I had a whimsical idea a few months ago: map projection trading cards. Something nerdy and map-related that you could collect and exchange at conferences. I poked around at some design ideas for a while, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far. This is the front side of the card:
Most of the card will be taken up by a map that shows off the given projection (the stripes are not part of the design). And if you notice down at the bottom, it says “Cartographer Name” — because I don’t want to do all of these myself. Instead, I’m hoping some of you out there will make the maps (more on that below). This is not entirely laziness on my part: it’s also very much in the spirit of collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering, which feature art in a variety of styles from a host of contributors.
Another thing I borrowed from collectible card games: icons in the upper right, which tell you a projection’s class or notable properties. I could have just used words to tell you if a projection is conformal or conic. That would be clearer, and better in most other circumstances. But icons fit the spirit of what I’m going for, and are more fun. The back side of the cards will have a uniform design, and a guide to what each icon means. I have that planned out, but I’ll keep it secret for now, as it’s still in flux.
These designs are 2.5×3.5 inches, which is fairly standard for trading cards. Not-so-standard is the landscape orientation. But, it’s probably best for map-related content.
As said, I’d like your help! I want to show off work from a variety of mappers. If you’d like to design a map for the project, here’s a sign up sheet! I’ll contact you with details to get you started. I’m hoping to receive designs from everyone by about May 15.
I have no idea how many I’m going to print, or how I’ll get them out to the world. I may carry them around and distribute them to lucky people at conferences. Or maybe I’ll set up something where I can do a one-time sale of packs to people (at cost). Stay tuned!