worked on the creation of Celtic illuminated manuscripts. In this drawing, I laid out an imaginary neighborhood inspired by images in the Book of Durrow. I have also included my home state of Oklahoma in the upper right hand corner." Check out more of Marilyn's work on her website: marilynmurphy.com.
2011-03-19 : Fictional Location (Ireland) : Marilyn Murphy
Like all good objects in the HDMA collection, there is a reason for considering the map beyond simple geographic navigation - the value is often the story behind the piece of paper. Here, a collaboration between Mark and his son, Brian, reveals a quick glimpse at the dynamics of a father/son relationship. Mark explains, "Brian and his wife were here over Christmas and sorting through stuff in his old room. They came across a book he and I made together when he was five and in his first 'pirate' phase. He loved hearing about pirates and we started with the Classics Illustrated comic series reading 'Treasure Island' and 'Kidnapped.' That year I also found a used copy of Howard Pyle's 'Book of the Pirates,' which I gave him for Christmas. He poured over those illustrations as well as the work of N.C. Wyeth and others. It was fun to page through the booklet which featured sections on 'Pirate Weapons,' 'Walking the Plank,' and other important aspects of pirate life. Of course no pirate book is complete without a treasure map, so that was my contribution on the back cover. At this point Brian's art skills have far outpaced mine and he currently teaches art in Oregon, but its fun to see where it all started. Brian's contribution to the map (besides the continuation of the waves from the front cover) is the green creature on the island. I think it's a parrot but Brian maintains it's a dragon, 'Dad, you always need a dragon in pirate stories...,' so who am I to question the artist."
2011-01-01 : Fictional Location : Mark Cook (and Brian Cook)
Marjolein, an artist from the Netherlands, sent us two maps of fictional worlds. The map shown above depicts a mountainous mainland with smaller islands. Marjolein explains that because many of the destinations in this region are on the peaks, the inhabitants have constructed huge sky bridges to cross the water. The red lines represent traffic. The wider the circle, the more people travel on that route. The red island is one of the most important places in the country as it is particularly flat in comparison to the surrounding area. This has made it an important harbor for ships from other countries. A second map of a mountainous region is included as well. Here Marjolein has used lines to indicate the peaks one would see when standing on top of a given mountain.
2009-00-00 : Unknown Fictional Location : Marjolein Hameleers
Ellen told us that while drawing this map she wanted to recreate the feeling she remembered as a child perusing books while letting her imagination run wild. She writes, "I recall spending hours admiring each page and trying to absorb every little detail of the illustrations...No part of the map is to be taken seriously, it's just a whimsical and imaginative place."
2010-08-30 : Fictional : Ellen Hoffman
Amanda created this map inspired by the music of Sigur Ros. She writes, "We could drink spinach berry smoothies and listen to fantastic music all day. The band originates from Iceland, it may be a little too cold for me there. Thus, Smaskeyti was born! Using titles from their songs, I have created a beautiful fantasy world."
2010-08-19 : Fictional location : Amanda Sagan
Kowalsky, an amateur cartographer from Poland, sent us this map of a fictional location. He told us it took four hours to complete. He also told us that this name is Grzegorz, but his friends call him either Kowalsky or Two Tomahawks.
2010-05-29 : Fictional Location : Kowalsky
Brian sent us this map he drew for a series of role-playing games. The imaginary world exists in a Renaissance-inspired era.
2001-00-00 : Fictional Location : Brian Minter
Sergi, an amatuer cartographer from Catalonia sent us these great sketches of some of his works in-progress.
2010-03-29 : Fictional Location : Sergi Sedó
Michael sent this map documenting the world of The Seems. The Seems is a fictional world Wexler and his friend, John Hulme discovered when opening a door in Wilmington, North Carolina. They found the world so fascinating that they were compelled to write a series of well-received children's books of the same name. For more about The Seems visit theseems.com or check out the first book, The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep on Amazon. Update: Michael recently let us know that the map was drawn by illustrator, Gideon Kendall.
2010-05-25 : Fictional Location : Michael Wexler
Wythe's map "details the interior of our planet, which is full of magic and dinosaurs and other assorted ill adventure."
2010-05-21 : Fictional map of the Earth : Wythe Marschall
Steve sent us this map he drew for a text adventure game sometime in the early 1980's. At this point, he can't tell from the map what game it was, but wanted to share it with us as he recently found it while going through some old papers.
