Vancouver and Surrounding Area

December 2019, course «Map Production» at the Centre of Geographic Sciences

We were asked to create a topographic map of an urbanized area within Canada using different datasets.

Design Objectives

Deviating from the cartographic standard and inspired by a modern Swisstopo map, I decided not to use a serif font for water features. Therefore, I used only one font. Another design element I have adopted from a Swisstopo map are some of their colours.

I would like to point out the use of red for train tracks which emphasize public transportation in a subtle way over the street network in Vancouver.

Also, I like legends that do not just represent features that are lined up in a simple list or table. Therefore, features are grouped and visualised in a made-up map.


  • Arthur Robinson Print Map Award (tie, 2020)
    awarded by Cartography and Geographic Information Society

Software, Technology, Data Sources and Skills

  • ArcGIS Pro 2.4
  • Blender (to create hillshade)
  • Adobe Illustrator 2019 (to create symbols, legend and road shields)
  • Adobe Photoshop 2019