Street maps
January 24, 2020 12:44 PM   Subscribe

 
Not any city it seems.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:54 PM on January 24


This is quite beautiful on a Retina display; thanks for the find.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:58 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Not any city it seems.

I'm amazed to find it will draw Champ, MO (population 13) and Ashton, MO (population... possible but unlikely).
posted by Foosnark at 1:12 PM on January 24


This is quite nice! Portland certainly looks like Portland.

Not any city it seems.

It'd be interesting to see where the gaps and major omissions are; I'm glancingly familiar with OpenStreetMap but I don't really know anything about the process or breadth of their dataset so I don't know whether missing cities here are more an issue with data not in the source set or limitations in search. What cities were you looking for?
posted by cortex at 1:16 PM on January 24


Really drives home the difference between Chicago and London.
posted by fungible at 1:22 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


This is great. I have a print that is a map of Kyoto in a very similar style, although the one I have includes railway lines. I always find it fun to look at the print because taking away the buildings and mountains means I have to pause a bit and count streets from obvious shapes to search out what I want to look for.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:23 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


It also drives home how I experience cities differently. Osaka is incomprehensible to me because I navigate it primarily by train, subway, or underground walkway, surfacing close to where I want to go, while I've got a much better feel for Kyoto because I have walked most of it. The fact that Kyoto is quite a bit smaller and has a grid helps too.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:29 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


This is really cool & beautiful, thanks.

Not 100% perfect (e.g. the platforms of Central Station in Sydney aren't roads, and nor is the Devonshire St pedestrian tunnel) but that would be something to do with how they gather their data.

I'm guessing it's from GPS, because there are some cricket ovals near me where the perimeters are marked as roads, which they certainly aren't, but they get a hell of a lot of joggers.

So presumably the "roads" are a guesstimation from routes heavily used by people, even if on foot...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:32 PM on January 24


(and then subtracting out railway & metro lines)
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:33 PM on January 24


Really interesting. I put in my little hometown and because it's really just a hamlet directly next to a bunch of other hamlets it seems way smaller when divorced from all of its surroundings, because in real life it never stops, you're just suddenly in a place that is obviously one of those other places.
posted by bleep at 1:43 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


uburoivas: viewing the source code of this tool, they are including anything classified as a highway in OpenStreetmapwhich includes everything from freeways like the Autobahn, 2 lane residential roads in the burbs, parking aisles (the road that you use to drive through in a parking lot), someone's gravel driveway that snakes 2/3km off the main road, private roads in the middle of oil factories or corporate campuses, public sidewalks, to wooded hiking paths in national parks.

Very generally, most roads available for the public drive upon are included on OpenStreetMap (it's what most users tend to focus on), but still, it's extremely varied based on a particular location. Some cities will have every single parking aisle and public sidewalk mapped, others less so; some may only have a certain part of their town mapped really well.

These roads are often all drawn by users thanks to the high resolution aerial imagery available (thanks to a combination of governments sharing imagery that they originally acquired for surveying/agricultural or defense purposes) and google's competitors (MapBox, bing, and up until a couple weeks ago, Maxar) offering their satellite imagery gratis to ) available to OpenStreetMap contributors to draw roads over, that was taken within the past 3-5 years for probably most of, if not, the entire globe.

You'll probably run into more problems having the geocoder select the correct place on the map (geocoding: turning a place name into a particular point on a map ; and this an extremely difficult problem.

The ability to do creative projects like this are one of the fundamental, unique characteristics of OpenStreetMap and one of the big reasons that I've contributed a bit over the years and that I care to see it succeed.
posted by fizzix at 1:44 PM on January 24 [17 favorites]


> What cities were you looking for?

