If you will trace the history of maps, you will find out that there exists a map illustration of cities, towns and specific areas centuries ago. The map illustrations are a combination of the artist’s skills and creativity, architecture and spatial presentation to provide a unique map art that is hand-drawn but 100% digital.
An example of a mapping technique used today is called the Lidar system. It was able to detect a “lost” Mexican City that was built by the rivals of Aztecs and home to about 100,000 people. The sprawling urban center of Angamuco was part of the Purepecha Empire that peaked in the 16th century.
In the Lidar system, an aircraft beams out laser pulses while experts analyze the signals that bounce back from the ground. This is used in putting together a 3D map of the city. It was revealed that Angamuco covered an area that is more than 10 square miles with pyramids, temples, plazas and road systems.
According to archeologist Chris Fisher, he was astounded to know that a massive city existed right in the heartland of Mexico all this time without anybody knowing about it. Mr. Fisher was part of the team that studied the 3D maps of Angamuco. He estimated that at the height of civilization between 100 AD and 1350 AD, about 100,000 people lived in the lost city. The Purepecha Empire was a major civilization during the 16th century with its capital Tzintzuntzan located beside Lake Patzcuaro in Western Mexico.
Mr. Fisher told The Guardian, that if you will do the math, the huge area represents a lot of people and about 40,000 architectural foundations. This is about the same number as the buildings you will find in Manhattan. Its size would make it the biggest city in Western Mexico during that period.
The creation of map illustration has become popular lately particularly for cities, business centers, school campuses and towns. The geographical representations range from being realistic to whimsical, making it a perfect piece for a boardroom, lobby or media. Each illustrated aerial view includes images that clients want including information relevant to the message they wish to send to viewers.