About this project
The water in San Francisco is a window into the city's past—its "natural state" before the streets, neighborhoods and the built landscape we see today were created. I've been researching San Francisco water since the mid 1980s. The result, after years of requests for it, is a map that makes available what I've uncovered.
Check out an 8-foot tall print of the map, already installed on a sidewalk kiosk at 860 Divisadero St., SF!
It's a real challenge to keep a simple, clear and beautiful aesthetic with a complex, data-filled map. To accomplish this, I plan to create—with your support—a companion publication that will present my sources, research adventures and other enjoyable details.
The Seep City Water Log book will be ready this summer, and the map is ready now. It just needs printing. With your help, I can print the map, produce the book and hire the incredible Emily Underwood to adorn its pages with her skillful illustrations.
Much of the book is ready and our brainy design team is standing by. Some truly awesome people have already pitched in to help with the map (thanks especially to Christopher Richard and Abe Bingham) and to make the Divisadero Street kiosk you'll see in the video. SF Landmark Sign Company created (at no cost) a graffiti-protected giant print of the map and its explanatory side panel. Through this public education display, generously hosted at Green Earth, people wandering unsuspectingly down the street can be immersed in an exploration of the hidden water that flows and seeps all around us.
With your help, this book can facilitate a deeper understanding, at a time when knowing water is essential for public policy and the future of our society.
The map includes:
- Water forms based on mid-19th century US Coast Surveys.
- More historic water, based on other reliable sources, identified accordingly in the book.
- Hidden springs and creeks flowing today, despite drought.
- The city's original shoreline and bay fill.
- Innovations in portraying ground water movement through specific flood-prone dune topography.
- Intuitive visual differentiation between historic and current-day water.
- Other water features and land forms existing today.
The book will include:
- Personal notes from my water research.
- An overview of SF hydrology.
- Detailed location information and way-finding tools for water features, both historic and existing.
- Articles describing new discoveries about local water history.
- Points of topographic & hydrological interest.
- Water exploration walks you can try with your friends and family.
- Water terminology defined.
- Illustrations, supplemental maps, diagrams and charts.
Risks and challenges
The map presents no major challenges on its own: The map's ready to print with a quality high-resolution off-set press we've lined up for the 24" poster and a careful custom print shop to individually produce each 48" print.
The "Water Log" book will involve taking materials already collected and compiling it all into a beautiful volume for self-publishing and on-demand printing. This challenge will be simplified by the involvement of experienced project people.
Joel is already familiar with the publishing and on-demand printing process. Emily is an experienced illustrator who has created park displays and other informational material on natural history. Our design team includes brainpower and experience. Our distribution will be accomplished by our many wonderful Thinkwalks volunteers.
All this expertise is coming to the project at pro bono and discounted rates from people who love the public educational aspects of the work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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