Lauren Ancona/Mapbox Studio

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.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A view of traffic near Los Angeles.
    Transportation

    How Cars Divide America

    Car dependence not only reduces our quality of life, it’s a crucial factor in America’s economic and political divisions.

  2. Life

    Why We Blame Millennials For Everything

    Malcolm Harris argues that grim realities are driving the disdain for Gen Y.

  3. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  4. A man bikes down a busy London street with a food-delivery box on the back of his bike.
    Equity

    The Rise of ‘Urban Tech’

    From food-delivery startups to mapping and co-living companies, technology focused on urban systems is drawing billions of dollars in venture capital.

  5. Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.
    Transportation

    The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

    The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.