Monday, January 27, 2020

Maps of Planned Cities Can Be Very Pretty

By far the most popular map of last week was City Roads, a new online tool which allows you to make road maps for any city in the world. City Roads uses OpenStreetMap data to create simple monochrome maps created just from a city's roads.

Road maps of planned cities can be very pretty. Which is perhaps why Mike Bostock has created a number of maps showing The Roads of Planned Cities (Mike's maps also seem to include railway lines as well as roads). Using his own Observable tool Mike has created road maps for Brasília, La Plata, Adelaide and New Cairo. These four locations all share the characteristic of having been carefully planned and laid out before being built. The design and planning which went into the layout of each city can be seen and appreciated in Mike's rather pretty road maps.

an edit of Planned Cities to show New York

Because Mike has used Observable to create these maps you can actually edit the notebook to create your own maps (even for unplanned cities). This is very easy to do. Just click on the left-hand margin next to one of the maps and select the edit option. This line of code will then appear below the map:
map({center: [31.4944, 30.0272], zoom: 20.5, zoomDelta: 1, visibility})
Now all you have to do is change the latitude and longitude to the city of your choice (although it is actually [longitude, latitude] because of one of the quirks of Mapbox). Change the 'center' location to your lon,lat co-ordinates and then press the 'run cell' button and the map will automatically update to your new location.

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