Check out this artist's fantasy-style map of Minnesota - Bring Me The News

Check out this artist's fantasy-style map of Minnesota

From City of the People to The Lake with Crossing Waters – Minnesota reimagined as a fantasy map.
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Chris Engelsma's toponymic fantasy map of Minnesota.

Chris Engelsma's toponymic fantasy map of Minnesota.

"Where do you hail from: the Great River Forks? Or are you further southeast, in the Nail-Maker Sanctuary or the City of Waterfalls?"

This is not dialogue from a world-expanding Game of Thrones fanfiction – it's Minnesota, reimagined as a fantasy map.

Chris Engelsma, the artist behind Boolean Comics, posted his illustrated map to Reddit this week. It's a toponymic map, meaning it's based on the names and histories of the region.

So St. Cloud is "Nail-Maker Sanctuary."

"It's not obvious as to why, but if we look at St Cloud it's named after Saint Clodoald who is the patron saint of nail makers," Engelsma told GoMN in an email. "It's rather silly but it's intended to be a fantasy map, so you can create in your mind what that means."

(Fun fact: Catholic Online also says Saint Clodoald was anti-carbuncles. And this part of a 2003 book goes more into the name St. Cloud, and its relation to France, as does this book.)

Engelsma isn't from Minnesota – he was raised in Colorado and lives in Texas right now, so he started with those states for this map series. Then he "semi-randomly" jumped to Minnesota, which meant research.

"I study the major cities, forestry maps, lake and drainage basin maps, topology maps and climate maps," he said. "Combine those together and I get a pretty good idea on what to emphasize."

So you'll see the trees are prevalent in the northeast, and waters become less common the further southwest you go.

"I've always wanted to take on a large project – I've created and released a few comics of various sizes and have done various illustrative projects, but I've been meaning to create something that all fits together," Engelsma said. "Combine that with my love of maps and you have this project."

On Reddit, he mentioned a possible game with the maps, but clarified to GoMN later he really only plans to release a coffee table book with all the illustrations. He's working on a website specifically for the project, but in the meantime puts all his work on his Instagram and Facebook.

Here's Texas and Colorado for comparison.

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