1.28.2008

Maps, Maps, Maps For All

I had a friend over last weekend and we spent a good chunk of time tooling around several of my favorite map sites on the web (because that's what catrography geeks do for fun, you see). After revisiting the glories of Radical Cartography for the first time in months, I was pleasantly surprised to see the pop up in a recent post over at Tropolism.

While Radical Cartography does indeed contain some of the most interesting maps on the interwebs, I thought it'd be fun to do a rundown of five of my other favorite sites featuring innovative cartography. Heck, I'll even let down this blog's hair a bit and put the links directly in the text of the post instead of at the bottom. Hot damn, are you excited yet?! I sure am. Let's get rolling.

1) Fake is the New Real
As its too-cool-for-skool title suggests, FITNR is so not interested in whether or not you find it interesting. This site offers up a heaping helping of cartography and taxonomy with attitude. If you can't imagine such a mixture, click the link. Trust me -- World Subways at Scale and Chicago MilexMile alone are well worth a visit. The rest is icing on the cake.

2) Paris Traffic Noise
Pretty straightforward, this one: it's a zoomable, 3D, color-coded map of the noise levels of every public street and park inside the Périphérique. The colors are projected onto the buildings that line the streets, which themselves are created from satellite photographs. Even if you don't care much about urban soundscapes, this one is just damn pretty.

3) Stamen Design
Stamen is the design studio behind some of the most resonant online maps in recent memory. First came Cabspotting, which uses GPS technology to track cabs in San Francisco, creating a live, ever-changing map of the most travelled routes in the city. Then Stamen made a real splash several months back with Trulia Hindsight, the real estate mapping site that uses color-coded markers to show houses on the market from different periods of time. The animations on Hindsight show the development of cities and suburbs over time. Watching a subdivision flash-bloom onto the screen in a split second? Very cool. There's more than just maps at this one, but do give it a looksee.

4) Transparent New York
An oldie but goodie, I think I first stumbled upon TNY when I was a freshman in college. The site features an interactive series of layers that allow you to construct your own maps of Manhattan. Want to see if contemporary historic districts correlate at all to the island's original farm plots? You can see that here. How about comparing the island's commercial zones to the locations of all of the city's pre-war skyscrapers? You can see that, too. This one is quite fun to play around with.

5) Zipdecode
Another pretty simple concept with geek-tastic results, Zipdecode allows you to type in any series of numbers to discover what (if any) US municipality claims your numeric ramblings as its ZIP code. Turn on the zoom feature for some fun flyover action.

Happy Monday, everyone. Enjoy some good, old-fashioned nerdy map fun.



(Other) Links:
Tropolism post on Radical Cartography

Radical Cartography, itself!

1 comment:

BC Planning said...

Cool site, especially the Transparent New York