The Department of Geography at San Diego State University is hosting the Bizarre Map Challenge. This challenge is open to high school and college students. Bizarre refers to "maps that are strikingly out of the ordinary." The top 10 finalists were selected this week and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be announced April 27th. Subject matter includes personal ads, Thai formation skydiving records, French North American settlement patterns, staycation destinations and opinions about health care. Some of these maps are large files and can be slow to download. I made lower resolution images of some of my favorites.
Here is a map of California where the spacing and color of the county names is used to reflect physical geography. Letter spacing is tighter in the mountainous areas to give the illusion of topography.
Next is the "earth in reverse" - a map that uses a reverse color scheme, making the highest mountains look like the deepest parts of the ocean and vice versa. The map is also flipped so that south is up and west is to the right.
Finally, a map showing the locations of missed connections in Burlington Vermont from the I-Spy feature that appears in the personal ads of the Seven Days weekly.
2 years ago