Map shapes used as containers for a collage of graphics isn’t necessarily original but they work very well, particularly for magazines, posters and promotional material. They actually require very little cartography. Country outlines are iconic and change very little. Couple them with a map theme that also has clear connections to the country and you have an attractive graphic which will catch the eye.
I love Dust produced this enticing map for Bicycling magazine to illustrate Le Tour de France. The map outline is filled with simple graphics representing the race or the regions. The map is simply a motif and the result is an abstract tour of various symbols. Embeded in the map on the same graphic level is the outline route itself, beginning in The Netherlands and finishing in Paris.
It’s a simple graphic celebration of the race in map form. A very effective way of using cartography as art.