San Francisco is presented as a wooden box, seemingly sleek and clean. You’re invited to open the box to see what’s under the surface, revealing a map of sex offender hotspots. This map reminds us of the often invisible aspects of our cities we either can’t see or choose to ignore.
The density of a decade of Portland burglaries is mapped using layered sheets of laser cut cardstock, producing a reverse topological map. The deeper valleys represent the highest concentrations of burglaries over a ten year period between 2004-2013.
Two maps compare vehicle theft and prostitution. The data points are aggregated as hexagons and raised off the wall to represent the relative distribution of crime. Vehicle thefts peak in Old Town, but also occur highly throughout the city. The prostitution map is more concentrated and shows a cliff rising along 82nd Avenue.
3D printed PLA plastic mounted on painted plywood
15″ x 15″ x 8″
Prostitution peaks along 82nd Ave
Vehicle Theft is heavily spread out throughout Portland, but peaks in Old Town
This map mimics a typical traffic map but represents the number of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests along each street over the course of 10 years. Red, orange, yellow, and green are used to denote relative frequencies of DUIs.
I’ve been working on a utility called shp2stl that converts geographic data in shapefiles to 3D models, suitable for 3D printing. The code is published as a NodeJS package, available on npm and GitHub.
You can control the height of each shape by specifying an attribute of your data to use. Each shape will be placed along the z-axis based on the shape’s value relative to the max range in the data. Additionally, if you want more detailed control you can specify a function to use to extrude each shape.
South Napa Earthquake
Here’s an example using the recent South Napa earthquake, first as the source shapefile:
This is a map of murders throughout the Bay Area. Constellations are formed by connecting homicides from 2013 that are in close geographic proximity to each other. Homicides from 2014 are also layered on to provide a bit more context, although not used to form the constellations.
Two weeks ago on the night of August 24, 2014 I was shaken awake by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Napa, CA. It was the largest earthquake to hit the Bay Area since the 1989 World Series quake. Where I was in San Francisco wasn’t close enough to the epicenter to do much other than wake people up. But while watching the reports start coming in on Twitter it became clear that up in Napa there was quite a bit of damage. Unable to sleep, I started downloading the data to understand what the difference was between what I had felt and what it was like right in the epicenter.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve been experimenting with 3D printing the shake intensity from the Napa quake.
This is a map of Moore, Oklahoma. On May 20, 2013 an EF5 tornado struck this city of 58,000 people, killing 24 and injuring 377 others. The destruction within the direct path of the storm was near complete.
This piece focuses on the city boundary of Moore and the destruction that ripped right through the center of the town. The tornado track has been removed from the map, and the city has been split open.
This is a custom-made map of Golden Gate Park created by the people at Woodcut Maps. I met Gabe Smedresman nearly two years ago at some SF meetup group. He had just launched his new project, woodcutmaps.com, and once I heard about it I was determined to get something made. I had just bought a house on the north side of Golden Gate Park, and I wanted something personal to commemorate our new home.
The map I had made focuses on the park, but includes streets to the north and south to provide context.
The most remote spot on Earth sits in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, over 1,600 miles from land in any direction. It is quite literally the middle of nowhere. And yet, because it’s exactly the middle of nowhere, it’s actually an incredibly remarkable somewhere. This beautifully unique spot is called Point Nemo.
This map brings focus to this distant pole of inaccessibility. Centered on Point Nemo we have a much simpler map than we’re used to. Instead of focusing on complex land features, we shift to look at the expanse of nothing. The islands closest to Point Nemo, Ducie Island, Motu Nui, and Maher Island, are marked and the 1,670 mile radius around the pole is delineated.