To me, maps have always held an irresistible fascination.
I remember cutting plywood for the cover of a grade school report about Nebraska in the shape of... what else?... Nebraska.
The next year's report - Alaska! And while I couldn't cut, sand and hinge a wooden cover, I spent hours working the fractal fun of Alaska's amazing coastline in pencil and ink.
These days I think of maps more as what we used to call UI (User Interface), but they now call UE (User Experience). But whatever it's label, it's how we represent facts and fictions in pictures and graphs.
One of my prized possessions is a signed copy of Edward Tufte's Envisioning Information. It sits next to Donald A. Norman's The Design of Everyday Things on my shelves. It's all about clarifying information, simplifying complexity, and conveying the sense and shape of the world to the viewers. And of course offering a visual gateway to the awe and inspiration that comes from journeying into a new land!