Tourism Maps


Tourism maps tell more than facts. They engage, motivate and promote. And that’s what we design our maps to do.

First, they communicate information clearly. But then they go further. We design them to convey the color and uniqueness of a place. We employ color, icons and other map elements.

One map element we use is a terrain image. As an example, a mountain town or an area promoting outdoor recreation often promotes its landscape. So we incorporate a terrain image to show what the landscape offers its visitors.

Similarly, if a city promotes its beaches, our maps visually play up the water theme. We add graphics like sand textures and wave lines to focus on beach and water activities.

A successful tourism map

A successful tourism map attracts visitors. It holds their attention and invites them to explore. How? By information and by design.

Therefore, we build maps on GIS data. That makes their information accurate and complete.

Next, we enhance their communication skills with professional graphic design. As a result, the map becomes a communication tool to attract and engage visitors.

And finally, we integrate a tourism map with the client’s existing print and web communications. Their style is reflected in our map design.

Who needs tourism maps?

Typically, if you are in the hospitality business, you need an effective tourism map. Our clients include:

  • Chambers of commerce
  • CVBs
  • Publishers
  • State and local tourism agencies
  • Advertising agencies

To learn more about how maps attract visitors, see also our Resort Maps page. Resorts, like cities and recreation areas, need to attract visitors and encourage them to explore.

Tourism map of New Orleans
Tourism map of New Orleans

Visual levels help promote categories of information. In this map, the tourism icons jump off the page while background colors convey distinct areas. Many maps are “flat”–everything stays at the same level, requiring the user to discern importance and meaning. A well-designed map guides its user.

Tourism map of Jackson County, North Carolina
Tourism map of Jackson County, North Carolina

The landscape plays a big part in attracting visitors to Sylva and Jackson County, North Carolina. For that reason, we accentuated the terrain in this image, built from digital data and painted with custom colors.

Visitor map for Los Angeles
Visitor map for Los Angeles

Designer April Grieman (http://aprilgreiman.com) requested an area location map of Los Angeles. To fill her request, we custom designed a map integrating the terrain in the background with the main road network. A flat map, using a simple color fill for the background instead of a terrain, would not have been visually engaging.

Arizona state map of natural and cultural recreation sites
Arizona state map of natural and cultural recreation sites

Tourism is a lifeblood for Arizona. The Arizona Office of Tourism (https://tourism.az.gov) attracts outdoors visitors through the ACERT map. We produced this map to bolster awareness of the state’s vibrant and diverse natural, recreational and cultural sites. To boost appeal, we used a Southwestern color palette and expressive icons.

Map for the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service
Map for the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service

The Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (https://www.stayarlington.com) asked us to make a map focused on hotels and attractions. We responded with this tourism map of Arlington and adjoining Washington, D.C. The map has appeared in their visitor guide and in tear-sheet pads distributed to hotels.

Artistic map of Point Mallard Trail in Decatur, Alabama
Artistic map of Point Mallard Trail in Decatur, Alabama

The Visit Decatur AL website features guest blog posts from its tourism ambassadors. As avid bicyclists, we wrote a post on the riverside trail at Point Mallard Park. Of course, a map was necessary. So, for this map, we showed the most important elements (roads, activities, and the trail). We also gave it a textured look, to make a more unique visual piece.

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