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.

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