1982-00-00 : Undisclosed location : Steve Lawson
Alison drew this imaginary map in which all of the features of the map are named for real places in the United States. She told us, "I work so hard to come up with new unique names for imaginary places, and I thought it was fascinating how many 'fantasy' names are actually in use in reality...this map has led to another project in progress - a map of the actual US for foodies, featuring places named for food."
2009-05-29 : Terra Verita Magica : Alison Murray Whittington
This map was sent to us with the following description: "This is the United City of Saint Jerome...a tad bit dated since the West Mersey Parkway has been completed (2007). With 15.8 million people, it's not for the faint at heart...lol...I started drawing this map on the Red Line in D.C. on my way home from work back in 2005. Unfortunately, the contributor didn't share his or her name. If you drew this map and didn't intend to be anonymous, please let us know.
2009-11-25 : United City of Saint Jerome : Anonymous
Alex sent us this map he created while playing Zork, an early form of Interactive Fiction. The drawing is part of an exhibition of maps organized by Tim Hutchings whose gaming map archive was featured in our first curated collection.
2009-11-04 : Zork : Alex Myers
Will recently shared with us this map he found while looking through an old sketchbook. He drew the map of an island as a way to pass time in some of his less-than-exciting college classes and later added color to it using gouache.
2008-03-00 : Unspecified Fictional Location : Will Haughery
Eeyar's map includes a detailed look at the islands just off the coast of Candycorn Peninsula. The various islands in the Sorry Sea include cities such as Susan, Beth, Gertrude and Larynx. You can see another one of Eeyar's maps in our 2009 contest winners collection.
2009-10-20 : Candycorn Peninsula : Eeyar Yawns
Ben sent us this map along with the following description: "My name is Ben Pham, I am in year 10 and currently attending Emmanuel College in Altona North. I am 14 years old and am turning 15 in April. I was born in Australia. My background is Vietnamese. The reason I drew this is because of my interest in medieval themes and culture."
2009-04-00 : Fictional Location : Ben Pham
A second map sent to us by Claudia Priori's Visual Communications class at Emmanuel College in Melbourne, Australia.
"My name is Terry Huynh and I am 14 years old. I am from a Vietnamese background but I was born in Melbourne, Australia. I am passionate about drawing and have chosen to draw this map which was inspired by the Lord of the Rings. Some of the place names are completely made up and some are the names of my friends."
2009-04-00 : Fictional Location : Terry Huynh
Claudia Priori, a Visual Communications teacher at Emmanuel College in Melbourne, Australia sent us a collection of maps that she had her students draw. The students are in year 10 which makes them around 14-16 years old. On this site, we're sharing three of the maps her class sent us. We found all of the maps quite fascinating, but some of them were too large to fit on our scanner. The remaining maps have been photographed and uploaded to our tumblog, Unidentified Maps, at hdma.tumblr.com.
Tuan submitted a map of a fictional place. He writes, "My map is an idea and a game that I have seen and played which is set in the medieval times. The names of the places that I chose to put on the map are names of my friends and things that I have made up...At first I chose to do a modern day map which is a map of how I get to school. Then I chose to do something that was made up of continents. But that failed. At last I did a medieval period time map...I put coffee on it to make it look old and like something that would actually come from the medieval times."
2009-04-00 : Fictional Location : Tuan
Joseph created this map for Owen as a genealogical map, a re-contextualized family tree. The "O" represents Owen's father's father's side, the "W" his father's mother's side, and so on. Joseph writes, "The idea of a genealogical map springs from wanting to express a sense of home for a child. Anyone who has been to a family gathering knows that the image of a tree and it's straight lines fails to show where one really comes from. Whereas a map, with it's seemingly endless details, and the possibility to zigzag between an infinity of locations, is somewhat closer to giving a clear picture of that complex familial mess each individual is the product of." While working on the map, Joseph realized Owen upside down spells out Nemo. He built on this idea, creating a mirror map for the famously sleeping child, Nemo, from Winsor McKay's comic strip Little Nemo that ran in the New York Herald in the early part of the 20th century. Locations from the comic strip are indicated in red, visible when holding the map upside down.
