It seems only fair for me to start this blog out with one of my own works, which still graces the Wikipedia page on the Kalamazoo River:
The labeling is troubling, and the whole thing has this “I threw it together in MS Paint” look (which, actually, I didn’t), but the real problem is the inset in the lower left. See, there’s a problem on a lot of maps called the island effect, where you just show one state or country in your map, and completely leave off the other geographic context. Look at the area to the immediate west of Michigan. It’s brown. That’s where Lake Michigan is. Also, Wisconsin. Apparently, Wisconsin (not to mention other bordering states) blends seamlessly and stealthily into the Great Lakes. So does Canada – they have, in fact, hidden their entire country in camouflage in preparation for the big invasion.
Also, in the inset, Michigan is surrounded by the same brown used for land on the main map…making it look more like a hole in the middle of the land rather than an island. And like there’s no water around it at all, only barren wasteland.
To be nice (to myself), I did make this some time before I actually had any cartographic training, or even access to the proper tools. I’ve been planning for years to replace this with a better effort. Someday, perhaps that will happen.
One Nice Thing: The city label size varies by city population. Though, you know, it would be nice if I indicated that in some way.