Mapping is an internet fandom based on an animated, cartographic representation of historical, fictional or future events. People who create mapping content are self-dubbed mappers. Mapping content is shared on video platforms, such as YouTube, and its style sometimes involves countryballs, especially on fictional mapping. Mapping can also be seen with text and blank maps.
A section of the screen is usually set off to give information. On fictional mapping, it would revolve around a country, such as its official name and flag, and also has dialogue between interacting entities; while on videomapping it normally details sides of a military conflict and occurrences during events. Videos often contain music and other animation to increase the entertainment.
Mapping is attributed to a YouTube user named MervueMeringue, formerly Mathew Nicolson, who made the first ever video categorized as mapping in July 7th, 2008. While another user named Ninety9Ballons created the first mapping-like project in late December of 2007, Mathew Nicolson is more attributed to the founding of the fandom due to his mapping series on Europe.
Mapping is broken into two main branches. It is then further divided into several varieties and sub-varieties.
Fictional mapping, often called mapping without adjectives, is a branch of mapping that almost exclusively focuses in fictional scenarios. Fictional mapping has characteristics which make it distinguishable from videomapping, such as featuring personified cartographic entities which then create a narrative. Often times, countryballs are used in fictional mapping videos.
The style ended up attracting the attention of SMART BANANA, a YouTube channel with almost 2 million subscribers, who made an Alternate Future of Europe-styled video. However, it received heavy backlash from the community, getting a negative like to dislike ratio. SMART BANANA later took down the video, but plenty of videos ranting about the mapping video still exist on YouTube and can be found easily with a search.
Videomapping, or historical mapping, primarily focuses on historical events, although exceptions frequently occur. The topics generally covered include historical or ongoing wars, histories of countries, regions, continents, or occasionally the Earth. In a simple explanation, videomapping generally displays territorial, geographical, and occasionally demographic changes over a period of time on a cartographic image.
Some videos created by videomappers have received coverage in mainstream news outlets, such as EmperorTigerstar's videos on World War II and the American Civil War, and Ollie Bye's video on the History of India.
Mapping has had many communities over its entire existence, based on the platform those communities used.
YouTube Mapping Community
The YouTube Mapping Community or YMC is a mapping community on YouTube and by far the largest community on the topic. Members include Japanese Mapping, CosmicMapping, Romanian Mapping, Imperialis, and many more users, to name a few from different parts of the community.
Discord Mapping Community
The Discord Mapping Community (DMC) is a mapping community on communications platform Discord, which has recently seen a large amount of mappers joining it. There are two main branches of the Discord Mapping Community: community servers and competition servers.
Community servers are usually based around large YouTube mappers, such as The Order of Mapping - owned by Protonian and Kha, and the Reservoir - owned by Liquid Lake; while competition servers are typically in a survivor format and have challenges based around mapping.
Both of these branches have hubs which highlight servers that partner with them: The Mapperdonian Station and The Mapping Competition Core.
Google+ Mapping Community
The Google+ Mapping Community was a mapping community that existed on a platform named Google+, where a notable portion of mappers socialized.
The Google+ Mapping Community was seen as more of a sub-community, as the only things it was used for were for community groups, tutorial groups or collaborative groups. In late 2017, a large chunk of the community moved over to Discord sometime after the news that Google+ was closing.
Scratch Mapping Community
The Scratch Mapping Community, or SMC, is a mapping community founded in 2014 based on the programming language Scratch. It has 4 primary wikis, TheFutureOfScratches, the SMC wiki, the Scratch Mapping wiki (which was deleted but has two backups) and the current wiki, the Scratch Mapping Community Wiki.
The vast majority of mappers are male, so much that female mappers can be named individually for being female. It may be due to graphics and animation software being dominated by men.
- LV. While there were plenty of fictional mappers before LV, he arguably was the first truly notable one. His Alternate Future of the World movie has over 2 million views.
- Eradiate. Eradiate is known as the founder of edgy mapping, the most common representation of fictional mapping. His Alternate Future Of Europe (AFOE) series is still considered legendary to this day. It introduced many largely unknown things to the subgenre, such as a film-style plot, major character development, and others which have since become mainstream.
- Korean Mapping. Korean Mapping, similar to Eradiate, introduced new standards for the mapping fandom. His AFOE is a very popular mapping series to this day.
- Frkon. With his Gauche series, Frkon accomplished the same thing as Eradiate and Korean before him. However, instead of revolutionizing the story aspect, he transformed the visual aspect. The visuals of fictional mapping had been improving over the years from basic green maps to textured, detailed ones. Frkon took a different approach with his series and focused on animations, introducing pans, zooms, animated text and animated flags.
- EmperorTigerstar. EmperorTigerstar as of November 2020 has 354 thousand subscribers and 103 million views, being the largest videomapper by subscriber count.
- George Andreou founded the largest mapping community server ever: the Diarchy of Mapping. It currently has over 1300 members, and has been growing steadily.
- Ankhor is mainly known for founding Grand Mapper, the largest mapping competition. Grand Mapper was not the first mapping competition, but it got a very large response and it eventually became the most prominent in the community. Most competitions are very similar to Grand Mapper, copying the Survivor format which Ankhor implemented.
- Seany10 was the founder of the SMC (also commonly known as the Scratch Mapping Community) in 2014, by founding the first studio Mapperdonia.
- Enjania is a well-known mapper in the Scratch Mapping Community for being the founder of the current studio and Discord server - thus making him the de-facto leader of this current day in age.
- IgorGamingPL is a member of the Scratch Mapping Community and most notably known for transforming the visual aspect on maps in the community, with his series "The Fate of Europe", which had also popularized edgy storylines and dialogue throughout the community. IgorGamingPL is similar to Frkon but in Scratch mapping; and his visuals have an "extremely high quality" for Scratch. He also has the highest follow count in the community thus far.
- OasisMapping was a former member of the Scratch Mapping Community, he used to map on YouTube before joining Scratch mapping, but he wasn't known in YouTube mapping at all. He also popularized edgy storylines and dialogue throughout the community with his series known as "Mapper Wars: X".
- Animated mapping
- National personification
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