Mississippi River TypeMap
This is the latest map in my "Typography of Place" series... a map of the cities and towns that lie along the Mississippi River. For a larger, readable image, you can view it here on my Flickr site.
The last two maps I did in this series (Silk Road and the Aleutian Islands) were very horizontal. So I wanted to try one with a vertical format. One of the things I am trying to achieve in these maps is to have the words that make up the maps read as a sort of free-form poem. In this one, I think that comes across strong since you can "read" it from the river's source in the top left to the mouth in the bottom right.
I have not color coded the place names on this map as I did in my Aleutian Islands Map but the same theme is present with many towns having Native American names (including the river itself). French names are also quite prevalent as you travel down the river. Then there is the intriguing sequence of Egyptian-inspired names that includes Memphis, Thebes, Angola, and Cairo.
I assembled the map from a general map of the river. After re-drawing the path of the river, I added all the towns and cities by referencing a live page from Yahoo! Maps. I originally placed the cities on the appropriate left or right bank of the river so my base would be geographically accurate. But I know as I was building it that I was going to re-orient the towns so that they were all centered on the middle of the river to emphasize the meandering path the river takes.