Kamloops is getting a facelift, in map form that is.
Montreal-based artist Jean-Louis Rheault has been called on to revise the pictorial map he drew of Kamloops in 2009.
The revised map will show more of the outlying areas that surround the city, said Rheault, who is under contract with Mountain Media out of Kelowna.
This version includes Tranquille on the Lake west of Kamloops and follows the Yellowhead Highway toward Barriere, he said.
"I'm not sure it will go all the way to Barriere," said Rheault, adding the focus is still on the city.
James Wannop, of Mountain Media, said the maps, which resemble an illustrated, bird's-eye view of the landscape, is sponsored by local tourism, business and stakeholders who want to seen on the map alongside local landmarks.
"The one that we did in the West Kootenay, Columbia Power came on and we put their dams on the rivers. It really turned out to be a beautiful piece of artwork," said Wannop.
Once complete, the map will again be erected at the B.C. Wildlife Park, at the Yellowhead Highway at the Halston offramp as well as a smaller version at the visitor's centre in Aberdeen.
Rheault is halfway through the six-month process of drawing the map. When he started in pictorial mapmaking more than 25 years ago, he drew by hand. Now he draws on an electronic tablet that reproduces the design digitally.
Pictorial map-making dates back to the Middle Ages, with the artist providing panoramic perspectives of a city or region that replicate spatial perception, not the visual perspective.
"When you say maps . . . people think of grids," said Rheault. "It's one of the ills of modernity that we've turned them into grids. We don't think in grids."
He captures the way maps used to be made, he said. Rheault emphasizes certain landmarks. By drawing a map this way without a need to depict exact distances between locals, more can be shown.
"Less information is more. You see where all the highlights are," he said.
Rheault has drawn pictorial maps all over the world. He's begun chronicling people's lives in map form, and has done so for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai.
Locally, he's also created maps of Thompson Rivers University and the B.C. Wildlife Park. His work has been featured in the North American Cartographic Information Society's Atlas of Design.
Tourism Kamloops is a sponsor. CEO Lee Morris said the map will include QR codes that will allow people to access online information when they scan the map with a smartphone.
Morris said the cost of the map is still being negotiated.
The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce has moved out of the visitor's centre, and won't return as a sponsor. However, executive director Deb McClelland encouraged members to sign on, saying it's a valuable resource.