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We Can’t Stop Looking at These Detailed DC Maps

Zachary Ammerman quit his job to make them full-time.

Hand-drawn neighborhood maps are a common sight in shops around town, but we’ve yet to encounter any as detailed and absorbing as the ones that Zachary Ammerman makes. A transplant from Indiana who previously worked at the French Embassy, the self-professed map nerd is now devoting all his energy to his business, Wild Places Prints. In addition to neighborhoods, he offers maps of bookstores, coffee shops, local college campuses, and other cartographic curiosities. (They’re all available on his website.) “Maps tickle that part of your brain that combines arts and learning,” he says. “They are beautiful but at the same time informative.”

“I’ve got tons of ideas on my to-do list,” he says, including dog parks and hiking trails. Maps like this one of Bloomingdale “are my love letters to the city. It’s a beautiful city, isn’t it?”
Like all his work, Ammerman drew the Adams Morgan map above by hand using a stylus and iPad—and without automation or a geographic information system.

This article appears in the July 2022 issue of Washingtonian.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor