Sebastian Meier used vegetation and a laser cutter to show the city’s parks and ponds.

Sebastian Meier

If you wanted to know the locations of Berlin’s many parks, you could Google them. Or if you’re Sebastian Meier, you could reach over to the wall and feel them, thanks to this nifty map made from verdant vegetation.

Meier, who works at the Interaction Design Lab at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, wanted a visualization more “physical” and “haptic” than the standard computer version, he writes at Vislab. So using info from OpenStreetMap, he laser-cut a map of the city and filled in the park areas with moss scrounged from the Berlin woods. Meier spritzed it regularly with water and voila. Over a month later, he had a still-living document of Berlin’s various forested hamlets.

He explains more about “Green Berlin” at Vislab:

Even though Berlin only ranked number 63 on a list of Germany’s greenest cities (Berliner Morgenpost), it still offers a lot of parks, forests, rivers, and lakes for its citizens to enjoy. This is one of the reasons why Berlin is a great city to live in, especially during summertime. Due to scale and technical limitations the physical map could not show every single park and pond in Berlin, but even our selection with a low granularity already paints quite a green picture.

For folks who want to create mossy cartography of their own burg, Meier has posted thorough instructions on GitHub. Here are a few closer looks:

Sebastian Meier

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.
    Environment

    Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

    Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

  2. A man carrying a young boy on his shoulders amid the fall foliage of New York's Central Park.
    Life

    Which U.S. Cities Have the Most Families With Kids?

    Spoiler alert: It’s simply not the case that families with kids have disappeared from urban America.

  3. A photo of President Donald Trump showing off U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes in March 2018.
    Perspective

    Like Confederate Monuments, Trump’s Border Wall Is Really About Racism

    The president’s vision of a massive wall along the Mexican border is fundamentally about propaganda and oppression, not national security.

  4. Equity

    Hope You Aren't Counting on Getting a Tax Refund This Winter

    Millions of low-income households rely on the Earned Income Tax Credit to help them get through the winter. Too bad most IRS workers are furloughed.

  5. An fitness instructor leads a indoor running club.
    Life

    The Rise and Fall of New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, in 5 Charts

    The January gym spike is real, but it drops off just a few weeks later, according to data from location and fitness apps.