'It's the graphic depiction of geography. That's what I'm good at'

'It's the graphic depiction of geography. That's what I'm good at'

PORTLAND, Ore. – David Imus enjoys helping others see the world.

He’s been making it his mission for the last 29 years.

The Eugene cartographer said the maps he’s made have become his own chronological record.

“I think I remember my life based on the maps I was doing,” said Imus.

Every map Imus has made has won some kind of national award.

“It’s the graphic depiction of geography. That’s what I’m good at.”

Imus’ biggest success has only come recently, in a map called “The Essential Geography of the United States.” Some experts call it the best map ever made.

“There was no U.S. map, wall map, that showed you where the Statue of Liberty is, or the Alamo, or San Andreas Fault, or Woodstock Festival,” Imus said. “Everyone’s heard of Woodstock, but where is it?”

The map, which Imus said took him close to 6,000 hours to make, won top honors in the cartography world, but Imus said it also furthers geographic literacy.

“If your surroundings to you are just random scenery, your life is not enriched as if your surroundings mean something to you.”