Outdoorsy style for Mapbox

A vector map style based on the Mapbox Outdoors style, made with Mapbox Studio.

This project was originally completed .

This writing was last updated 2016-10-25.

With more travelogues and photo sharing planned for this site and other future projects, I wanted a map design that would suit the purpose. My goal was to make an “outdoorsy” web map less like a road atlas, but instead more like a topographical guide: with places and names as reference points rather than as featured locations.

I started out in Mapbox Studio with the Outdoors style, which has extensive topographical features and special treatment of parks, outdoor activities, and points of interest. One specific goal I had was to separate gray urban areas from greener areas using OpenStreetMap data, as Stamen Design did with their terrain map.

I adopted many of the colors from my own website and my newbound light theme, varying opacity and lightness as necessary. I removed and cleaned up some layers, refining outdoor details at different zoom levels. Source Sans Pro seemed like a better alternative compared to FF DIN (used in Outdoors). Source Sans is a more neutral and less opinionated typeface that can suit a variety of projects: less German wayfinding, more modern user interface.

I made new or revised styles for just about every feature in the Mapbox terrain and streets vector tile sets. See if you can spot how I’ve implemented national park boundaries, land use areas, walking and cycling paths, marsh lands, road and rail systems, and building styles.

view this map full screen

Samples of work in progress

Close up, there are walking and cycling trails, contour lines indicating elevation, park and building outlines, and landscape types.

Further away, there are hill shades showing mountain slopes, and a delicate color palette that matches this site’s design.

The original Mapbox Outdoors style for comparison.

The design is intended to work in dense cities as well as mountain slopes and rural areas.

All icons and the original map design on which this is based are licensed copyright © Mapbox. All map data is copyright © OpenStreetMap contributors.