The World in 49 Weird City Maps


These 49 weird maps show the shorelines around some of the world's most interesting coastal cities expanded in exquisite detail

I've long been fascinated by the idea of a variable-scale world map, showing the places that are most important to me at large scale, and the rest of the world at smaller scales.

These one-place distorted world maps take this idea to the extreme, each showing just one city expanded. Tap on any of the maps to see it full-screen, then navigate around the world using the arrows.

I've chosen the 49 cities more for their complex coastlines than for their necessarily being major cities: New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico; Punta Arenas across the Strait of Magellan from the Tierra del Fuego archipelago; Athens among the Greek Islands; Singapore on the Strait of Malacca; Auckland on the isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Hauraki Gulf.

These 49 weird maps are the culmination of many years of work. I'm excited to offer posters of each of the maps at You don't need to confine yourself to these 49 cities: let me know where you are, and I'll make a custom one-place distorted world map poster that shows your city, neighborhood, house, school or business at the center of the world.

And if you really want to get personal, go to and enter all the places in the world you've been, to make a weird and wonderful map of your world.


John ⋅ 2 September 2021

What is this map type?

Mark Jeffery ⋅ 3 September 2021

I’m not sure maps of this type have a name, John! I think of them as distorted maps. If anyone else knows of a name that’s widely used, let me know!

Duke Weber ⋅ 7 February 2024

And of course, the New Yorker map cartoon

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kookoomaps are made with open and public domain data:

© OpenStreetMap contributors

MapQuest Nominatim Open Search API

Humanitarian Information Unit Large Scale International Boundaries (LSIB) dataset

kookoomaps is owned and operated by Kootenay Village Ventures Inc.


First published 18 February 2018

other pages on things made thinkable

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Rivers of the Pacific   Dishonesty Doesn't Pay   If Taxes Were Simple…
brought to you by Kootenay Village Ventures Inc.