Watercolor Maps

Last week Stamen launched maps.stamen.com, a collection of three new map tile sets for OpenStreetMap. You’ve probably already seen their beautiful new watercolor tiles, because they garnered a lot of attention and have been all over the web lately:

They just recently posted a follow-up explaining part of the design process that went into the creation of the watercolor tiles on their blog, with the promise of another follow-up.

I think Apple would be well-advised to hire (or buy) these guys if they really want to get rid of Google Maps as everyone is speculating.

Added later: For future reference, more follow-ups: The making of the textures and the terrain process.

Still later: The final follow-up.