Tokyo cartographers create cycling routes that resemble wild animals.

Japan has a tendency to take existing innovations and bring them to the next level. For instance, Japanese cars have consistently excelled in Western markets. Some say Japanese macarons have surpassed those of traditional French patisseries. Fine dining service in Japan is indisputably supreme. And now it seems that some cartographers in Tokyo came across London’s darling Animals on the Underground project—a project that traces line drawings of different wildlife within the famed London Underground map—and thought, “We can do this. Better.”

The resulting Tokyo Zoo Project reveals complex cycling routes throughout the city traced into the elaborate shapes of wild animals, from a tediously striped zebra to a mother koala with a child mounted on her back. Working with a host of requests from Twitter, the team of cartographers picked out 15 startlingly realistic geo-glyphs and programmed the routes into a personal bicycle navigation system. Each animal announces the total distance traveled and calories burned while giving a brief summary and a few poetic words of advice about the route. Be warned, “You need guts to draw the stripes of a zebra.” Especially if the zebra is 43 miles long.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.
    Equity

    Why Pittsburgh Is the Worst City for Black Women, in 6 Charts

    Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.

  2. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it
    Transportation

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  3. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  4. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  5. A rendering of Oakland, California, that replaces Interstate 980 with a surface boulevard
    Transportation

    Here Are the Urban Highways That Deserve to Die

    The Congress for New Urbanism once again ranks the most-loathed urban freeways in North America—and makes the case for tearing them down.

×