Port Townsend, WA


Edit: Nevermind. Looks like it was a server not responding issue.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:54 PM on January 24


Looks like OSM has data for it, at least; I got that same set of options for a search on "port townsend" on the linked site, but it seems like it might be timing out pulling data from OSM. I wonder if this is being linked in enough places right now to be causing genuine load issues on one end or the other.
posted by cortex at 2:00 PM on January 24


Just looked at Park City, UT and seems like it is pulling in ski and hiking trails but not the chair lifts (the map is a mess but it's still very cool)
posted by inflatablekiwi at 2:38 PM on January 24


Holy moly, it isn’t limited to just cities. You can even choose administrative divisions like states or provinces, though it’ll often either take forever or choke outright on the download
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:01 PM on January 24


Yeah I just got a map produced for "Utah" and it took a minute or two, but it works.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 3:13 PM on January 24


Also - just noticed you can click on the map label in the lower right corner and edit it directly. My Utah Map just became relabeled as "The one with the biggish salty lake"
posted by inflatablekiwi at 3:31 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Alexandria VA was a bit more than I expected.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:09 PM on January 24


Incidentally, if you go to OSM then search for a location, click "Share" on the right side (when in the standard view mode; the usual little box with an arrow shooting out of it). You can export to SVG. In something like Inkscape you can "select same" to extract the features you want, and then restyle them as desired.
posted by aramaic at 4:43 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


I'm glad they're caching data, but this must be hitting OSM's (very few) servers hard. It's nice you can export the styled SVG from this, and nicer still they bothered with the proper attribution. So many other companies just don't, and they should know better.
posted by scruss at 5:11 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing that the program knows the hex code OSM uses for roads and then eliminates every other color, which would explain why it's going to pick up the occasional paper or vacated street, trail or trainline. That also makes it easy for them to offer the customized color option.
posted by carmicha at 6:00 PM on January 24


Cool!

I just used it and discovered a shortcut out of my neighborhood that I didn’t know about!
posted by darkstar at 6:54 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


This was cool. I typed in a bunch of places that I knew the maps of and yes, that was the map entirely. The zoom in feature wasn't immediately obvious to me, but that was a welcome reveal. I could get getting large wall prints of some of these if I had the space, which I don't.

I was pleased that when I typed in Phoenix it gave me actual Phoenix which is a fairly confined area in a mammoth metroplex.

Thanks for posting this! It's a great toy and creates what is somehow art out of streets.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 PM on January 24


I see a wonderful localized t-shirt in my future. All while drinking from my personalized coffee mug. 'It's where I'm from that matters.'
posted by IndelibleUnderpants at 11:35 PM on January 24


I'm glad they're caching data, but this must be hitting OSM's (very few) servers hard.
I would hope that they've taken the (freely available) data and put it on their own server for processing rather than hammering the OSM servers.

As far as I can tell, this is reading in the OSM shapefiles and extracting everything that OSM classifies as "road" and displaying it as a line - it's nothing you can't do in five minutes in QGIS, but the simplicity of it makes it effective.
posted by winterhill at 1:42 AM on January 25


Oh wow. I can see the little dead-end trail that I missed in the Fiery Furnace section of Arches National Park. How cool!
posted by notsnot at 6:12 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


A big chunk in the middle of Dallas looked missing, until I realized those roads technically belong to a different city (Highland Park).
posted by skippyhacker at 7:13 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


This is so beautiful. If I wanted to take one of these images and have it laser etched (burned?) onto some wood, could I just send an image file to somebody, or is there a way to get a vector file out that would work better?

I'm off to go look up who offers this service in Alberta.
posted by Acari at 7:20 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


This is so beautiful. If I wanted to take one of these images and have it laser etched (burned?) onto some wood, could I just send an image file to somebody, or is there a way to get a vector file out that would work better?

It's said upstream that this will export SVGs, which are a vector format suitable for sending somewhere to have laser engraved.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:38 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I see a wonderful localized t-shirt in my future. All while drinking from my personalized coffee mug. 'It's where I'm from that matters.'

Do it. I had a t-shirt with Confusion Corner on it that I wore with pride until it fell apart. This is a picture of the Kyoto print I have. No idea where my wife got it from but if you don't want to DIY there are definitely people out there selling this kind of thing.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:07 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


It's said upstream that this will export SVGs
Literally one click later and I see the option.
Thank you.
posted by Acari at 9:20 AM on January 25


I thought I broke it by selecting "Tokyo" but realized the map shows the 9 remote islands which are officially part of the city.
posted by Gortuk at 8:16 AM on January 26


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