What would a real-world place like New York City look like as an 8-bit video game map?
I started wondering, so I created 8-Bit NYC, mixing the lo-fi overhead world maps of 1980s role-playing and adventure games with the kind of geographical data that drives today's web maps and GPS navigation. It's interactive (like Google Maps), letting you zoom from a view of the whole city, down to an individual street -- any address, anywhere in the city. Here are a few highlights: Central Park, Greenwich Village, World Trade Center. Now I want to expand to more cities! And I'm asking you to help me: this project is to fund the addition of 15 new 8-bit city maps. The money will be used to cover the web hosting costs (server, disk space, bandwidth, etc.) and the initial computing time needed for drawing the maps (purchased using Amazon EC2).
Here's how the city selection will work. I will create maps of the 8 cities listed below. The other 7 cities will be selected by YOU. All project backers will vote for their favorite cities, and I will make maps of the top 7 vote-getters.
The 8 "reserved" cities will be:
- San Francisco - Los Angeles - Boston - Chicago - Washington D.C. - Seattle - London - Paris
As I create each map, I'll post project updates with highlight pictures of each city.
I hope that these maps will evoke the same urge for exploration and abstract sense of scale that many of us remember experiencing on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Commodore 64, or any other number of 8-bit microcomputers. Maps offer us visual architectures of the world, encouraging us to think about and interact with space in particularly constrained ways. Let's set out on an 8-bit quest!
P.S. This project uses map data from the excellent OpenStreetMap, a community-managed, wiki-like map of the world. Check it out and contribute to your city!
- (30 days)