Creating illustrated maps do not require extraordinary skills. You just have to be accurate to ensure that the map will serve its purpose and that is to lead the user to his target location in less time as possible. You just have to be creative and have the right and accurate information in order to create the perfect map for you. Here are some tips:
Pick an area
The first thing that you should do is choose an area. For starters, you can pick your locality since you are more familiar with it. Later on, if you are more experienced or if you want to try creating more maps, you can choose a more complicated or intricate areas.
Research about the area
The goal in creating a map is to guide the user to his target destination as easily as possible and this cannot be achieved if your illustrated map is not accurate nor does it contain the right information. Thus, make a research about the area. Check for old maps or current maps about the area for reference.
Indicate important landmarks
Determine the important landmarks in the area so you can easily place illustrations or images later on. You should also indicate areas that would make it easier for the user to determine his location such as rivers, valleys, mountains and parks.
There are several ways to add images to your map. If you are using an online or soft map, you can Photoshop the images to the map or create a hyperlink to it in order to provide more information on the landmark. If you are making hard copy of illustrated maps, you can draw the landmarks or cut and paste illustrations into the map.
Draw routes and paths
Connect the landmarks and important areas with roads, paths, walkways, etc. Place a legend to inform users what the images mean.
Add finishing touches
Lastly, add the images to complete your illustrated maps. Put emphasis on roads and other patterns. Add color on your images to make it more appealing to users.