Why do people invent worlds? Largely, because they wish to tell stories set in them. This process, known as worldbuilding, informs everything from fiction to videogaming, and underpins a lot of ontological and logical philosophy.
Why, however, do they so often also map them? What are the purpose of maps of non-existent places? What purpose, in other words, do such maps serve?
My current research project is looking into this, and is a while away from completion yet, but as a comic prelude, do enjoy this paper on Speculative Oceanography.
Alternatively, I have a study of how the concept of North is codified in fantasy literature in this collection of essays, which used corpus linguistics methodologies to identify how the idea of North is reified as much as it is invented in those texts.