Zoom in on most ski resort villages using the satellite-view option on popular online maps applications and you’ll clearly see the streets and buildings, sometimes even some of the ski-lifts infrastructure, but it’s very difficult to discern exactly where the piste access points are and it’s almost impossible to identify specific hotels or individual ski chalets, to see whether or not they’re as close to the action as they may be claimed to be.
That lack of detail and accuracy has prompted ski-specialist author & artist Francis Johnston to begin compiling a new atlas of ultra-detailed street maps of popular ski resort villages, titled The SkiRide Atlas. Johnston is creating maps of all leading ski resorts, by plotting the precise positions of all chalets, hotels and apartment buildings, locations of resort amenities, including shops, restaurants and apres-ski venues, and the layout of the surrounding slopes and the placements of ski lifts; he personally visits each resort and carefully surveys and verifies all of the geo-data himself, street-by-street on foot to ensure accuracy.
For the online editions of his maps, each property, venue and ski lift is given its own precisely positioned interactive marker, colour coded by category; users can search for and locate any specific one either by hovering over and clicking on those markers, or by simply clicking on the property names in accompanying A–Z listings.
The first full demo version in the series, for the popular resort of Val d’Isere in the French Alps, can be viewed at http://ski-ride.co.uk/
Further maps currently in production cover all of the neighbouring French resorts of the Tarentaise Valley; all the ski resorts of Andorra plus the leading resorts across Austria, Italy, Switzerland and North America will follow.
Johnston states: “a while ago I created some online maps to accompany a series of ski resort guidebooks, those maps proved very popular with skiers, snowboarders and travel-trade users alike, so this new atlas is designed to provide a more comprehensive maps resource for all those users, and combines two of my greatest passions: snowsports and art”.
This not-for-profit mission relies on sponsorship and patronage to fund and support its surveying, production and publication costs. In a creative personal twist on crowdfunding, Johnston is offering for sale the meticulously detailed original hand-drawn maps that he creates for each resort village as part of the production process; these are created using archival-grade graphite pencils and ink drafting pens on premium-quality archival art paper, previous buyers have commented that they are reminiscent of the sketch maps by Alfred Wainwright.
Online map image: http://ski-ride.co.uk/
Hand-drawn map artwork: http://ski-ride.co.uk/
About Francis Johnston
Author & Artist Francis Johnston is the founder & proprietor of SkiRide Productions, his professional background is in resort operations and sales & marketing management with leading Ski, Lakes & Mountains tour operators.
He created and authored the SkiSpots guidebooks series, published by Thomas Cook, and is a contributing author to the Ski Atlas of the World, published by New Holland; he is currently surveying & compiling the detailed street-level maps of every ski resort village in the Tarentaise Valley, France, for his latest work The SkiRide Atlas. He is also known for his large-scale canvases of mountain landscapes and figurative life studies.
SkiRide and The SkiRide Atlas are trademarks of SkiRide Productions,
The SkiRide Studio, 9 Arundel Mews, Arundel Place, Brighton BN2 1GG, England.