Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


For font nerds AND map nerds.
October 14, 2010 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Typographic Maps. "These unique maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type."
posted by jacquilynne (32 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
cool -- wish they had more than Chicago and Boston!
posted by modernnomad at 3:23 PM on October 14, 2010


Yeesh, looking at Boston makes me happy I live in the cold, unfeeling right angles of Chicago. Love ya, grid system!
posted by phunniemee at 3:24 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow -- I wouldn't call myself either a font or map nerd, but I would love a map like this if I were trying to navigate an unfamiliar city. Google, are you seeing this? Street View, fine, whatever...I want Type View!
posted by Pants McCracky at 3:31 PM on October 14, 2010


I don't know how useful they would be for actual navigation, but they look really damn cool.

Yeesh, looking at Boston makes me happy I live in the cold, unfeeling right angles of Chicago. Love ya, grid system!

I love Chicago's grid system. Once you memorize the major cross streets and the few diagonals, you pretty much can't get lost in the city. I visited Chicago just last week with my wife and one of my favorite parts was getting to ride the Purple Line Express again and trying to see how many of the streets I remembered. (Got to ride in the last seat of the last car too, which isn't quite as good as the front seat of the front car but oh well.)
posted by kmz at 3:37 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Me, I'm impressed by the little zoomy thing they've got going on with the thumbnails. That's slick UI, right there.
posted by gurple at 3:44 PM on October 14, 2010


The reason I, at least, think they might be useful is, one thing I absolutely hate about reading street maps is that, when I'm finding my way through an unfamiliar city, it's vexing to try and make sense of all the street names -- I've got to follow lines back to where they're labeled in order to see what street is what. So to have the line be made out of the street name itself seems brilliant to me.

I guess GPS makes a lot of this unnecessary, but sometimes you really just need a good street map.
posted by Pants McCracky at 3:45 PM on October 14, 2010


If you hate right angles, come down to Atlanta. We are the poster child of failed city planning. Our average daily commute is 35 miles per person. With 3 million residents, we drive over 100 million miles every single day.

That's as far as the earth is from the sun.
posted by notion at 3:47 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah...this is pretty much on the "form" end of the form-function axis. Neat concept, and pretty to look at or hang on a wall, but I wouldn't use one as a map.
posted by rocket88 at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2010


Oh man, I hope they do a DC one!
posted by headnsouth at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2010


I'd wholeheartedly recommend Albuquerque to anyone who loves streets that abruptly change names in mid-stream, for no apparent reason other than some odd quirk of regional history. (Actually, another way this type of map could be useful.)
posted by Pants McCracky at 3:54 PM on October 14, 2010


Uptown Dallas's streets were apparently based on old cowpaths. This leads to absolutely non-sensical streets. One-ways curving this way and that, sometimes heading directly into a non-compatible one-way. (You better notice the "you must turn" signs before you head into the intersection.) Just about every day around here I see somebody driving the wrong way down a one-way street, and I can't really blame them.
posted by kmz at 3:57 PM on October 14, 2010


London (& most of the UK's towns & cities) is laughing at you all.
posted by i_cola at 4:09 PM on October 14, 2010


Yeah...this is pretty much on the "form" end of the form-function axis. Neat concept, and pretty to look at or hang on a wall, but I wouldn't use one as a map

They seem very usable to me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:14 PM on October 14, 2010


Oh, I want a Seattle version so badly.
posted by Cogito at 4:16 PM on October 14, 2010


Great concept, needs more Portland.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:20 PM on October 14, 2010


I wish they showed more of Chicago. You can't even see Bucktown.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:23 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pants McCracky: "I'd wholeheartedly recommend Albuquerque to anyone who loves streets that abruptly change names in mid-stream, for no apparent reason other than some odd quirk of regional history."

In my hometown, an expensive project was undertaken to build a new road, but it was only about a half mile and dead ended just after a 4-way intersection. Since it was desired to have the new road be more prominent, the decision was made that at the intersection, rather than have the two roads keep their original names, both would take a 90° turn.
posted by Cogito at 4:23 PM on October 14, 2010


Cogito: Oh, I want a Seattle version so badly.

I've seen this stylistically similar one in shops in Fremont. It only has the neighborhoods and the bodies of water are outlined, not represented with type, but it's the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this post.
posted by JiBB at 4:25 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Since it was desired to have the new road be more prominent, the decision was made that at the intersection, rather than have the two roads keep their original names, both would take a 90° turn.

Sounds like the intersection of Tremont and Tremont in Boston's South End.

Part of the allure of having organic, hard-to-navigate streets is that it keeps outsiders away. I don't know if it happens in Chicago, but in Boston one tourist bending to read a posted menu with his ass out can make a sidewalk unusable.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:36 PM on October 14, 2010


Neat!
posted by brundlefly at 4:36 PM on October 14, 2010


Also, these are actually really fantastic and I'm going to consult my wife about buying a Boston map for my daughter's playroom. It's pretty and it encourages knowledge of both reading AND geography.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:38 PM on October 14, 2010


I need to send this link to my Boston and Chicago friends.
posted by immlass at 4:57 PM on October 14, 2010


I wish they showed more of Chicago. You can't even see Bucktown.

Yeah, a map of Chicago that doesn't go farther south than Cermak makes me sad.
posted by Copronymus at 5:01 PM on October 14, 2010


I sent them an email imploring them to make one for San Francisco.
posted by Pecinpah at 5:02 PM on October 14, 2010


Part of the allure of having organic, hard-to-navigate streets is that it keeps outsiders away.
Given the general attitude of most multi-generational Bostonians I always thought that it was intended to funnel invaders into kill zones known as Kenmore Square and Harvard Square
posted by bl1nk at 5:55 PM on October 14, 2010


See also David Rieder's scholarly webtext, "Typographia: A Hybrid, Alphabetic Exploration of Raleigh, NC." Rieder is thinking along the same lines but pushing at the boundaries in a bit of a different direction. For those who are interested in such things, the "Essay About Typographia" (lower right) may be a good way to situate one's poking around.

(Disclosure: I'm on the journal's staff, and think Rieder's webtext is pretty cool for those with an interest in the intersections among type, maps, rhetoric, and technology. YMMV.)
posted by vitia at 6:19 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


doesn't really work for really short streets
posted by wayofthedodo at 6:33 PM on October 14, 2010


There's a whole lot of mindblowingly-cool mappy stuff in the rest of their portfolio on that site as well. The page I linked gives a nice overview of each one with a sample picture of each, so you can glance through them all on the same page, which is handy.
posted by marble at 8:23 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


i really like the concept but i already pulled the trigger on an Ork Poster
posted by Heliochrome85 at 8:35 PM on October 14, 2010


I think psychogeography is much more interesting, but maybe that's just me.
posted by emhutchinson at 9:52 PM on October 14, 2010


They should add this as an option to mapnik so you can render openstreetmap data this way...
posted by DreamerFi at 11:29 PM on October 14, 2010


According to the fine print, it's based on OpenStreetMap.

It does need more Portland. But damn, they make some purdy maps. I especially like the Sitra Dymaxion.
posted by vjpdx at 1:27 AM on October 15, 2010


« Older Laila Kinnunen was very popular in Finland in the...   |   Old anatomical illustrations t... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments