Much like my challenge in remembering the name of the book Motel of the Mysteries (and being able to come up with a combination of distinct words that would allow me to successfully google the answer), there was a line of illustrated maps that had caught my eye in the Kinokuniya bookstore in NYC, but whose name I had not written down.
[Side note. If you haven't been to Kinokuniya, go! It is an awesome bookstore (with 12 total locations in the US) and always has an excellent selection of stationary and stickers, a robust selection of Totoro paraphernalia, a wide assortment of Nanoblock animals waiting to be constructed, and easter eggs like the Mister Lester Maps. End note.]
Last week, I spotted the illustrated map again while scrolling through Instagram (along with a PINEAPPLE)! This (clearly) prompted another extensive google hunt for the map in the background.
The good news is it didn't take me long to find it (and purchase a copy of my own). The maker of the maps is Unique Media Maps, and topographical detail is mesmerizing. Their distinctive approach is described on the flip side of the folded map:
Unique Media Inc. originated this novel style of three-dimensional mapping. It is a fresh innovation on the fascinating and centuries old artform of bird's-eye-view pictorial maps. Our artistic illustration style coupled with our special interpretation of scale gives a real feeling for the layout and beauty of urban and natural environments.
In addition to the World Map, these titles are also available: United States; Pacific Northwest; California and Nevada; Greater Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco; New York City; Manhattan; Pittsburgh; San Antonio, Texas; Las Vegas (Grand Canyon, Lake Mead); Canada (Ottawa); Downtown Toronto; Greater Toronto and Area; Niagara Falls (Buffalo, Hamilton); Vancouver; and Florida. It's an interesting collection of titles and I'd love to know the story behind the selection of geographies.