Skyscrapers are flashing monoliths, and cars are rushing rectangles.

Ryoji Ikeda is a Japanese artist and electronic musician known for his mathematical, almost monochromatic explorations of light and patterns. On a visual level, his stuff’s great for zoning out, but it’s often based on heavy scientific concepts—one recent room-devouring piece combined particle smashing with space-time symmetry with the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Now, you can see the Paris-based artist’s scientific harmony applied to one of the most chaotic places on earth: New York. Patricio Gonzalez Vivo, a graphic engineer at Mapzen, has channeled Ikeda to create a spinning, 3-D view of the city torn from a universe of pure data. Skyscrapers have become flashing, scrolling monoliths, and traffic white veins of rushing rectangles. All else is void, pure blackness.

The map loads to New York, where Gonzalez Vivo is based, but you can warp to any location to give it this cyberpunk transformation. Explore it here, and be warned zooming far out might cause your browser to sputter and protest.

Images by Mapzen and © OSM contributors. H/t Maps Mania

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    How 'Maintainers,' Not 'Innovators,' Make the World Turn

    We need more stories about the labor that sustains society, a group of scholars say.

  2. A man walks by an abandoned home in Youngstown, Ohio
    Life

    How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

    A study finds that some shrinking cities are prosperous areas with smaller, more-educated populations. But they also have greater levels of income inequality.

  3. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  4. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks At Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

  5. A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.
    Life

    The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

    The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

×