Cartographer: Archie Archambault
Planetary Maps from Archie’s Press: The Elements of Space
Archie’s Press publishes minimalist “mental” maps that are built from circles. “The circle, our Universe’s softest shape, clearly conveys size and connections.” – Archie says. He created a “Map from the Mind” for dozens of cities, simplifying structures and districts in the simplest terms. The same way Harry Beck’s London Tube Map simplified the representation of the real world to lines and curves, Archie Archambault expands this idea to cities, states, – and celestial bodies. He finds the best known features and names and shows them in a way easy to keep in your mind. This is cartography at its best.
His outer space series, also made along the same geometric principles, includes the maps of Jupiter, Mars, the Moon, Saturn, the Sun, The Solar System and the Galaxy. There is no unnecessry element on the maps: even annotations serve a cartographic purpose.
Q * How did you get the idea of expanding the Earth map to planets?
A * The Solar System map I devised is probably the most intuitive path. The bodies are spheres and they move in a rotation. Somehow, our brain understands both of these things as circles. I simply took the idea that made the most sense to my mine, and included as much information as made sense. I stopped when things got too crazy.
Q * What were the greatest challenges in creating the planetary maps?
A * If you notice, all four maps are drawn from a different angle, each specific to the most intriguing aspects of their makeup. Deciding which angle to take was really difficult for Mars, because there isn’t really a defining feature of the planet. We don’t really have any associations with either side (unlike the Moon, which always faces us in the same direction). We don’t have any general associations with the surface (unlike Jupiter which has a series of atmospheric layers). We don’t really care about what’s around it (Unlike Saturn, which has beautiful rings and moons). The only thing we all know is that it’s red. But what else makes Mars special? That’s always the hard.
Thinking about outer space requires a lot of imagination. There really isn’t a way to connect the maps of the planets with an actual understanding of the scale. I’m always trying to make the planets more and more relatable to our specific understanding of physical space.
Q * Craters are great features that fit into the circle design but how would you approach depicting bodies like Europa (full of linear cracks) – i.e., is this minimalist design applicable to any surface pattern?
A * Creating textures is a really tricky thing to do, and I love it when a texture is appropriate. Cracks are really hard to make look convincing while staying cartographic, so it would be a really big challenge to make it work. Of course it’s possible, but it’s a matter of taste to decide on a nice texture.
Q * How much did you follow actual crater distribution or topography?
A * The craters on the Moon map serve two purposes: to show that the Moon is covered in endless craters, and to show the sphericality of the Moon. I chose a few choice names of craters, some that were big, some that were interesting. My favorites are Darwin and Hell. Tycho is so bright, I made it solid silver.
|Column name||Column description|
|Catalog ID (M)||N/A|
|Title||Title of map|
|Author||Name of mapper(s), or author, PI, map editor, illustrator, etc. with roles|
|Nationality||Nationality of author|
|Start date||Year when mapping began / or year or observation|
|Date of publication||Year of publication or completion of manusctipt (empty if not published yet)|
|Body||Target name (planetary body)|
|Online||Online references about the map|
|Projection||Projection of map. 2-hemisphere is shown here.|
|Orientation||Orientation of map [north up, south up] – only for historic maps (north: cartographic tradition, south: astronomical tradition)|
|Publication type||The type of work that contains the map. [standalone, journal, conference, atlas, book figure, book supplement, book plate, encyclopedia, multisheet, digital]|
|Type, purpose||Type of map purpose [generic, outreach, science, citizen, surface operation (pre mission), landing site (post mission), observer, opposition, index, reference, eclipse/transit/occultation] generic: not defined, outreach: maps for the general public made b|
|Primary Nomenclature||Laguage(s) of nomenclature displayed on the map [Latin, English etc., IAU, informal]. Latin for Latin nomenclature prior to IAU.|
|Ref (map)||Full reference of map publication or publication that contains the map|
|DOI||DOI number of map|
|ID (publication)||ID of map publication or figure number|
|Origin type||If this map is not original, the following codes are used: [L: language variant, N: new print, U: updated edition, C: copied / modified from another map, R: renovation map (digital version of paper map with slight changes), F facsimile. RP: republished in|
|Origin ID||Any maps that this map is based on or copied from. Database ID of original map.|
|Based on map||Name of mapper|
|Base (spacecraft, telescope)||Name of spacecraft / instrument|
|Original title||Title of map in original langage (if not English)|
|Publisher||Name of Publisher; manuscript or self-published. For journals and conferences, the name of the journal or conference.|
|Coverage||Coverage of map [global, hemispheric, regional, local, landing site, landing ellipse, traverse]|
|Target location||IAU name of target feature (if named) or near side, far side etc. (If nothing noted, it is global)|
|Country||Country of Publisher (original/translation)|
|Type, content||Type of map [photo, map, sketch map, drawing, globe, tactile, data]. Data for raster datasets. For vector data, see Feature DB. Drawing: no grid, scale, projection etc.|
|Image base||Base theme of the map [shaded relief, photomosaic, photo, none]|
|Theme||Theme of map [visual, albedo, radar, low sun, topography, elevation, geology, geomorphology, art, nomenclature reference, feature, landing site reference, opposition map, event (eclipse etc) etc.]. Low sun is optical photo with shadows and no albedo. Vis|
|Technique||Cartographic technique [imagemap, datamap, cartographic map, unit map, airbrush, pencil, line drawing/outline, contour lines, DEM, DIM, shaded relief / hillshading, raster data etc.]|
|Style||Details on style|
|Method||Method how the data was obtained|
|Mapping scale||Scale of mapping|
|Resolution||Raster dataset resoltion [m/pixel]|
|Short Reference||Short form of reference to the map publication|
|GIS / data||URL where GIS or original spatial data is|
|Profession||Profession of author (for historic maps)|
|Designator||Sheet designator terms following Greeley and Batson (1990) Planetary Mapping. Cambridge University Press. – only if displayed on the map. First letter: target body, 5M: scale, 90/0 etc: center coordinates, OM – orthophotomosaic , T – Topographic data (nom|
|Control||Controlled, semi-controlled, uncontrolled|
|Note on control||Base of control|
|Series title||Title of map series|
|Number of maps (in work)||N/A|
|Number of quads||N/A|
|Quad ID||Quad ID (or quads IDs) contained on the map|
|Map width cm||N/A|
|Map height cm||N/A|
|Map width px||N/A|
|Map height px||N/A|
|Base type||Type of instrument of observation of base data [naked eye, telescope, spacecraft, space telescope, lander]|
|Location of copy||Library or archive where manuscript or rare copy is kept|
|Ref (literature)||Reference – literature about the map, may be the source of data if the map is not available. Separated with # symbols.|
|Status (2017)||Status of mapping [complete, in progress, in review] (mostly for USGS maps)|
|Aim||Original aim of mapping, if available|
|Notes||Any comments, remarks [Long text, may be multiple paragraphs]|
|Secondary nomenclature||Other languages of the nomenclature|
|Nomenclature Notes||Remarks on nomenclature|
|Reference frame||ID from RefFrames|
|web2||Online references about the map|
|web3||Online references about the map|
|web4||Online references about the map|
|ocentric/ographic||Map coordinate [planetographic, planetocentric]|