I have a soft spot for cool maps, whether it’s fantastical artwork or something that documents real world history. Modern Map Art Prints recently caught my eye on Kickstarter: it’s offering backers a map that you can turn into a unique work of abstract art.
The premise is an intriguing one: backers can select the location and color scheme for their print, which is then turned into abstract artwork that’s printed in a range of sizes. What’s unique here is that, as backers select and customize each image themselves, no two maps are alike. Prices start at $23 for a 12 x 18 print, and go up in cost and size from there.
David Hoe, the developer behind the project says that he came up with the idea because he loves to “explore the intersection between design and programming,” and devised an automated way to construct the images that he’s selling to backers. He likened maps to huge jigsaw puzzles with thousands of pieces, and wrote software that deconstructs those maps into larger blocks or hundreds of thousands of pieces. He then applies a color scheme to each one.
The result is something that Hoe says would be difficult to do by hand on a large scale: a random blend of colors that showcase any part of the world. Once a backer selects their location and colors, they’re presented with several options, and their selection is sent off to a printer to produce the final product.
Hoe explains that Kickstarter represents a really good way to test out his idea and to vet the idea for the project. Hoe notes that the fulfillment process is an automated one, and that at some point, he hopes to turn it into an online service that customers can order from.