This article explores the role of maps in the construction and development of ethnographic taxonomies in the mid-century Russian Empire. A close reading of two ethnographic maps of “European Russia” produced by members of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, Petr Keppen (1851) and Aleksander Rittikh (1875), is used to shine a spotlight on the cartographical methods and techniques (lines, shading, color, hatching, legends, text, etc.) employed to depict, construct, and communicate these taxonomies. In doing so, this article draws our attention to how maps impacted visual and spatial thinking about the categories of ethnicity and nationality, and their application to specific contexts and political purposes within the Empire. Through an examination of Keppen's and Rittikh's maps, this article addresses the broader question of why cartography came to be regarded as such a powerful medium through which to communicate and consolidate particular visions of an ethnographic landscape.