WASHINGTON — D.C. artist Zach Ammerman has an obsession with maps. A self-proclaimed "map nerd," he says he spent hours as a kid studying the fine details of atlases and maps.
His day job has nothing to do with art or cartography, but he's on the verge of transforming his passion for map art into a full-time endeavor because his map art projects are selling extremely well.
"The city seems to be filled with other map nerds like me," said Ammerman.
"I love maps. I love D.C. I thought I'd put the two together. I'd been working on maps of other things. Parks is what I started with. Then I did some neighborhood maps and they started to really catch on, so I did the whole thing," said Ammerman.
'The whole thing' he references is an entire map of the District, sketched out in extreme detail. He says it took five months to do.
"There's other people out there who do maps as well but mine is extremely detailed. You can see every single building in the entire District of Columbia," Ammerman said. "Each building is drawn individually by hand. There's no GIS. No automation of any kind. It's as close to 'by hand' as you can get on a computer."
Ammerman's art caught the attention of the advocacy group 'Neighbors United for DC Statehood.' It had been working on an outreach campaign and felt Ammerman's art could be a central component of its efforts.
"They asked me if they could use my map to put on postcards to send to Maine voters to get them to get Senator Angus King (I-ME) to support DC Statehood," Ammerman said.
The group's initiative 'Postcards to Maine Voters!' has delivered thousands of postcards to mailboxes in Maine. Josh Burch, a representative of the group, says Senator King's office has acknowledged receiving calls from Maine voters concerning D.C. statehood. Staff with Senator King's office did not respond to an email inquiry from WUSA9.
"We have no say in it (D.C. Statehood). Which is what's frustrating about it," said Ammerman.
While Ammerman is passionate about the D.C. Statehood issue it wasn't the driving force behind his map art project. He has countless other neighborhood maps of D.C. that he offers for sale on his website HERE.
"One of my newer ones is the geography of books in D.C.," Ammerman said. "The entire map is made out of words. It's a map of all the book stores in D.C. plus all the libraries."
Additionally, he's just recently created a map highlighting all the local and independent coffee shops in D.C.
(There's a particularly glorious campus map he created of the University of Maryland, College Park that your author is particularly fond of.)
More details about the Neighbors United for DC Statehood group can be found on its website or Twitter page.
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