Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Strangest Driving Laws on Earth

From the Visual Data tumblr site - click for readability:
Apparently this is from an insurance company though I don't see the map on their page. Some of these laws aren't really that strange, other ones I'm a little skeptical of. Does Tennessee really ban shooting whales from a moving vehicle? Another cherished freedom out the window.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waterplace Park, Providence

I am at the GIS-Pro conference in Providence, Rhode Island and don't have time for a real blog post so here is a "you are here" map. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The MBTA Map Competition Finals

In the Spring Boston's MBTA launched a competition to redesign the system map. The six finalists have been announced and you can vote for one of them until September 20th. I'm partial to "Map 4" by Kenneth Mirsaki though it has several cartographic problems.
It's not the most clear or easy to read map and those weird grey shadows which I guess are supposed to represent surface routes leave a false impression of elevated tracks. Still, I like the overall design concept and am not one of those people who think transit maps must conform to 45 degree angles.

"Map 1" should probably win. Less interesting but much better clarity. Also pleasing to the 45 degree partisans.
The other ones leave me with a "meh" reaction. I don't really like skinny lines and overly schematic looks.
For reference here is the current "Spider Map" used by the MBTA.

More interesting than any of this are some of the entries that didn't make the final cut. For example this sweet little needlepoint map (left) or the tree map. Neither of these will get you very far if you don't already know your way around.

There's also one I refer to as the "Chicago" map (below left) because that's what the geography looks like to me and a hideous but useful map showing distances from Downtown Crossing.

Cast your vote soon! Thanks to blog reader Christine for pointing out some of these. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Jerry Gretzinger's World

Jerry Gretzinger began doodling a map of an imaginary town in 1963. When he got to the edge of the page, he added another and the map began to take on its own life. The map now has over 2600 panels and covers 2000 square feet. Here is panel N1/W16.

He takes a playing card from a deck with instructions that tell him what to do next. Panels are often redone and sometimes a card will tell him to place a void (a white space) over part of a panel obliterating what was underneath. Some important areas, like most of the largest city of Ukrania have walls surrounding them to protect the citizens from being wiped out by one of these voids. His blog details one of these voids that happened in January - his words appear below the image.
The Void Incursion which most recently hit the Polk neighborhood of Wybourne in Map Years 752 and 805 yesterday (Map Year 1045) consumed another large expanse of that city carrying off to another dimension an estimated 28,590 people. Taken, too, were over 20 commercial blocks and one rail station.

Since there is no defense wall in this area it is widely assumed that the entire West end of Wybourne will, one day, be lost to the Void.
He also began adding artistic elements like cut out images or words from magazines. For more information on his process you see see his video on vimeo.

You can see the entire map interactively. It takes a while to load and then it may take you all day to stare and marvel at it. Here is a bit I landed on showing an area called Duggan. The town is surrounded by one of those walls to protect it from being victimized by a void. 
Much of the map (about 800 of the central panels) will be on display at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont starting November 1st.