North America Map: the Basics
First, just a quick chart. These were designed to be intuitive and generally self-explanatory, but it's still good to have them outlined!
Cities were selected based on population. The idea was to include all metropolitan regions with more than 100,000 people, with a much lower threshold in remote areas (particularly Canada/the Arctic). The population bracket of any city would then be displayed through its label size. Once over a million, labels are capitalised.
As short as space was, I wish I could've done a few differently. Examples include Oakland (San Francisco), St Petersburg (Tampa), and San Bernardino (Los Angeles). Cartography is full of constant omission and simplification. Our world is vast. Still, city selection is something I’ll refine in the future, as the single skyline sometimes isn’t enough.
What is North America?
There are many definitions of North America, and a continent is a rather abstract notion. Earth’s landmasses are perfectly irregular, and they're all islands at the end of the day.
Definitions can vary throughout the world, but the 7-continent model is generally accepted. Asia, Africa, N America, S America, Antarctica, Europe, Australia. I hope throughout my life to draw all seven at this scale, each one being a new portrait of a continent. (Antarctica would be my preference right now...)
With literally tens of thousands of tiny illustrated features, there's a lot more. This blog was just to outline the very basics, but in the next guide I will share some motifs and symbols that are commonly used. These include music, sports, seasons, state and national symbols, history, agriculture, mining and much more.