I’m a city planner and freelance web-designer from Hamburg, Germany. Amongst other things I like cities, using their public transport on rails, cycling around in an urban environment. I love cartographic depictions – and I’m an “urban geofictionalist“.

I’m addicted to city maps (and maps in general) and since almost twenty years now, my collection of maps of (existing!) cities grows bigger and bigger. As many other map lovers I can look at a nice map for a very long time, discovering new interesting details, reading names of places that I didn’t know before, enjoy the beauty of the used colors, lines, symbols, signatures, hachures, or just staring at it very intensively, fascinated, and then wondering after a few minutes what exactly I’m seeing there or looking for.

At an early age I found out that when looking at two-dimensional depiction of urban space, I indeed have the wish to visit the places that I see on the maps in real life. But that’s not the most important thing for me. The most important aspect is to just enjoy the feeling of the imagination: imagining walking along a certain street, using a metro or tramway line that I see on the map, imagine what the buildings look like, if it’s a crowded or quiet part of the city. I found out that it’s more interesting for me to look at maps of cities where I’ve never been so far than at those of cities that I already visited.

Thus, very soon I became an “urban geofictionalist”: I started drawing my own made-up cities, enjoying the feeling to imagine what they look and feel like in real life – and also the feeling of not having the possibility to find out. It’s hard to figure out exactly when it all started. Already as a small child I drew street networks (often with details like car lanes, traffic lights, bus stops…) and railway tracks. I was about thirteen or fourteen years old when I started with hand-drawn maps in the style of printed city maps. In most cases I drew in 1:20,000 scale, sometimes in 1:15,000 and sometimes in 1:25,000. Later I tried to draw the maps with computer software, but it took me a few years to figure out the best way to do it. It was only in 2006 or 2007, that I started huge computer-drawn projects and in 2009 my first completely computer-drawn city was finished.

I know that there are many people who don’t understand this passion at all. But there are many people with the same hobby as well. And there are many others who love maps in general. Maybe they like looking at maps of imaginary places, too: What would it look like to be there, how’s the atmosphere? I decided not to go more to the details than showing maps of my imaginary places. And I leave the rest to you. Enjoy the imagination!

Best regards
Johannes Bouchain

Portrait Johannes Bouchain 2009

4 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Michelle DeAngelo |

    May I use maps from you site for a class project? They are perfect for a project I am having students do where they must decide where to locate a settlement. Michelle DeAngelo, Northglenn HS, Northglenn, CO, USA.

    • admin |

      Hi Michelle,

      thanks for your interest in our maps. Yes you can use them. Maps on Urban Geofiction are in most cases under Create Commons license CC BY-NC-SA

      That means:
      – please mention the name of the author of the work (preferably in this style: Urban Geofiction – https://urbangeofiction.stadtkreation.de/ – [author of the map]).
      – Do not use it for commercial purpose. Important: a teaching purpose is a non-commercial use in our point of view. So you can use the maps for this purpose!
      – Share-Alike: distribute it under the same or similar license (ok, I’m quite sure you won’t put your copyright on our maps when you distribute them…).

      Which map would you like to use? Please tell me, so I can give you maybe more detailed information about the map.

      Best regards

  2. Khaleoz |

    I discovered your web site today and I’m loving it!
    Just a question, what is you software for drawing maps?


  3. Mariano Gotor Ferrilols |

    I have found your site today and I think it is great. Fictional city planning is one of my hobbies, above all in what regards to variations of existing cities. I have designed fictional “Chicagos”, “Washingtons” and, above all, fictional versions of Barcelona, my own city. I wonder if some of my drawings would be of interest for this site. If so, I would be delighted in sending some of them to you. Thank you.