Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.
It's the work of a Philadelphia-based data scientist who, a year ago, had never made a map.
At this time last year, Lauren Ancona had never made a map. But halfway into 2014, with help from from the free and open source mapping community and Code for America, she successfully created her first map of Philadelphia parking districts:
The parking map got a lot of attention and landed Ancona a job with the city's Office of Innovation and Technology as a data scientist. Now she's back with a beautiful blueprint-style world map made using Mapbox Studio.
The blueprint is based on OpenStreetMap data, so the level of detail varies depending on the city. Chicago, for example, is pretty detailed, even when zoomed in:
So is New York. Here's the southern tip of Central Park in Manhattan:
For Philadelphia, Ancona used the city's open data portal to add a few flourishes that the general open street map data lacked, including building outlines. Here's a zoomed-in screenshot of 30th Street Station:
Around the world, the richness of the map varies. London (below, top) is highly detailed, while New Delhi, India, is relatively less so (below, bottom):
Eventually, Ancona wants to add more layers of data so people around the world can use the rich blueprint for directions or to find their own location. The map has already helped orient her, although in a less literal way.
"This map was an entry point for me as a designer learning to code, and resulted in an immensely rewarding career change," Ancona tells CityLab.
Read about how Ancona got into maps here.