24 Young Geospatial Professionals to Watch in 2024
For 12 years Applegate has made beautiful, data-rich maps for the news, Fortune 500 companies, charitable foundations, and commercial interiors. He created his first maps in 2011 as a graphics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.
Figuring a degree would help him land a job at National Geographic, he attended the graduate cartography program at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he learned mapmaking from master cartographer Daniel Huffman, who won the NACIS Student Map Competition and published five maps in the October and November 2015 issues of National Geographic.
After graduate school Applegate founded The Map Consultancy, providing high-design thematic maps to big organizations like Prologis, HF Sinclair, and the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. In 2019 he created Radiant Maps, his brand of ultra-detailed 3,600 DPI LED-backlit sculptural maps with all the detail of a paper map with an inviting glow.
In 2023 Applegate launched the weekly cartography podcast “Very Expensive Maps,” in which he interviews mapmakers who craft unique worlds in ink, pixels, threads, paint, ceramic, wood, and metal.
Since the best living mapmakers taught themselves, Applegate believes anyone can make a great map. To that end he maintains a mapmaking guide for novices at www.youshouldmakemaps.com. When not making maps Applegate is an avid day hiker, preferring trails in coastal live oak habitats.