James Niehues: Ski Map Maker Extraordinaire

Even in today’s high tech world of computerized maps and apps, there’s nothing like holding a ski map in your hand and studying the mountain. Typically best reviewed over a hot chocolate or a frosty beer, it’s always fun to trace with your finger where you have been and/or where you plan to go tomorrow. And yes, ski resort maps still make for wonderful souvenirs that you tuck into your luggage and tote home along with many treasured memories of the mountain you just skied or rode.

Map Geek recently discovered the main man behind these maps and I wanted to let you know how incredibly prolific he is and how there’s actually a book in the works that will feature a compilation of his paintings. Look in the corner of ski maps from world-renowned resorts such Telluride, Steamboat and Vail and you’ll see the signature of James Niehues, an artist that has skillfully and accurately represented some two hundred ski resorts in his paintings.

Read More

Seek and Find, with a twist!

Hello, fellow explorers! I have been incredibly busy this year visiting many of our Discovery Map markets. As I’ve been traveling, I have been on the lookout for the best things to do, places to eat, shop and stay during my visits. All of our franchisees have been so welcoming and have shown me what makes their market unique.

When I was a young explorer, one of my favorite games was Seek and Find. As my family packed up and hit the roads each summer, my parents would find us “treasure” maps when we got to our destination. They would tell us to find a few places we wanted to visit and show us how to use the map to guide ourselves there. Even though I am older now, Find and Seek is still my favorite, so Discovery Map and I have teamed up to create a Seek and Find game for our map users.

Read More

Navigating Online Map Gifts

Phew! How about this online shopping craze? It’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? I’d say it can be crazy fun actually. You can find just about anything you want online without leaving the comfort of your home (or office for all you mega multi-taskers at work).

I was thrilled to find that there’s an immense selection of online map sellers. Hey, we even do it here at Discovery Map. Did you know that you can procure a Discovery Map for any one of our more than 130 destinations just for the cost of shipping and handling? Whether you want to frame it as a remembrance of your last trip, present it as a suggestion for future travels or just provide someone with a memento of a place that resonates with them, a Discovery Map is a clever and super inexpensive way to let someone know you’re thinking about them and their love for travel.

Read More

Meet Our New Writer

Bonjour! Im feeling all kind of Frenchie here because Id like to introduce Maribeth Clemente, a travel writer thats already bringing a certain je ne sais quoi to Discovery Map.

Maribeth lived in France (you know, the land famous for its Michelin maps and guides) for over a decade and not surprisingly is also a total map geek. Shes an eighteenth-century kind of gal, which is partly why she loves holding Discovery Maps in her hands. She loves travel writing as much as traveling and has been at her craft for decades. (Dont worry, shes still pretty fun-loving and hip.).

Read More

Maps as Art

Artist John Petach makes stunning pieces of artwork from all kinds of maps. Discovery Map is honored to figure among his favorite “canvases.” Map Geek was thrilled to hear what John had to say about his art and his love for travel.

MG:Last winter you approached Discovery Map and asked for permission to use some of our maps in your artwork. How did you come across those Discovery Maps and why did they inspire you to use them as the canvas for your art?

Read More

Fun Times in Map Making

Next time you pick up a Discovery Map or peruse the Discovery Map website, let your thoughts drift to the many stages of conception and production that go into every one of our maps. As I reported in Day in the Life of a Map Maker, from research, travel/exploration, layout/editing and coloring, there’s a tremendous amount of time and effort that goes into the creation of every Discovery Map destination. And not surprisingly, just like everything about our brand, there’s always a good dose of fun that goes into the making of our maps. So glad we’re not in the vacuum cleaner business! (Although I’m sure that has its entertaining sides as well.)

Telluride Downtown

Read More

Guide to All Things Geographical

The average Joe may hear “map” and think highways, rivers and roads, but they may not realize how many types of maps exist. I mean, there are maps for almost everything - weather maps, political maps, even meteor maps! When I’m not on the road hitting the latest and greatest Discovery Map destination, I spend a lot of time (virtually) exploring using the various types of maps online. One of my favorite things about maps is their ability to keep you from getting lost while simultaneously opening the door to discovery. Below you’ll be able to check out my favorite digital maps and a couple cartographers who reveal much more than the correct turn to take.

Maps I Admire:

Read More

Redefining Fall with Discovery Map

Fellow geography fans...you may know that Discovery Map is located in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains. And what better place on earth to be is there than right here during fall foliage, amid all this glorious and golden (and red, and orange, and purple) splendor? Well...because Discovery Map has an intimate knowledge of 130 destinations, they know that New England doesn’t have an exclusive on fall fun.

Many communities and cultures have distinctive traditions to celebrate the harvest season. Two of my favorite examples...first, while Oktoberfest is beloved worldwide, travelers seeking the truly quirky can take in the quackin’-action of the annual Entenrennen race in Tübingen, a university town in central Germany. Early October is when you’ll see as many as 7,000 rubber ducks dash down the Neckar River. Or, in the Swiss canton of Valais, cows butt heads, or perhaps butt herds, at the Battle of the Queens on October 1 to bring home the grand prize. Spectators can watch cows nudge each other in “combat” to see who will be crowned harvest queen (Queen Cow, that is).

Read More

Day in the Life of a Map Maker

Blog Cropped Hand DrawToday there’s a real treat in store for my fellow map lovers. I recently sat down with one of our real-life mapmakers to get insights on how a map is actually made. Hand-drawn maps like Discovery Map’s are really and truly hand drawn. So buckle up! You're about to see how the magic happens.

Map Geek (MG): Let's start by giving folks the lay of the land. How would you sum up modern day map making?

Read More

Map Out Your Summer

The AAA estimates a whopping 79% of families are taking to the road this summer to explore the nooks and crannies, and vast landscape, of America. If you're one of the 40 million map-users out there, we've got you covered!

Back in the old days, or what I call BA (Before Apple), parents did everything they could to keep us kids interested....and well-behaved. My parents traveled a lot and always loved maps (from treasure maps to plotting out Route 66) so I picked up the map bug as a kid. Your kids will pick up the bug too because now we've got kid-friendly maps with classic car games like (my personal favorite) the "License Plate Game."

Read More