This chapter focuses on the non-technical components of the process of making a map, from inception to the final product, drawing from examples taken from the author's own experience and work. The projects explored the politics, policies, and social pressures surrounding the expansion of suburban and exurban neighborhoods into the fire-prone hills of California, which ultimately resulted in exposing residents to forest fires. The narrative of the text focuses around the roles that these cities, their policies, and the politics played in the occurrence of wildfires, and so it made sense to give the labels for the cities of Berkeley and Oakland more visual weight than the other contextual map features. Armed with a strong knowledge of the geography of the area, some key ideas were immediately apparent to the team. In actuality, the management of protected areas in the Western United States (US) changed very little during the time reported on the map.