Created during January 2023

Senja, Lofoten & Vesterålen

I created this map of Senja, Lofoten & Vesterålen to remember the 5 months that I traveled through Norway in 2022. I loved all of Norway, but these locations really stole my heart. The map is based on data from the OpenStreetMap API and the height lines (contours) from Amazon Web Services Terrian Tiles. To make it more personal, I added several layers of personal geo data to the map as red elements: loops show our hikes, small dots along the road are the Google location history points, diamonds for our Airbnbs, and ferry crossings we did.

The full map of Senja, Lofoten & Vesterålen
Zooming in on the digital map
A close-up photo of the printed map

The design for this map is highly based on an amazing map of Senja from Fjelltop. I was thinking about getting this map, but I really wanted to have a map of the Lofoten as well. I eventually decided to try and create the map myself. But I loved the styling of that original map of Senja so much that it was the base for many of my color choices.

Since I wanted complete creative control, and don’t know any GIS software I created the map using JavaScript. Using the OpenStreetMap API, through R, I downloaded all the elements I wanted to show: coastline, roads, lakes, mountains, and more. Exported each layer as geojson and loaded them into the browser.

I only later realized that I could add more personal touches to the map. It started simple with adding markers for the Airbnbs that we stayed in, but I also downloaded the activity tracking data from our Garmin smart watches so we could see the many different hikes we did. And only when I thought I was done did I remember that there is also Google location history. This doesn’t show exactly everywhere that we went, but it does give hints with tiny red dots along the roads here and there.

I printed the final poster at 50x60cm as a Giclée on Hahnemühle German Etching paper to get a really nice textured feel while still having all the (small) texts crisp and legible.

Zooming in on Senja on the digital map
A close-up photo of the printed map focusing on the Dronningruta