Treasure Island

We must go on, because we can't turn back – Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Unst Island - Before retouching

Before digital retouching


Unst Island now transformed

After digital retouching


The Unstlanders of the Sheltands island of Unst have always claimed that their island inspired R. L. Stevenson when he drew his own map for Treasure Island. Visiting his father, who was building Muckle Flugga lighthouse, the shape of the island and its bleakness sowed seeds of a treasure map. Click here for the story.

The island needed to be assembled from more than one OS Landranger grid unit. All roads, buildings and other evidence of civilisation had to removed from the flat file composite of the Ordnance Survey map of Unst. New icons were created. Whole areas covered with trees. Areas of sea had new grid lines and numbering created. Contours were re-drawn (2 pixel size) and placenames added in sympathetic typography to seamlessly suggest that the mappers had been there and seen it all.

I want to explore the relationship between our imagined worlds and the iconography of our real world. Part of an ongoing series of map work. See also Map(S)hreditions.

Part of a series of ‘modern’ maps of imagined places for a limited edition print series: Pemberley, Manderley, Northanger Abbey, Wuthering Heights and other places of ‘fiction’. Or are they…? Possible book in 2015. 

Status: Work in progress
Year: 2013 +