Scott Reinhard is a New York-based graphic designer with a deep appreciation for the visual appeal of maps. Old maps, especially. And landforms too. He’s merged that appreciation with his professional expertise with rendering color and light to produce these truly stunning 2D maps that you’d swear were 3D. You can practically feel the ridgelines and valleys, the rolling hills, even the craters of the moon. Reinhard uses topography data from the USGS to accurately depict the elevation changes masterfully rendered in 2D in his maps. Part of the function of the maps is to tell a kind of geological story of a place.
The results are breathtaking.
“I am from Indiana, which always felt so flat and boring,” he said in an interview with Colossal. “When I began rendering the elevation data for the state, the story of the land emerged. The glaciers that receded across the northern half of the state after the last ice age scraped and gouged and shaped the land in a way that is spectacularly clear.”
You can buy high-quality prints of these extraordinary maps too, on Reinhard’s website. He’s covered entire states, specific geologic features, a section of the moon, even a crater on Mars.
All images courtesy of Scott Reinhard. You can follow him on Instagram for more map goodness.