Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Street Orientations - Anywhere Edition


Today I was going to post a lot of other street orientation visualizations for global cities that have been posted to the Data is Beautiful subreddit over the last few days. But now I don't need to because you can create your own street orientation compass rose for any location in the world with the Streets Orientations Mapbox map.

Visit any location on the world on the Streets Orientations Mapbox map and you can view a compass rose showing the street orientation in the current map view. Instantly! Want a street orientation visualization of Istanbul? Then just center the map on Istanbul and you have one. All roads lead to Rome, right. But where do Roman roads lead? Find out with this map showing the street orientations of the Italian capital.

Obviously the main advantage of this Street Orientations map is that you can instantly create your own street orientation roses for any town, city or village anywhere in the world. However, another great advantage is that you are also able to compare the completed street orientation rose with the map itself. One of the most interesting things for me in looking at these visualizations is exploring why the street orientations in certain cities (like New York in the picture above) veer from the cardinal directions of the compass (north-south, west-east). Having the map and the orientation compass rose side-by-side allows you to see which geographical or natural features might play a role in  the directions of a city's street orientations.

The Street Orientations Mapbox map was made by Mapbox employee and Leaflet.js creator Vladimir Agafonkin. You can explore the code behind the map on the Street Orientations GitHub page. You can also learn how the map was made in just 80 lines of code on the Mapbox Blog (in particular you might be interested in the two Mapbox libraries the map uses - cheap-ruler & lineclip).


If you still insist on exploring ready made street orientation visualizations then check out:

Comparing City Street Orientations - Geoff Boeing's original visualization of American cities
Street Orientations Russia - a neat series of street orientation roses for Russian cities with accompanying road maps
UK Cities
Indian Cities
German Cities
Israel
France
Netherlands
Canada
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