Giveaway contest: ‘The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See’ from Imus Geographics

Note: the contest has concluded, winners are Bryce and Paul & Carol.

Every one of The Rapid Traveler’s trips begins with scrutiny of maps. A country’s map is studied to understand distances, relations and routes among destinations, and frequently consulted throughout research as the plan gels. He never relies on internet mapping programs in this stage, only later checking for specific road directions, as each zoom level obscures as much as it reveals. He has long favored Lonely Planet guidebooks for their superb maps, and is devastated to see the disaster that has befallen them in the new design.

Catching up on a week of news feeds The Rapid Traveler saw this Slate article, The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See, and was stunned by the masterwork of two years’ lonely toil by David Imus, an elegant map titled The Essential Geography of the United States of America. The Slate article provides all the detail needed to show its loving brilliance, and travelers will especially appreciate the three-letter IATA airport codes.

In appreciation of the solitary craftsmen and the utility of paper maps for comprehension, The Rapid Traveler will order two of these maps, the USA folded version ($12.95 value) to give away to readers who enter the drawing by leaving a comment to this post.

Ground rules are one entry per person, please do not be petty by leaving multiple entries. The comment should say something about maps or your experience with maps that you think other readers will find interesting. The comment should include a valid email address for verification of winners. Comments must be submitted by Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 23:59 EST. Winners will be selected with the random number generator at, the winning numbers corresponding to comment numbers. Winners will be posted in a subsequent blog post and updated on this post. If contact info is included in the comment, winners will be contacted (contact info not displayed publicly and not used for any marketing purposes). Winners will need to provide a US mailing address to The Rapid Traveler to receive the maps and that info will be disclosed to Imus Geographics in the order as the shipping address (sorry, no non-US addresses due to high shipping cost). The Rapid Traveler has no relationship with Imus Geographics, is paying for these maps out of pocket because he is in a good mood today, and will not receive any compensation for this recommendation and contents. And please enter if you actually will make use of the map, not just to grab a freebie.

Good luck, and those that do not win should consider gracing their travel ‘war room’ with this aristocrat.

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65 Comments on "Giveaway contest: ‘The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See’ from Imus Geographics"

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I like maps that show both Chicago airports.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Imus map fails this simple test (at least, I only see one in the Slate article’s picture)???


My husband and I decided that we wanted to be able to find all the countries in the world on their continent’s maps! He is doing much better than I am. We use an atlas and a game online. My mother thought it was so cool she bought us a beautiful globe for Christmas!
We can find all the states… mostly… ha ha!


I like the Delorme paper atlas series sold by state. It shows details down to streams and abandoned railways even. Great for hiking and exploring.

Thanks for the chance.


I can spend hours looking at maps of places I have not seen and may never see. Maps inspire dreams.

Haonan Zhang

I would love to display the Imus map along side this zip code map of the US:


I first fell in love with maps during my mother’s frequent trips to the Sierras. She would pack us into the van, start singing “On the Road Again,” and just drive up and down the mountain roads, picking her turns at random. I was terrified we would get lost, so I always kept track of every turn.


Though I get nasty motion sickness, as a child on the annual summer road trip I would devour the maps! I loved studying the minute details and nuances in even places we wouldn’t be seeing, and especially reading all the street names for the most interesting. No matter how ‘quick and convenient’ google is, it does not take the place of seeing it all laid out in front of you!


I’ve been a map lover since childhood. I appreciate paper maps, detailed state atlases, world atlases, round globes and the amazing variety of maps available on the internet. Maps that show topography (like this one) are a big plus for me.


USA folded version Map will be good — for me to post in my office — for my friends to know — how to fly for small $:)




Interesting !!!


Americans are truly geographically illiterate and Google maps and GPS are only making things worse. Anything that can help us to improve our general competence in this area is great… even if we have to start just with the US.


Every trip always begins witb a detailed study of maps. I can’t tell you how many times an old school paper map has saved when GPS failed.

paul & carol

As career Air Force navigators we both have an almost freaky fascniation with al things maps. This would be an awesome add to our collection (and yes, if we don’t win, we’ll probably end up buying this map! 🙂


We are both career USAF navigator with an almost obsessive/compulsive fascination with all things map. This would be a great addition to our collection!


I read the Slate article about this map and got pretty excited. I have a very small map of the U.S. at home and would love to have a better / bigger one!


I have always loved maps. And even though I have finally broken down and purchased a GPS, I still carry lots of maps with me. They are a pleasure to read.

John Corbley

Forget the iphones and iPads, nothing beats a good folded map in the glove compartment.
Nice and simple…..Routes, distances and major cities.


