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History of SF's hidden springs, creeks & waterways plus recent water explorations. Get the map! Help publish the guide book!
Project successful. It's a map! And soon will be a book! ORDER one by clicking the bright button below.
Project successful. It's a map! And soon will be a book! ORDER one by clicking the bright button below.
207 backers pledged $10,775 to help bring this project to life.

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Seep City — San Francisco Water Explorations Book & Map

$10,775

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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.

Map detail showing Bernal Heights
Map detail showing Bernal Heights

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. 
Map detail showing Glen Canyon water today (yellow) and historic creeks (blue if they appear on government surveys, marbled purple if they appear in other credible historic sources)
Map detail showing Glen Canyon water today (yellow) and historic creeks (blue if they appear on government surveys, marbled purple if they appear in other credible historic sources)

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    MICRO POSTER without delivery – You may stop by 860 Divisadero 9am–9pm any day in May to pick up your 12" x 12" Seep City Map printed on 12" x 18" cardstock. Includes educational captions about SF water, on the back!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    You will receive our drought-transcending upwelling of gratitude plus a high quality digital version of the Seep City Map with educational captions, suitable for printing at an 11" x 17" size.

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    7 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    24" POSTER without delivery – You may stop by 860 Divisadero 9am–9pm any day in May* to pick up your Seep City Map poster – 24" x 24", printed in high resolution. [*pending an early May printing]

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    24" POSTER – Receive one Seep City Map poster – 24" x 24", printed in high resolution. Includes delivery, as do all higher levels.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    BOOK – Receive one Seep City Water Log book: the illustrated reference guide to SF Water Explorations, companion volume to the Seep City Map.

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    13 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    45" DIY POSTER – Receive one large Seep City Map as 12 placards (11.25" x 15" each) to make your own super-detailed poster – totaling 45" x 45".

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    24" POSTER & BOOK – Receive both one Seep City Map poster – 24" x 24" (in May) & one Seep City Water Log book (by August).

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    90 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Signed, commemorative, limited edition – Receive one large Seep City Map (45" x 45" in 12 placards), signed by Joel (map maker). Comes with original 2-sided cover card explaining the map and commemorating the map's March 13 street display launch!

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    Limited 3 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    (4) 24" POSTERS &/or BOOKS (4 in any combination) — Receive three posters & one book, or 1 & 3, 2 & 2, 4 books or 4 posters (posters in May; book by August).

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    16 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Support independent research & citizen science, plus get your choice of up to four 24" POSTERS &/or BOOKS (in any combination). You will be thanked in the book!

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    15 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Joel will present a fun 10 to 30 minute educational water history talk with Q&A at your party or event, in SF, any time before March 2016 (date to be arranged to fit mutual schedule).

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    Limited 6 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    48" POSTER & BOOK, both signed – Receive one large Seep City Map as a full super-detailed art poster – totaling 48" x 48" suitable for framing (comes on one full-size print sheet, no need for piecing together), and one Seep City Water Log book (poster delivers in May; book by August).

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    11 backers
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    Pledge $280 or more About $280

    Bring your group on a custom water exploration Thinkwalk led by Joel in SF. Up to 2.5 hours, up to 12 people, any time in 2015 (date to be arranged to fit your needs).

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    Limited 3 backers
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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Support independent research & citizen science PLUS get a 48" art map and a book. You will be thanked as a major supporter in the book!

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    2 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    FRAMED ILLUSTRATION – Support independent research & citizen science PLUS get two 48" art maps, three 24" posters and five books. You will be thanked as a major supporter in the book and receive an original, signed and framed Emily Underwood nature illustration!

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (28 days)