n 2014 Cardiff University set up a Creative Economy team tasked with exploring how the university could improve its relationship with creative practitioners around the city. To explore this relationship the team embarked upon a research project to map creative industries in the city using a mixed methodology of online data collection and semi-ethnographic interviews. As the project progressed the creative economy team designed and launched a city-wide creative network Creative Cardiff connecting the city's creative populous through events, resources and a website with membership subscription. This article explores how mapping can be used to develop the university/creative economy relationship within metropolitan spaces as a contributor to the development of the modern civic university. It also explores the opportunities and challenges posed by a mapping project of this scale, taking into account debates in cultural mapping literature as to what a map actually is.