2009-10-04 : Fictional Location : Joseph Chernila
Gonzalo created this map for his son's birthday party. The maps was painted on plywood and cut into six pieces for a treasure hunt. Gonzalo told us that everyone had a great time looking for the different pieces of the map and eventually discovering the treasure.
Text on the map reads:
If my treasure you seek to find
you shall leave your fears behind
for the path is full of danger
trust nobody, friend or stranger.
A thousand teeth you'll have to fight
and then the shore will be on sight
the sand might move under your feet
to move along you'll have to fleet.
You'll find yourself in darkest night
but at the end you'll see the light,
I'll wait for you at the other side
and there will be no place to hide.
Aim high and try your best,
and when you do, you'll find the chest!
2009-00-00 : Skull Island : Gonzalo Hernandez
Scott sent this map to the HDMA with the following note: "Been meaning to send you a map for awhile...I saw handmaps.org posted on Coudal again - so here it is...not sure if this fits your parameters as it is completely fictional but I have been making these for awhile as cards for people." Thanks Scott. We gladly accept maps of real places as well as imaginary places we can never go visit.
2009-03-00 : Unspecified Fictional Location : Scott
Thomas likes to draw maps when he is bored. The maps aren't of any specific place or location, but rather they are executed in a very automatic way through imagining the city developing over time. Thomas writes, "When I am drawing the map evolves. This is when I am telling a story with it. For instance this village is started as a small group of farm houses next to the river. After several imaginative ages, it becomes a village with all its surrounding infrastructure. The blocks are houses or buildings. The white space is either free or road. This map is just one of thousands I have made over the years. Mostly they land in the garbage, but sometimes I keep one for no special reason."
2008-00-00 : Firda, Quezqual : Thomas from Rotterdam
Marcin, a historical cartographer from Poland, sent us this amazing map he made as a child (around 12-14 years old). It's a fantasy composition with non existent places. Marcin describes the shape of the country as similar to the southern Chile coast or the coast of Norway. The place names are all imaginary (a'la French) and the descriptions are written in Polish.
1988-00-00 : Wyspy Idaique : Marcin Siehankiewicz
George drew this map while attending Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India for a year of study in 1969. He writes, "The archipelago is imaginal, having been developed as a fantasy while mowing a rather large yard growing up In Iowa City, Iowa. (I was growing and so was the lawn). It was my fantasy that I was one of the exploited workers on a plantation on the island of Lospania, and was planning to revolt. (This was probably around 1962-63). Over the years the island chain expanded becoming the archipelago. (Was Ricardo Montalban on Fantasy Island at that time)? I never developed a full history of the islands, obviously some family named Talor played a part. (That probably came from Jim Taylor of the Green Bay Packers, but I didn't know how the name was spelled). My father being a geographer undoubtedly contributed to the cartographic nature of this fantasy, but I also wrote poetry in the Montablan language during that year in India, influenced I'm sure by other aspects of Indian culture."
1969-00-00 : Montablan : George F. (Jeff) Kohn
David created this map for his GURPS (Generic Universal RolePlaying System) campaign showing part of the coastline of the country of Tanaloth. At the HDMA, we are admittedly not very familiar with role playing games, but know some of you are. We are particularly fond of the detail in this map and attracted to the obsessively detailed nature of role playing games in general. We went to these two places to find out more information.Tanaloth web pages
2008-00-00 : Tanaloth : David Donachie
Tony draws maps for small press independent role-playing games. This map submission is his loving homage to the many Dungeons & Dragons maps he drew as a kid.
2008-05-26 : Fictional location : Tony Dowler
Quastolia is an imaginary place created by Jamie McQuinn. Quastolia started out as a country for ants. The drawings were based initially on his backyard and then eventually the town he lived in. On his blog, Jamie tells of many stories about Quastolia. My favorite is his story about how in 9th grade his teacher approved him to do a report on his imaginary country for a class project. He completed a 19 page paper outlining all of the details including voting process, military structure, and major religions. His teacher really enjoyed the report writing, "What can I say! After 16 years of teaching, this is the first time I have ever read anything so creative and different. You gave it considerable thought. Would like you to explain this to class?" Jamie responded by writing, "No way!" deciding it might not be a good idea to stand in front of his 9th grade class explaining his country for ants. I personally like that, as an adult, he is perfectly happy blogging about it though. See Jamie's blog for more information.
: Quastolia : Jamie McQuinn