Map Your Experiences

Map Your Experiences - Body

What can maps tell us about the people who made them?

Indigenous Latin American mapmakers painted their own lived experiences. The maps shown below are from the 1570s and illustrate towns in Mexico and South America; these maps were displayed in an exhibition at The Huntington called “Visual Voyages.” See more works from the exhibition here before creating your own map.

Time to make your own!


  • A piece of paper
  • Art materials (crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, etc.)


1. Think about important events and places in your life. How would you want to paint or illustrate your lived experiences?

2. Using the piece of paper and whatever art materials you have, make a map that illustrates a part of your world. It could be a map of where you live, your school, your city, or your nation. You decide!


1. What have you learned about maps and mapmaking over time and around the world?

2. What did you choose to show in your map? How did you make that decision?

3. How is your map similar to, and different from, the ones shown in the “Visual Voyages” video?

4. Are you interested in viewing more maps? Explore the world and create new maps with Google Earth.