MapCarte 231/365: Walt Disney World Resort, 2014

MapCarte231_disneyClick image to view web map

MapCarte 114 focused on the original Disneyland map by Sam McKim from 1958. It was a beautifully drawn map that brought the magic of the Magic Kingdom to life as well as creating a brochure for people to use as a way of getting around the park. Here, we celebrate a web map of Walt Disney World Resort. In many ways it’s the modern counterpart to McKim’s originals but built for a new type of consumer.

The web map is interactive in a way that the paper version cannot possibly be but it retains the sense of style of the originals. It uses the Google Maps framework but with their own content fused into the service so that the resort appears as part of the map itself. As you zoom in, detail is┬árendered so the map builds in detail. This isn’t just in the addition of more content, but also the detail in the textured landscape of the basemap. There’s even clouds that appear to float over the resort.

At the largest zoom level the buildings and layout of the resort is illustrated using beautifully rendered digital artwork with clean lines but with textures, shadows and depth. Many features are depicted planimetrically but those that are given more importance are drawn obliquely using an axonometric approach so some of their front and side elevations are shown. It’s a useful technique not only to give more detail to the buildings but to distinguish what’s important from the background.

Typical pictorial symbols are used across the map for certain points of interest (gift shops, restaurants etc) and labels sit cleanly. Pleasingly the typeface isn’t too large which can so often detract.

Well composed, clean and clear web mapping.