Saturday, July 14, 2018

Street Orientations - World Edition


Geoff Boeing's Comparing City Street Orientations has been very popular over the last week. Geoff's compass rose visualizations show the street orientation patterns of 25 major American cities. This series of compass roses reveals that nearly all U.S. cities adhere to a fairly strict grid system of roads.

Now Geoff has turned his attention to other major cities around the world. City Street Orientations around the World includes compass rose visualizations showing the street orientations of 25 cities across the globe. When you look at the street orientations of American cities side-by-side with some of the much older global cities you can see how older cities tend not to have the same strict grid cities of younger cities across the world.


It is also interesting to explore why some city street orientations deviate from the cardinal directions. You can probably guess why Manhattan doesn't have the strict North-South and East-West street orientation of most American cities. If you aren't sure of the reason then you might want to look at a map of New York.


A few years ago Visual Statistix also explored the road direction patterns in America and in a number of European cities. Visual Statistix included maps of each city next to the rose diagrams of urban road patterns. These maps allow you to explore how geographical and natural features (most often rivers) might contribute to the orientation of city streets in cities whose streets deviate from the cardinal directions.


Thanks to a number of Reddit users we now also have street orientations for cities in a number of other countries around the world. ddofer created (the above) compass rose visualizations for cities in Israel.


oxymiro made a similar visualization showing the street orientations of the sixteen biggest cities in France.


In the Netherlands bartkappenberg created compass roses showing street orientations for fifteen Dutch cities.


DSPublic made a visualization showing the street orientations of the most populous cities in each Canadian province.
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