The Watercolor maps were created by Geraldine Sarmiento, Zach Watson, Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, Michal Migurski, Michael Evans, Jeff Easter and Eric Rodenbeck.
Lately, maps have all started running together. Orange freeways, nice-sized text, and it can feel like we're just polishing and re-polishing the doorknobs on an old creaky house. That just seems a shame, given the rich, varied history of thousands of years of map-making. It was time for something different and new that also pointed at the history of this marvelous field of endeavor; Watercolor maps is the result. The series wraps its arms around not just Tokyo and San Francisco and Des Moines and Kathmandu, but every place in between. There's an element of surprise when the lovely contours of Fargo's river fade in and out of the watercolor, when the Forbidden City's gardens overlap deliciously with the buildings that an OpenStreetMap volunteer has painstakingly laid out, wall by wall. We'd like to start collaborating with artists and illustrators on new kinds of maps like this. Watercolor is just a stake in the ground, which we hope will be claimed by artists whose vision is supported by the new data and tools that are coming online. We'd love to work on maps with people like Olafur Eliasson and Brian Eno and Frank Kozik and Barbara Kruger and Gerhard Richter and Ai Weiwei. Wouldn't that be great?