• On a regular map, all the extraneous symbols and topographic lines can easily be confused with countries. These maps strip away the geography of the world to nothing but words.

  • When you focus on one small area, you can see its vast collection of nations, cities, and seas without all the clutter.

  • Blind grids show latitude and longitude, which prevents it from feeling too unmap-like.

  • However, when you start to scrutinize the layout you can get lost in the details. There are a lot of cities and it’s really a lot to wade through if you’re looking for one particular place name.

  • For those who don’t want theirs in plain grey, there’s also a watercolor version.

  • The best feature of these maps, though, is how they look from afar. The text fades to an abstract crush of gray and the watercolor version adds a wonderful old world seafarer feel.