The Beautiful Counties of California

David Frank McCarter is back with his wonderful maps of artwork reflecting on and depicting different regions of a map.
The award-winning work first grabbed my attention at the ESRI International User Conference in July 2013 with his Glimpse into the World of Van Gogh. This brilliant map featured in one of my earlier map gallery posts as well as my ESRI conference review, but he actually created this map in 2010, and has been continuing the theme since.

On his website, you can also see the Van Gogh themed map as well as more recent works on Italy and the USA. I had already visited the site early enough to see his latest version which uses Californian paintings of local landmarks and scenes to depict the different counties of the State of California.

But last week David brought to my attention that he needs funding in order to make these maps a reality. These decorative wall maps really are superb visuals and so I jumped at the chance to advertise that his latest map, The Beautiful Counties of…California, is now a project on kickstarter for any map or art lovers who can help him out.

Rather than me waffle on, David has kindly provided some words from his press release, so I’ll let him tell you more about his maps and the kickstart project aimed at crowdfunding the new map which uses California paintings from the mid-1800s to the early-1900s to represent California’s 58 counties.

‘The paintings in the map were chosen to provide the map reader with a sense of place and history of this beautiful and geographically diverse state,’ says McCarter. ‘For example, a painting of Mt. Shasta is used to represent Siskiyou County; California Redwoods for Del Norte and Humboldt Counties; scenes of Pomo Indians in Colusa and Lake Counties; and forty-niners in several of the counties that had large goldfields during the California Gold Rush. The map was made to do more than just show where places are, it was made to tell a story of the places themselves.’

A table is provided on the right hand side of the map which lists the artists and their paintings that are used. Some of the famous artists that have paintings in the map include Albert Bierstadt, Edwin Deakin, Grace Hudson, Thomas Hill, and Charles Christian Nahl.

The map includes the county boundaries, county seats, and important cities of California. It measures 24″ x 36″ (standard frame size).

If the project’s goal of $2000 is reached, the money will cover the cost of printing and shipping. He will also donate 100 of these California wall maps to elementary schools in low-income school districts in California to be used as educational tools in the classroom. For a $20 pledge, the contributor receives a map (shipping included) – other pledge levels are also available.


About David Frank McCarter
“I’ve always been passionate about cartography, art, and the warm place where the two disciplines intersect,” McCarter says. “While studying Geography and Cartography at California State University, Northridge, I developed a unique mapping style that fuses cartography with fine art to create maps that are enjoyable and educational for people of all ages.” Two of his previous maps of this style (The Fifty Colorful States of the…United States of America, and A Glimpse into the World of…Vincent Van Gogh) have won international awards at the ESRI International User Conference. His California wall map, The Beautiful Counties of…California, is his latest map of this style.


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