How To Make Your Own Street Art Map (Of Any City)
No matter where you are or who you are, you have everything available to you to make your own street art map in any new city.
If you’re anything like me, street art hunting is one of the primary joys of travelling to new places. In most cases, a little Google search will turn up street art maps from sources like us (Splatrs) and Street Art Cities, and you’re good to get hunting.
But what if your next destination has no map to be found online? No past person that has laid down the foundation for your hunt…
This situation calls for some DIY. And thankfully, its actually pretty bloody easy to MYO street art map, identifying all the hot spots — no matter where you are.
Street Art Map Making 101
Thanks to social media, it’s quite uncommon that a good mural or piece of public art goes unposted online. This means all good artwork, in any city, is already kind of documented. All you need is a system to quickly extract those locations, and stick em in your own map, ready for your street art exploration.
While it is easy, it does take time, so it’s worth trying to make your map before you go, so not to cut into your hunting time.
Step 1: Lock Down the Locations
What you need: Pen, paper and Instagram
Personally, I use Instagram to find the best street art spots in new cities. On Instagram, people are more likely to tag venues or exact locations, making it a more reliable platform for this research.
Say you’re going to Morocco. As I did back in 2018. You could (you should) look at our Street Art Map of Morocco, but there are bound to be new pieces that have gone up in the proceeding years. This is where your social media research helps to fill in the gaps.
If going to Casablanca, look up the hashtag #streetartcasablanca on Instagram, then scroll through looking for neighbourhoods or exact locations. Write down the places that people tag and then when you see this location come up again, add a tally so that you can start to see how frequently people tag this spot.
Step 2: Map Out Where You’re Going
What you need: Location list and whatever online map you use (I use Google maps)
With your list and the tally’s against the locations, you will already have a good idea of the main hot spots in the city. Now you want to tag these into your map so that when you’re walking around on your visit, you can simply whip out your phone and get hunting.
This step is pretty obvious. Write the locations into your phone, tag the spot (in Google maps you do this by holding down on the location and then adding a label or a pin).
As you go through this process, you will see that some spots are nowhere near other clusters of pins. This is where you will be grateful for your tally system. The tallies are like online reviews, telling you “Yes, there is something here. Please visit.”. In the event there is only one entry in Instagram of a particular location, there could be something there, but there could also be nothing. Thankfully you have the odds on paper, and maybe if it’s close enough you can go see for yourself, or if it’s far, you can decide to leave it.
Step 3: Update Your Map As You Go
What you need: walking shoes and your map
As you’re roaming around checking your spots, you may want to update your map as you go. I tend to have a “want to visit” flag on mine, and then I change it to a star when I find them. This helps to keep track of what I’ve found and gives me an idea of what I wasn’t able to discover.
In many cases, the locations on Instagram aren’t exact. So this system helps you to spot if there are locations that you should really search harder to find. For example, there may not be anything on the street, but your IG research told you that 15+ people said something was here… So you start looking over fences, down alleys and behind venues.
Step 4: Share With Other Street Art Lovers
What you need: Google maps on your desktop
This step will not apply to everyone. For most, if you’ve got to visit the best street art in the city you visit, that will be enough. But… If you’re anything like myself or the many other street art hunters who love to share these resources with others, you can make a shareable, downloadable map.
Unfortunately, this process is time-consuming, and I don’t believe you can just export from your phone. That means you need to go through your phone, find the locations and then go to Google maps, select make a map and then pin them all on here. Like so:
If you do go through this process and have nowhere to post it, do get in touch. We’re all about sharing street art locations and credit with other street art lovers. We’d be happy to share your map, with full credit back to you.
If you’re heading on holidays or looking to explore your city for the first time, check out our street art maps, check out street art cities and then get onto Instagram to fill in the blanks yourself.