Thanks to Justin Holman, I stumbled across the extent(PNW) and Bostonography websites today.  These two sites demonstrate what local cartographers can do in their free time and (mostly) free data. Nick Martinelli and Derek Watkins created extent(PNW). Both graduated from the University of Oregon and were disciples of Jim Meachem and the InfoGraphics lab.  Here is an example of their work from their site.  Please go check them out and hire them for your geospatial needs.

Andy Woodruff, (Axis Maps) & Tim Wallace, PhD Candidate (UW-Madison Geography) created Bostonography.  Both are Bostonians and love their city.  They have a great variety of localized work ranging from a liquor accessibility study, typographic map designs, interactive cartography (based on crowdsourced neighborhood perception), to [my favorite - baseball related] rivalry map of Red Sox and Yankee radio stations in the Northeast (and throughout the United States).   Please go check them out and hire them for your geospatial needs.

Both cartographic explorations of the Pacific Northwest and Boston are beautiful examples of how design, geospatial data, and passion for place can come together.  

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