The Cartograpic Wonders of Lost IslandS

It isn't easy to get your bearings in the world of Lost. That's where cartography comes in. Here's a sampling of the best maps of Lost's island, both from the show and from fans.

The Cartograpic Wonders of Lost IslandS

Rousseau's Maps

This rambling, confusing pile of maps is the first significant cartographic revelation on the show. Rousseau's documents are muddled and all in French, peppered with song lyrics and weird references. Her maps are notable for including smaller islands, one of which is presumably the Hydra island from much later in the series. Also interesting about Rousseau's map is the central area she has labeled "the most dangerous place (the strange phenomena)." It's presumably the area where the temple is located, and where the smoke monster is most active. See a lot more at Lostpedia.

The Swan Hatch Map

The Cartograpic Wonders of Lost IslandS

This is the map that first opened up the world of Lost cartography to fans, and to me. Within hours of the final moments of the season 2 premiere, a preliminary version of this map appeared online. And it only improved as we saw more of this station. It's also very accurate, since it describes a specific set, instead of something as amorphous and large as the Island as represented by what we see on screen.

The Blast Door Map

The Cartograpic Wonders of Lost IslandS

Which brings us to the second important map on the show, and probably the most iconic: the eerie, fluorescent map hidden on the back of the blast doors inside of the Swan station. The map was hand-made by Radzinsky before his untimely end and continued by Kelvin after it. It shows a few important features on the Island, but its scale and accuracy is dubious at best. More important, it reaches beyond the Swan hatch and shows us the hidden underbelly of the Island itself.

The fascinating details that the blast door map actually does provide are all hidden within rambling, multilingual notations. There are references to "Cerberus vents," presumably related to the smokey guardian we know and love. And there are also numerous references to the Hanso group, the hostiles, and tons of math and science. It's as jumbled as, and more dense than, Rousseau's maps. It's a masterwork of map-making. A lot more details, including different versions and translations, available once again at Lostpedia.

Lost Island Map

The Cartograpic Wonders of Lost IslandS

Another of the trailblazing maps in the Lost cartography world, this project started back in 2006. It's not been formally updated in quite some time, but the overview, tree-covered version of the Island shows where we might see some of the diverse geographic features we keep seeing on the show. And an annotated version is available at the map's home base, with carefully considered explanations for the locations represented.

TheLostMap

The Cartograpic Wonders of Lost IslandS

This is apparently the most up-to-date of the comprehensive fan maps, including details from the most recent season. It's also notable for including some really keen observations about time-line on the Island. For instance, there seems to be a relatively recent crater from a volcanic eruption that was unrepresented in Rousseau's map. Head over to the map's site to check out the hard work the creator has done to place pretty much all of the events from the show's history on his map.

The Lost Subway Map

The Cartograpic Wonders of Lost IslandS

The most recent Lost fan map to emerge is this subway-style take on the Island. The creator wrote extensively about his process and how he arrived at the final design, and it's a really great read. It's a look into the huge undertaking every Lost map actually is, as well as a glimpse at the torture of trying to build a map of a place that isn't even real. The show has offered contradictory information about some locations, so it's no surprise that every map is different, sometimes hugely so.

And More!

These aren't all of the maps fans have made. They are merely the most comprehensive and most interesting of the cartographic undertakings associated with Lost. There is an entire Lostpedia article dedicated only to fan maps (which was invaluable in creating this post), as well as articles about every map we've ever seen on the show. And there's always Lost Risk and the crazy island poster as well.

Thanks to these maps, even after we've found our way through the show's final episodes, we'll still be able to virtually wander our beloved Island for years to come!