Mapmaker Brings Creativity, Family to Road Maps

08 July, 2019

蜗蜗牛小游戏网 There was a time in recent American history when people depended on paper road maps. But the spread of GPS technology has changed that – probably forever.

While few Americans use paper maps today, states still make them. And maybe that is not such a bad idea.

Bruce Hull is a road map designer for the American state of Ohio. Hull's maps are unlike others you may have seen. For nearly 20 years, he has been injecting them with creative images and small pieces of family history.

Ohio has the nation's busiest highway system after California, Texas and Florida. And Hull's artistry has appeared on millions of maps helping drivers travel throughout the state.

In this June 6, 2019, photo, Bruce Hull is interviewed at his offices at the Ohio Department of Transportation in Columbus.
In this June 6, 2019, photo, Bruce Hull is interviewed at his offices at the Ohio Department of Transportation in Columbus.

As a layout design artist with the Ohio Department of Transportation since 1989, Hull has creative control over the maps' look and feel. He chooses the images, design, paper, and even the kinds of folds that are used.

Years ago, he wanted to move to either New York, Chicago or San Francisco, he said. They were then the large centers for advertising. But Hull, who is 60 years old, studied advertising at the Columbus College of Art & Design.

"Then life happened," he told the Associated Press.

Hull fell in love, got married and had a daughter.

In the early days at the Transportation Department, he was not the map designer. Instead, he put together other publications and images for road, rail and motorcycle maps.

Back then, images were black-and-white, film was developed in labs, layouts were made by hand and color was added with cut pieces of film.

"Nothing was ever too technical because it was just impossible to do at the time," said Hull.

The first map he designed on his own came in 2001 to 2002. That's also when he began including a picture of his daughter on the maps.

Because there were seat belt laws, he was looking for a photo of a child in a car seat. "I found one, but it was $160," he said. His department rejected the costly picture. Then the idea hit him: He had a 6-year-old daughter. So, he put her in the back seat of his car and took her picture.

Ashley Hull has appeared in every Ohio state road map since then. Without knowing it, much of the general public has watched her grow up — in pictures while camping, biking, driving or laughing with friends.

"She's the most famous person you've never heard of," said department representative Matt Bruning.

Hull's daughter is 25 now. He admits that her generation rarely uses paper maps. In the 1990s, Ohio made 5.25 million paper maps on average every four years. By last year, that number had fallen to 2.25 million.

Hull says when Ashley got her first car, she wanted a GPS. "So I said, well, you learn to read this first," he said, showing one of his paper maps. "In case your power dies, you won't get lost."

And people who know Ashley do recognize her from the map, she said.

"...It's just, it's cute to have people point out like, ‘Hey I found you in this information center at this park because you're on the map.'"

If you work anywhere near Hull's office space, you might be asked to help out. To decide on the fold, for example, Hull folds pieces of paper in different ways. Then, he gives them to coworkers and watches them open the folded paper. The easiest to open wins.

The process of creating a new map begins with state cartographers, who produce the road map itself. Then several other state agencies provide materials, such as lists of highway security points and state campgrounds. There is also a message from the governor.

When these materials are ready, Hull has freedom to design the remaining spaces. One year, his design looked like the front of a refrigerator full of pictures of sights to see in Ohio. He also shows the diversity of the state's racial and ethnic groups; rural, urban and natural areas; and cultural offerings.

Another of Hull's maps included Ohio's state animals and plants. Other versions have featured Ohio's Native American tribes and beautiful roads called scenic byways.

For the state's 200th year, in 2003, Hull added a timeline of Ohio history to the map. He also added another family image: A picture of his great-grandmother, Sophia Mitchell, the first black woman to serve as a mayor in the state.

I'm Alice Bryant. And I'm Bryan Lynn.

Julie Carr Smyth wrote this story for The Associated Press. Alice Bryant adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.


Words in This Story

GPS n. a radio system that uses signals from satellites to tell you where you are and to give you directions to other places

layoutn. the design or arrangement of something

foldn. the bend one part of (something) over or against another part

seat beltn. a strap on a vehicle's seat that holds a person in the seat if there is an accident

cuteadj. attractive and pleasant

cartographer n. a person who makes maps

refrigeratorn. a device used to keep things (such as food and drinks) cold

diversityn. the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization

游戏秘籍 | 广州代孕 | 美国代孕网站 | 高鹰代孕 | 广州助孕 | 代孕 |
  • 北京市交管部门公布交通事故多发路段 8处路段昌平占7个_云南邵通
  • 干群热议"为基层减负":吃下定心丸 担当有作为_52kindle
  • 【视频】第三届金丹若国际微电影节举办 中韩众星云集_茶有几种
  • 盐城阜宁打造灾后农村建设样本 促进乡村振兴_win10系统怎么样
  • 恒丰银行启东支行正式开业 捐赠5万元慈善资金_坝的组词
  • 甲骨文表情包让传统文化“活”起来_兰芳大统制共和国
  • 城市副中心线年底先开通这4站!百年老火车站将重启_雷迪嘎嘎演唱会
  • 十九大代表、宜都市委书记罗联峰_火烧圆明园时间
  • 甘肃税务:服务走出办税厅 政策落实更贴心_金东文
  • 两院一部联合发文打击电信网络诈骗 3000元以上就就定罪_进进窗口化
  • 河南许昌:灞陵桥庙会带你开心过大年_恐龙危机2中文版下载
  • 杨光委员:持续推进“放管服”改革 优化营商环境_视频拼接app
  • 仙台牛产地宫城县召开会议 号召继续提升品牌影响力_军婚之绑来的新娘
  • 以改革开放为法宝,锚定正确航向,中国必能行稳致远!_玩游戏最好的笔记本
  • 先提價再促銷 電商平臺简州猫