Locating... Atlantis

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be creating this post today! For the past year (or two) a group of amazing people having been working behind the scenes to enable cartographers to create.

If you are reading this then you may have some idea of why this act of enabling collaboration, in an industry stead fast in its ways towards maps for the masses, is so important.

Maps, like all media, are a means of communicating information, messages, and ideas. They can be used to expose trends in statistics that would otherwise be hidden in a report that only the most dedicated of reader would dare to delve into.

So, before I let you see the fun part, I just wanted to acknowledge the Guerrilla Cartography team by saying Thank You! You are all legends.

I was lucky enough find this project on the internet just as the first call for maps went out for this project. I put my hand up to do both the research and cartography for one of the map topics up for grabs. I figured being in New Zealand, I'd be in a different time-zone from most of the other volunteers. One of the projects I was sent back to choose from was Atlantis. Just a small stub of an idea with the preface that I could take this idea in any direction I wanted to and run with it. I just knew I had to give this one a go!

So cue many Google searches, and I came to the website Atlantipedia hosted by Tony O'Connell, my hat goes off to Tony, while he has his own thoughts regarding the location of Atlantis, with a subject like this, it would be easy to discount other peoples opinions and focus on your own. I was pleased to find that Tony maintains an extensive spreadsheet recording names, dates and locations of all theories he is aware of.

Tony was kind enough to let me use his data to drive my map. After some formatting and simple summary analysis I was able to show counts of these theories by the locations where the theorists believed Atlantis to be.

I was curious to show where the coastline was at the end of the last minor ice age, I knew it to be approx 10,000 years ago, but didn't know much more than that. I was able to find a relevant study

A GIS-based Vegetation Map of the World at the Last Glacial Maximum - 25,000-15,000 BP. (Ray, N. and J.M. Adams. 2001. Internet Archaeology, Vol. 11.)

The author was supportive in me using his GIS layer for my project. I feel this layer was crucial in giving my map an extra dimension to make people think about how the earth looked to earlier communities of humans.

I'll follow up this post with more information about my design process and an overview of the technical process used to create my map.


I was also fortunate enough to collaborate with an author based in Perth, Australia, through the project's second call for maps. I nearly didn't volunteer in the second round, we'd just moved to a new city, and it was coming up to Christmas but I'm really glad I did because I'm really pleased with the end result. It was great to be able take an idea, a fictional world and use the map as a tool to communicate not only information from their book but also convey a mood, a sense of conflict and tension. You can check out Bryce Touchstone's project will be available HERE.

This was always going to be a text heavy post, this project was a long time in the making and I'm super stoked to be finally letting you in on it. Please support this project if you are able.

I hope the Guerrilla Cartography team realise how much this project means to me, purely by giving me the opportunity to simply 'create' a map. In an industry where most roads lead to data entry/analysis/data cleansing followed by quick and nasty maps it was a joy to be able to push myself and showcase some of the amazing things that can be achieved when we marry the art of cartography with the science of GIS. The map is both an art AND a science.. to me there is no competition, to me, you cannot have one without the other.

The Guerrilla Cartography project is a conduit for an amazing range of contributors, Visit this link learn about the project Water: an Atlas, as well as their first atlas from 2013, Food: an Atlas.

The main thing right now is to support us by getting on board with the Kickstarter Campaign to make sure we can get this atlas printed and I can see my map on "parchment"!

Thank you for reading all the way down to the end! If you jumped straight to the bottom of the post then scroll down a bit further to see my own map "Locating... Atlantis".

Take care

Cartographer, NZ

Visit my next blog post to see the Creation of Atlantis


  1. Hi, I really liked your map. I'm amazed with your work.
    I would like to know what was the coordinate system you used to produce that map.And one more thing, what base was used for oceans .. some open source ?

    1. Hi thanks, it was a labour of love. The protection is Sphere Van der Grinten I (epsg.io/53029) and the hydrology is from http://www.naturalearthdata.com/features/ see my "creating atlantis" post for more info. Thanks for your questions!


Post a Comment