I've always had a fascination with topographical maps. My go-to doodle pattern through college (once I graduated from hearts and stars), was a free-form topographical map usually of nothing in particular.
I find the patterns and the flows of the lines on the maps to be soothing. I somehow always felt 'safe' when doodling in a topgraphical style, because you could really go 'out there' with your design, but there was always order in the chaos by way of lines that always met back with each other at the end.
Not too long ago I stumbled upon a beautiful series of quilts created by Liz Burow, an artist and designer in Brooklyn, NY. Her designs are based on topographical maps of various places and park spaces. Check out the one below based on Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Here's a snippet from her website:
These customized quilts bring together the line work of topographical maps along with the tradition and elegance of widecloth cotton quilts. These heirloom quality quilts reference the topography of specific landscapes and places which often hold a specific memory or meaning to the person who has commissioned the work. The work sells as either decorative wall hangings or functional quilts for the bedroom.
I really love how the organic tension and flow of the topographical representations of each area translates into the quilts and I find the contrast between that tension and the soothing, tone-on-tone pallet she uses to be inspiring. I also appreciate that it is a beautiful, personal way to bring elements of the public spaces we love into our homes.