Here are some interesting maps of modern cities drawn in the unique style of the maps from The Lord of the Rings.
The two main differences that jump out to me:
1. The Tolkien-style maps tend to have more natural features. Modern maps are usually pretty devoid of hills and forests, unless they are major peaks or the land has been officially designated as a park or preserve. These new maps feature many more hills and forested areas that give some more indication of the natural setting.
2. Identifying communities with a marker of a few small houses suggests the metropolitan communities don’t run into each other. In other words, the markers suggest villages or hamlets separated by open space while American metropolitan areas have sprawling contiguous places.