Final Project: Map Collage


I decided to use my idea of cutting up pictures of maps and reassembling them into a gridded collage.

AnewandcorrectMappoftheworld Anewmappoftheworld  Compass

NieuweWereltKaert odtaa PascaartvanEuropa

I started out just by cutting out 2″x3″ rectangles from the maps, because 2×3 is very close to the golden ratio.


I also cut out the compass shape from one of images, using the alpha channels to create a mask so I could easily select the parts of the picture I wanted. Next, I started assembling the pieces, using View–>Grid, so I could have a guide to place things. I went into Edit–>Preferences to make the divisions of the grid the right size for what I was doing.


Professor Krikun helped me take a picture of a compass I had, and I used the quick select tool to get it out of the picture. I placed it on the corner, so it gives the composite the feel of a map on a desktop. Then I used the grid again so I could make a path that outlined the rectangular map pieces. This made them a little more orderly, and added to the gridded map effect I wanted.


Professor Krikun suggested that since I had the compass photo, maybe I should other photos of things to make it look even more like a desktop. So I took some photos of pencils, a drawing compass, and an eraser.

DSC03751  DSC03753

I cut them out with quick select and the polygonal lasso, and arranged them in the composite.


I used drop shadow on each of these photo layers, to give them a little more dimension.

At this point, when I showed it to Professor Krikun, we noticed that the middle area of the composition was a little empty. She suggested putting some text there, like a message or quote or poem. So I spent some time looking through quotes and poems, and eventually I decided on a quote by J.R.R. Tolkien, “Not all those who wander are lost.” because I felt it fit with my mixed up, mashed up, pieced-together map. I put each line on a different layer, so I could better control where the text went. I experimented with many different fonts and font sizes before I settled on this final composite:


And so, that’s my final project. I had fun playing around with the map pieces, it was like making my own jigsaw puzzle. I also like that I was able to get a quote that really fits the work, and is by one of my favorite authors.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s