Complete with in-game music.

It's the oldest trick in the book. How do you make learning interesting? Turn it into a game.

Or at least something that looks like a game.

To spice up their interactive "2nd City Zoning" map of Chicago, Derek Eder, Juan-Pablo Velez and Aya O'Connor paid tribute to the SimCity franchise with some familiar color-coding. Blue for commercial, yellow for industrial, green for residential.

Then they got carried away, incorporating a few choice icons from SimCity 2000 as well as some of that legendary game music, which you can listen to while you browse the map.

Zoning is a little more complicated than the tri-color scheme implies, but by the time you get to the portion of the site that explains the difference between Manufacturing and Planned Manufacturing Districts, it's mission complete for the designers.

Then again, putting a SimCity stamp on a zoning map is like handing out free LSD at a Phish concert: it appeals most of all to the people who would have come anyway.

HT Google Maps Mania.

All images courtesy of 2nd City Zoning.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

    The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

  2. vacant store fronts in mining town in Arizona
    Equity

    America’s Worsening Geographic Inequality

    The economic gap between have and have-not places continues to widen.

  3. Design

    A Step-by-Step Guide for Fixing Badly Planned American Cities

    An excerpt from Jeff Speck’s Walkable City Rules, a step-by-step guide to fixing America’s cities and towns.

  4. Life

    How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town

    New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.

  5. North Korean soldiers carry the Korean People's Army flag as they walk past residential buildings along Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang.
    Design

    What's Behind North Korea’s Building Boom?

    Kim Jong-un is transforming Pyongyang, the Hermit State’s capital city, into a high-rise-filled “socialist fairyland.”