Ask someone what makes a map and you’re likely to hear that it’s the roads or the physical characteristics. A new mashup is questioning whether you can still have a map without these details, while at the same time showing off the map styles feature that Google Maps announced in May.
Perhaps Maps Without Maps isn’t that useful, since it’s missing those elements that so many consider a map prerequisite. But it’s pretty fun to drag around and zoom in on areas you think you know, with only the city names (and some highway labels) visible.
Google isn’t the only mapping provider to allow styled maps. CloudMade provides a style editor which provides even more options in a point-and-click interface.