How to Make a Map in Photoshop

By Daniel Ketchum

Maps were one of the first ways that man attempted to understand and even control the world around him. Without a map (even if it was only a crude map of the mind), life was one aimless journey after another, with the result often being a nasty surprise. Many people still like to make their own maps. If you have Adobe Photoshop, you can use its many tools and functions to make you own map to emulate these early maps.

Step 1

Open Photoshop. Select "File" and click "New." In the dialog box that pops up, make the pixel width and height what you want for your map. Set the resolution to 300 pixels per inch, unless it is going on the Internet, in which case make the resolution 72. Click "OK."

Step 2

Select "View" from the menu and click "Show." From the options, choose "Grid." This grid (along with the rulers) will help you place the elements of your map.

Step 3

Click on the "New Layer" icon under the "Layers" panel. Select the "Pen" tool from the toolbar, and in the options at the top, set it to "Path." Start clicking with the tool to draw in the first line for your map. If it is not exactly right, select the "Convert Point" tool and click on the points to adjust the shape of the path.

Step 4

Click on the "Path" tab and right click on the listed path. From the options, choose "Stroke Path." This replaces the path with a line.

Step 5

Repeat steps 3 and 4 to create all the lines and shapes of your map. Then use the "Text" tool to add the names for the elements on your map (street names, county names, etc.). Also create a legend for your map in a corner.

Step 6

Select "File" and click "Save." Name your map and save it as a high-resolution JPEG.