Ski Resort Map Makers... Artists
- David Gibson
A good quality ski resort trail map not only provides useful guidance for guests, but also puts the resort in the best possible competitive light. Our propMAPS interative map web app can then bring it all to life. Since we don't actually create the artwork for ski resort maps, I'm often asked who does. So here is my list of top ski resort map makers - who really are all trail map artists. Please share others to add.
Ski Map Artists
The man, the myth, the legend. Over the past 30+ years, James has hand painted over 200 ski area maps. In the past year, and along with an upcoming coffee table book of his art, James has received earned recognition from Fast Company, Outside Magazine, Denver's Channel 4, and the New York Times. Althouth he is continously attempting to retire, he apparently still hasn't.
Rad studied with James Niehues and can either provide hand painted, vector, or a combination. In taking a hybrid approach, he can paint the sky and surrounding areas by hand but apply GIS/vector graphics to render the trails and villages. The hybrid approach makes it much easier to make map modifications down the road, AND enables interative maps to zoom in and maintain crisp resolution. I strongly recommend this approach.
Kevin Mastin - Stray Horse Arts
With over 30 years and "hundreds" of maps under his belt, Kevin also takes a hybrid approach by combining hand painting and digital vector artwork. Greg Blanchard's Slopefillers interview asks the question of whether technology witll replace hand-painted trail maps. I find Kevin's artwork to be wonderfully rich in color and texture, and fills the digital void well.
Gary Millikin - VistaMaps
Gary has been producing digital ski maps for the past 30 years, and has been doing it independently as VistaMaps since 1994. He's produced more than 35 ski maps and over 70 maps for zoos, parks, and resorts. His maps are vector-based allowing for maximum flexibility and ease of changes and maximum performance across devices.
Before researching for this post, I was not familiar with David. From what I find on his website, he appears to work with a combination of brush and vector.
Senan Gorman - North Pole Designs
For almost 20 years, Senan has been applying his unique artistic touch to his maps for resorts and parks. As an esteemed industry voice recently shared, he is "easy to work with, responsive and adds a flair of humor in resort, waterpark and trail maps".