How Big is Los Angeles?
And so, what did I do for a living back when I still worked for a living? Just what does a Cartographer do, if they don’t do technical mapping?
Well, I don’t know about any other Cartographers out there, but for some decades I produced illustrations which just happened to look like maps. Some of them more than others. This is one of the ones that looks more like an illustration.
This one was originally done back in the bad old days when everything was analog, drawn with pen and ink. But the drawing wasn’t the half of it. First I had to get the copies of the shapes of all the cities spliced together, and then I had to get them all to the same scale. On a xerox.
Mine isn’t the first of such drawings out there. One of the Planners brought us an older one from a magazine (I think) and asked us to reproduce it. The older one was probably copyright, so we needed to change it, but then, I didn't think very highly of the original one anyway, so I completely redid it. It took an incredible amount of twiddling with the magnification on the xerox before I could even get properly started. But it was a very popular piece and still got requested from time to time close to 20 years later.
After we went digital I scanned it in and redid it on the computer. That was much easier.