I always like to keep my eye out for fun, interesting and/or beautiful things people are doing with maps. Here’s are a few recent examples:
Dymaxion Map Contest
The Dymaxion map is a style of map invented by Buckminster Fuller that projects the spherical surface of the earth onto the surface of an icosahedron, which can be unfolded and flattened to two dimensions. It’s jagged shape presents the landmasses of the Earth as nearly contiguous, and minimizes relative distortions of size and shape. The Buckminster Fuller Institute in New York sponsored a contest for “new and inspiring” interpretations of this format, and announced the winners last month. You can check out the winning entries and finalists here. My favorite is the hand-drawn cloud map shown above. I also recommend the Map of Global Accessibility to Urban Areas both for its interesting subject matter, and it’s handy diagram series describing the construction of a Dymaxion map. The winner of the contest was Woodocean World, which is inlaid with real wood veneer representing relative degrees of forestation.
The Woodocean Map was made by Nicole Santucci, who, it turns out, has a business making custom maps out of wood called Woodcut Maps. Using a tidy Google Maps interface, you can choose any location, set map options (level of detail, what features to include), and select wood species. I want one! (Northern Kyoto, at right.)
Green Design Atlas
A project that has been in the works since 2008, the Green Design Atlas is finally up and running. It’s an interactive map that locates LEED projects throughout Portland and the Metro area. Clean and informative, it’ll only get more interesting as non-LEED green projects are added.
Block by Block Brooklyn Past and Present
Another interactive city map that is concerned with buildings. This map was made by Thomas Rhiel, who was inspired by the architectural contrast he observed in Brooklyn. The fine grain and subtle shading creates a fascinating impression of the city’s evolution.
And finally, a map with a more Dionysian purpose: the Brewery Map helps you quickly locate beer establishments within a given radius or along a certain route. According to the site, there are 87 breweries within a 25 miles radius of Portland, OR, compared to only 45 around Brooklyn, NY. On the other hand, I don’t think Portland has any buildings built before 1825.