I came across this short blurb by on some tricks for catchy large-scale maps. The bullet-points include:
- Interesting Topic. The subjects of these maps inherently represent risk, which we want to understand.
- Unexpected Scope. A forest view of something that’s usually seen at the tree-level offers satisfying perspective.
- Big and Clear. A single dataset is conceptually simple, and when large enough, it provides its own context-promoting conversation in the wild.
- Sharable. A static image is portable and paste-able, easily nestling into articles, blogs, tweets, and PowerPoints.
- Attractive. The currency of design buys a second or third look.
There is often a push to make large datasets available through interactive webGIS portals, but I think this makes a good case that there is still also a role for skilled cartography to present information in captivating ways.
Below is an example of one of the author's (John Nelson) maps, and more can be found here.