I agree that this map is one of the best maps of the United States. From the unconventional state borders to the way he displays towns, Mr. Imus was able to produce a very good paper map of the United States.


I was given a globe/map set as a Christmas gift when I was 11. Best gift I ever received. As my mother now regrets, it set the stage for my adulthood wanderlust.


I spend hours looking at paper and online maps before trips. Really pays to have a lay of the land before you go.


In love with maps ever since a kid. Still enjoy hours with maps as I plan out multi-day adventures to Europe from time to time as I seek to hit the best sites and maximize utilization of my time!


Surprisingly, IKEA has a world map that is pretty awesome. It is huge!! Like any IKEA product though, you have to assemble it and it’s atleast 50 something pieces.


Love this idea! Big fan of maps here, and would love an addition to my collection.


I used to have something like this LONG LONG ago when I was a very young kid by my father. Brings back memories. I wish I still had that map.


[…] that everyone, even me sometimes, needs a good map. Stefan over at “Rapid Travel Chai” posted yesterday about a particularly good one that was designed by one man, a cartographer with 35 years’ […]


I am happy to see this map highlighted. It sounds extraordinary. Although the wide availability of maps online has is undoubtedly useful, the experience of looking at a large paper map is entirely different. One gets a sense of scale, a sense of how one’s particular journey fits into the geography of a larger area. Thanks for this post and this contest!

Donald Mamula

I’ve been a casual map collector for years. One of my favorites is a AAA map of Orange County CA from 1960. Amazing to see how much “open space” (likely orange groves) there was in towns such as Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. How Irvine didn’t even exist. Looking at a good map, there is always something new to notice that you never saw before.


I have two young daughters, and the map would help get them excited for upcoming trips.


Hoping to get this map for my friend. He has a goal of visiting every U.S. state capitol. He’s got most of the east coat and the south visited, but this would be a great way for him to keep track of where he’s been and other interesting places in the U.S. that he would like to visit! He also is moving to Taiwan for a job for a few years, so this would be a great goodbye present and a reminder of the places he still has yet to visit in America!


I’ve loved studying maps since I was a little kid. I’d probably hang this map on my bedroom wall and start to pin all the places I want to visit in the US 🙂 This is an awesome promo Stefan, thanks!


maps show me the places that I have been, but are most meaningful to me in showing how many places I have yet to go.


I have been fascinated with maps since I was a kid, there is something about knowing all of these places exist and how do they put it all together, especially a world map, great to fantasize about where to go to next.
I can truly appreciate the effort in spending 2 years to do something correctly and accurately, someone who takes that kind of time and effort is an artist in my mind. Would love to have this framed on my wall.


I love all types of maps. Relief maps, underwater charts, globes. Both of my sons have inherited this too. They just love having maps on the walls of their own homes

Nathan G

Awesome, read the article on this map and am interested in getting to look at it up close. My office has some great space for a upgraded US Map too 😉


Loving maps as a kid have kept me a traveler many times over as an adult.

There are things out there that you haven’t been able to experience!

Arthur R

There is one map that has been very important to me. My favorite English teacher back in what would be 9th grade gave me a giant raised-relief map of the US at the end of the year in recognition of my studious work and to inspire me to work hard to move to the US as it was my ambition. Ten years later, I finally moved permanently to the US. Thanks!

Mark P

I spent 2 years in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer living in a mud brick house with no running water and no electricity and thus little distractions with no TV, radio, internet, etc. My constant companion was my Readers Digest Atlas of the World and I poured over the maps on each page. Using a grid system, I painted an accurate large scale map of Africa on the wall in my room. I love maps and would love to own one of these beautiful pain-stakingly created works of art.


Awesome article. Would love this!


I often rather read a map than read a book. Or at least let the map direct me to the next book I’d like to read.


I love maps!


Map lover!

Aaron S

I have been looking or a good map for a few months now to mark off places as my wife and I visit them. Even if I don’t win it, I’ll probably buy one! Thanks!


Wow after reading that article I don’t think I’ll look at maps the same way again. I’ve been meaning to get a large map to decorate my house so this would be perfect.


I love traveling with a map. Even with GPS I have a paper map open to have as a reference. This map sounds great.


Nice timing. I’m looking for a new map to teach my daughter about the world around her!


I travel all over the US, quite often to small towns that can only be seen on a map such as this. This would make a great tool for my children to learn their geography as well as where Daddy is this week!


I have always enjoyed looking at maps, and would love receiving one of such artistry!


I love the craft that went into this map. Having worked for a mapping company in the past I can see the love and the effort. This would be a wonderful map to display.

Alex H

I read the same Slate article and was very impressed with Imus. I’d love to give this map to my nephew who I think would treasure it.