Public lecture organized jointly by the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig University, and the German Cartographic Society | November 15th, 2017. Abstract: Maps have gone viral: they are in our cars, on our phones, and across our news feeds. While the pervasiveness of maps is clear, has this popularity resulted in a tangible improvement to our collective geographic understanding? Is the world any better for the maps we make? In this presentation, I ask how we as cartographers, data scientists, and storytellers might bring more meaning to our work. I hang this discussion across three, multi‐month interactive mapping projects completed in the University of Wisconsin Cartography Lab that had complementary research and design elements. The projects covered very different datasets and contexts—climate change, globalization, and environment justice—but each afforded a deep engagement with domain experts and target users to puzzle through the design and delivery of a meaningful map product. Across these projects, my opinion on what mattered shifted away from the data, and even the map, to the people and places quantified by the data and represented in the map…to the geography. I conclude by brainstorming ways to bring more meaning to our map designs, helping our audience see the geography through our cartography to enable geographic thinking and promote global citizenship.