One striking feature of many medieval maps is their lack of accuracy when it came to scale and distance. Of course, we can excuse older maps and their inaccuracies for many reasons; one, cartography wasn’t the exact science it (almost) is today; two, maps don’t necessarily need to be accurate to be useful; and three, a lack of absolute accuracy leaves room for artistic expression.
That lack of precision in medieval maps is what endeared them to artist Arlin Ortiz, whose project, Any Which Way: An Adventurer's Atlas, is a collection of his own fantasy maps inspired by those long forgotten designs. Alongside the older maps that inspire him, Ortiz also takes inspiration from tabletop role-playing games, creating his own Monster Pamphlets – character cards that can be used in conjunction with his maps to play a customised RPG board game.
Whether they’re used for playing games or simply for gazing at, there’s much to admire in Ortiz’s wonderful depictions of fictional worlds.