Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Inception Folding City Maps

Inception Map by William Davis uses satellite imagery to create a bendy map of Manhattan in the style of some of the famous folding city scenes in the science fiction movie Inception. The map uses a number of separate Mapbox maps, each with a different map pitch view, seamlessly stitched together to recreate the folding city views seen in Inception.

Because the Inception Map was created in Observable you can adapt the map to show a different folding city view. To do this you will need to change the latitude and longitudes defined in the mapCenter array.

William's The Inception Map is just the latest attempt to create an Inception style map. A few years ago the London design company BERG created two horizonless maps of Manhattan. The Here & There maps show the nearest parts of Manhattan from a normal first person perspective but in the distance the Here & There map of the city begins to curve skywards so that distant parts of New York are shown in a plan view.

Janne Aukia was inspired by the Here & There maps and the film Inception to create a similar folding map view using OSM Buildings. The OSM Buildings GL Inception Map is a pretty amazing map. In the foreground you can view the 3d buildings of OSM Buildings as normal but rising beyond & above the foreground buildings is the rest of the city.

The Tangram Bendy Map also allows you to view this interesting Inception inspired perspective on an interactive map. The screenshot above shows Manhattan but in either the Tangram Bendy Map or the OSM Buildings map you can jump to a folding city view of any location in the world.

If this perspective inspires you to start creating your own Inception themed map then you might want to examine the code for the Tangram Bendy Map on GitHub.

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