Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Re-Imagining Cleveland

Cleveland, like many northeastern US cities, has been experiencing a steady population decline for decades. The estimated 2007 population is less than half of its 1950 population. An excellent article from the Planning Commissioners Journal highlights some interesting ideas the city's planners have for some of the empty spaces. These ideas include farms, community gardens, and restored wetlands among new commercial and residential districts. Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) has a great report entitled "Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland" that details many of these ideas. The report can be downloaded from their site, however it is a large file. There are lots of maps that if overlaid can be used to determine the best sites for the above uses. For example, here are maps of foreclosures and vacant land.

The map below on the left shows population loss in blue while the map on the right is the county's proposed"Greenprint."

The report has a nice overlay map showing different soil types to distinguish areas that are more suited to agriculture vs. areas that are better for wetland restoration. These are overlaid on top of existing parks and vacant areas (in dark brown).

Other useful overlays for these purposes are brownfields, estimated population trends and impervious surfaces. Some of these maps are from the Green City Blue Lake website while others are from the CUDC report. Below is a design concept from the report for land in areas around stream headwaters.

Population loss can be a tough pill for a city to swallow but if these ideas are carried out it could turn Cleveland into a model of a desirable urban community.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unfinishtstan-A Kitchen Wall in Edinburgh

Collins Geo, formerly Bartholomew (whose World Atlas I featured in a previous post), has a map blog. On that blog there's a "Map of the Month." They sent me this month's map, a rendering of imaginary countries on a kitchen wall. The map's boundaries and features have been determined by an uneven plastering job. Click the map for the story, map details, pinxits, Badley Smooved Mountains and an enlarged image of this "wall map."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Map of the Week-Patriot's Day Edition

Monday is Patriot's Day here in Massachusetts. We commemorate the first revolutionary war battles by taking a day off from work and re-enacting these battles. We also have related activities like a morning Red Sox game,  a marathon, drinking beer out of paper bags on the T and bragging about our "wicked awesome" sports teams.  Here is a map of the activities of April 19th, 1775 - some of it happened right down the street from me.  

Thanks to the Department of Military Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for the map. Their timeline of events (and this map) can be found here

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Map of the Week - Paris circa 1900

My wife gave me a "Vintage Maps" 2009 calendar as a Chanukah gift. This is the April map. Speaking in highly technical cartographic terms, I love the cool monuments as well as the details of woods, parks, forts and city walls. I stare at this map way too much at work and don't get other things done.
It is odd that no map credits are given in this calendar. There is just a title; "Paris Circa 1900". I usually like to have a link or give credit for the maps I post but in this case I must defer to the calendar's publisher Cavallini & Co.

Here is a detail of part of Central Paris for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Map of the Week - Fargo Flood Wiki

With record flooding ongoing, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead has set up a "wiki" map for flood information. Anyone with minimal map skills can edit it but frivolous postings will be removed. Good idea but cartographically it's a bit problematic when the editor can choose any color or symbol they like for their posts.

I think the original idea was maybe for shelters to be white, animal shelters green, drainage problems blue, web cams light green and closures in red. However, without a legend or guidelines for posting it gets a bit muddy. Also, the numbers are confusing - click a 3 and you get 3 points. Why not just show them all?

Despite those little flaws it's still a nice, useful tool for the area.

This map to the left, also from the Forum shows all the mandatory evacuation areas - some of them are shown in pink on the wiki.

Fargo's logo seems a bit ironic at the moment but best of luck to the area residents - I hope the worst is over.