You do not have to be an expert to create Illustrated Maps. You just have to be accurate and creative to ensure that the map will be engaging and will serve its purpose. Although you can buy commercial maps or have someone do it for you, you can save money by creating your own map. Here are some tips for an effective illustrated map:
Choose an area
For a start, the first thing that you should do is pick an area. If this is your first time to do a map, pick a more familiar place such as your locality. As your experience increases, you can try doing more challenging areas to experiment on.
Research on the area
The main goal in creating a map is to guide the user to get from one point to another in as little time as possible without getting lost. This cannot be achieved if your illustrated map is inaccurate or if it does not contain the right information. You can refer to old or current maps for reference.
Indicate significant landmarks
Identify the important landmarks in your area so you can easily place graphics or illustrations on them. Indicate terrain such as roads, rivers, mountains, valleys, highways and others. This will make it easier for the user to determine where exactly he is by looking at the map.
There are a lot of ways to add images to your map. If you are doing the map online or thru an app, you can add images thru Photoshop or you can create hyperlinks to add more information on the landmark. If you are making hard copy of Illustrated Maps, you can add drawings or you can cut and paste illustrations to the map.
Create routes and patterns
When you have indicated the landmarks and significant areas, connect them with roads, paths, street corners, walkways, etc. Place a legend on the map.
Add final touches
Lastly, after adding images on your Illustrated Maps, put emphasis on the graphics and road patterns by applying colorsor highlights to make the map more attractive to its users.