With the hustle and bustle of everyday life getting in the way, it can be easy to forget how vast the earth is. This is where maps come into play as they remind us of how diverse and beautiful our planet is while also providing their own aesthetic pleasure.

Although there seems to be a historic explorer interior trend emerging, the beauty of maps is definitely a timeless staple for any home. Take a look at the Parrot Print guide to incorporating maps into your next photo canvas in your home – the results could be incredible!

Map enthusiasts

Those who greatly admire maps are sometimes referred to as cartophiles, happy to spend hours poring over the smallest of details of each map in their possession. The creation of a map is seen as an art form, with each one telling a story of the area it depicts as well as giving an insight into the time it was created too.

There is a high regard given to cartographers (the profession of drawing maps) as is shown in the BBC series from a few years ago, The Beauty of Maps. There are also several versions of the world map showing greatly varying representations of the size of different countries and continents. The map most widely used is the Mercator map but then there is the Gall-Peters equal projection map, which shows how huge some areas of the globe actually are.

Historic explorer

An interiors trend that is picking up the pace is the historic explorer one. Think antique colour palettes, globes, historical floral and lace patterns, an upcycled suitcase and lots of old books scattered around. You’ll need a weathered looking desk filled with old maps and magnifying glasses too.

There are several ways to incorporate this trend subtly into your home but if you are mad for anything map-related then go to town with it! There’s plenty of interior inspiration out there to get your creative juices flowing.

Getting started

If you would like to photograph maps for your image collection, then you need to be aware of copyright laws surrounding this. The map is an artist’s work so will need to be cited as so, permission will need to be obtained or check to see if the map is classed as copyright-free. Recently, National Geographic created a section of its site allowing free downloads of USA geographical surveys (not to be used for commercial use). Here, you can find any 7.5 minute topography (topo) in the continental USA for downloading and printing. Each topo has been pre-processed to print on a standard home, letter size printer.

Find out more about the explorer interiors trend in our recent post about trends this autumn, or take a look at the Parrot Print guide to essential travel photography accessories if seeing maps of the world has sparked your imagination for exploration!