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Map Portfolios

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What's the point of having a blog, if I don't blog, right?

And so this is how I came about posting, again, after a rather long absence, here. Ah, nothing quite like good intentions, eh? Why, I'll just create a blog on this Cartographers' Guild site, and begin blogging away. Just. like. That.


Today, I thought that I might dip my toes in the cartographic waters, again. Knowing what to actually blog about can be a bit mystifying. Why write it? Who'll read it? Is there really any point to it, once you get right down to it? Honestly, I don't know, but let's give it a try and find out.

As I began stretching my legs and my fingers in this site, recently, I've also ended up taking quite a few unplanned trips beyond this site and its lovely forum. The destinations have invariably proven to be off-site portfolios of cartographic and other artistic talents. For the present moment, though, let me focus only on the maps that my nose has rummaged around in. fair enough?

To be certain, there's a plethora and then some of maps and map portfolios out there, in the Great Internet of Beyond. Some invariably prove themselves to be better oasis than others of their ilk. The whole point of an online portfolio, it would seem, is to display one's artistic and cartographic handiwork. Yet, all map portfolios are definitely not equal.

When a visitor to your online map portfolio(s) winds their digital way to your digital portfolio abode, are they able to zoom in on the maps that you have chosen to display as your artistic prides and joys?

If you have a multitude of maps on display, can one quickly transit through them by pressing the left or right arrow keys on their keyboard?

Or must one click on one of your maps, and then exit the tab or window, before loading another of your maps in their web browser for viewing?

You might be surprised, but quite a few online map portfolios on the Internet turn out to be tedious to use (which encourages clicking off the site, entirely), and more than you might imagine limit the viewing experience to an underwhelming non-zoomed-in disappointment.

Personally, I don't want to just view a "normal size" copy of your map. Rather, I want to zoom in on it, and scroll around on it, partaking of the visual deliciousness of it. Whenever the visit to an online map portfolio robs me of my reason for visiting it in the first place, I just shake my head and click it off. "What's the point in bothering, I wonder to myself?"

And what about those big, bulky watermarks? Oh, don't get me started on those. Yes, I do understand why artists and cartographers make use of such things, but to think that they don't tarnish the viewing experience for those who seek to just appreciate the beauty and artistry of what you have created strains credulity. True, not everyone can be trusted - and equally true, neither can all map portfolios.

To each their own, as the old saying goes. Should you consider putting up an online map portfolio going forward, or should you ever find yourself considering a revamp of your existing online map portfolio, I hope that you will gear the end viewing experience more to the site visitor, by keeping these comments in mind.

Thanks, and happy mapping!
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Map Portfolio


  1. Ink_alpinist's Avatar
    I got myself thinking about the same issue today!

    Of course after going through a portfolio that wouldn't allow me to walk the roads of those delicious maps! Blocked to enter its castles, climb its mountains or swim its rivers...
    Dissapointment. I mean, I understand the fear of someone stealing your hard work, but they could dispose of a single full size map, or at least put then on sale somewhere. Anyway, I am still to make my own map portfolio and then put my mouth where my money is.

    Or become one with them kkkkkk