Maps

A map of population density in Tokyo, circa 1926.

How to Detect the Distortions of Maps

All maps have biases. A new online exhibit explores the history of map distortions, from intentional propaganda to basic data literacy.

Collecting the Maps of the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the Library of Congress archives visuals about coronavirus, it is documenting a dramatic expansion in the forms and functions of maps — and their makers.

Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Readers: Share Your Hand-Made Maps of Life Under Lockdown

As coronavirus transforms our private and public spaces, how would you map what your neighborhood and community look like now?

Traffic-free Times Square in New York City

Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

For Those Living in Public Housing, It’s a Long Way to Work

A new Urban Institute study measures the spatial mismatch between where job seekers live and employment opportunities.

photo: Firefighters survey a home burning along Highway 128 during the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, California, in October 2019.

Playing the Odds on the Next California Wildfire

In fire-prone parts of California, insurance companies are using new AI-powered tools to better estimate the likelihood of a devastating wildfire disaster.

photo: a cul-de-sac in Utah.

Across the Globe, Urban Sprawl Is Spreading

Satellite images dating back to 1975 allow researchers to map how millions of cul-de-sacs and dead-ends have proliferated in street networks worldwide.

A map of Minneapolis from the late 19th century.

When Minneapolis Segregated

In the early 1900s, racial housing covenants in the Minnesota city blocked home sales to minorities, establishing patterns of inequality that persist today.

The Maps That Made You, Dear Readers

From CityLab’s mailbag: Here are the personal stories about how maps shaped your lives.

photo: Boulder second-graders pose with an in-progress draft of the Growing Up Boulder map.

A City Map Made for (And by) Kids

Growing Up Boulder created the nation’s first printed kid-friendly city map, designed to help parents and children find their way in the Colorado city.

a map of future climate risks in the U.S.

America After Climate Change, Mapped

With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

photo: a commuter looks at a small map of the London Tube in 2009

Help! The London Tube Map Is Out of Control.

It’s never been easy to design a map of the city’s underground transit network. But soon, critics say, legibility concerns will demand a new look.

A photo-illustration of a county map of the U.S.

I Used This Map to Find a Happy Childhood

I was haunted by painful memories of growing up. But when I started tracking every county I’d ever visited, I found a better way of seeing my past.

The Three Personalities of America, Mapped

People in different regions of the U.S. have measurably different psychological profiles.

a photo illustration of a map from "Treasure Island"

The Treasure Map That Led Me to the Bottom of the Sea

It wasn’t always easy being a black woman in my early days as an oceanographer. But a fictional pirate and a pioneering ocean explorer helped chart my course.

a photo illustration of map of Denver

What an Old Map of Denver Can Teach a Newcomer

There’s more to the fast-changing Mile High City than beer, hiking, and skiing. An old map gave me a clue about where to look.

A Charles Booth map of streets north of London's Hyde Park.

19th-Century London’s Extreme Wealth and Poverty, Mapped

Charles Booth’s famous maps of Victorian London offer a chance to reflect on how the city has changed—and how it hasn’t.

The Map That Unlocked the Mysteries of Pittsburgh

To untangle the roads of Allegheny County, a 1940s traffic engineer devised an ingenious way to help people like me find their way around.

a photo illustration of a pictorial map of Los Angeles

The Amazing Pictorial Map That Captured the Soul of Los Angeles

Meet Joseph Jacinto Mora, the king of California pictorial cartography.