I love maps.
I took mapping in college and decided I would someday name a dog or horse - but not a kid- "Universal Transverse Mercator Grid". (I'm kinda rethinking that notion. 'Here, Transverse!' or "Here, Mercator!' just doesn't sound quite right....) My goal in the military was to go to Defense Mapping School. Well, I ended up at Ft. Belvoir (before they moved engineering out to Ft. Leonard Wood) but couldn't quite get the engineering tentacles out of me long enough to wrangle a transfer.
Terrain analysis, geodetic survey, photolithography, imagery and geospatial information, what's not to like? I guess I always was a geek at heart. Yes, I have maps of Middle Earth, the Neutral Zone, and the ancient Mediterranean. In my office I have maps of the county, maps of the state, maps of coal mine and methane well locations, BLM maps and ariel survey maps that appeal to both my geek and artistic sides. The only thing I don't have is a map of the surface of Mars. Yet. I will admit to being defeated by a map of Venice, Italy. I never did find my way around there using a map. Something to do with the canals I think. I hate modern maps, they have no personality, no individuality, and no warnings on the edges "Here There Be Monsters" (Highway Patrol)".
I have to confess to owning Pro Fantasy's Campaign Cartographer. (CC) Talk about a steep learning curve. Yikes. I've had it for over a year and I'm still trying to figure out how to manipulate sheets and layers. I have several maps for my fantasy worlds drawn out on paper, I had notions of transfering them over to CC3. We'll see. I have a drafting table, really big sheets of paper and watercolors, so I may just admit to myself I'm not as geeky as I think I am, and draw them out by hand.
But I hate being defeated by something as simple as a highly complex computer program with intricate commands and self drawing fractals. So I'm playing, because I'm not ready to admit defeat and read the stinkin' help file, I'm from the no guts, no glory school of mapping.
So far the score is maps- 4, glory- 0. Here's a map I made in Campaign Cartographer 3. Very basic, but it helps me visualize the area for a short story I'm contemplating. (click for enlargement)