The New Yorker's Casey N. Cep on the "allure of the map", a form of storytelling in its own right.
Writers love maps: collecting them, creating them, and describing them. Literary cartography includes not only the literal maps that authors commission or make themselves but also the geographies they describe. The visual display of quantitative information in the digital age has made charts and maps more popular than ever, though every graphic, like every story, has a point of view.
Did you know that Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea was inspired by its own map? A favorite example of mine is Titan (from the UK's Fighting Fantasy series), which would be among the more forgettable fantasy worlds were it not for the wonderfully evocative maps that came with the literature. Above, Port Blacksand, the City of Thieves.
Previously: Fantasy maps are awesome