You are not looking at a traditional map. This a one-of-a-kind picture of all the possible routes in a city to one place!
Imagine there were a million clones of you, each walking to a different intersection in New York and each starting in the same place, Wall Street. If you plotted all of the paths your clones take, you'd get the above image. The thickness of the line indicates how many times you'd walk down each road if you did this for all of them - starting thick at the origin and getting thinner like a tree to each end point.
Below is the exact same thing, but this time your clones are driving instead of walking. This small change makes a big difference in the routes taken. Notice that instead of walking straight, these routes tend to take the larger highways and then fan in to the city itself:
Each poster will be unique and special to you - you choose the area and the starting point. The starting point could be your house, your school, your workplace - really any place you want it to be.
When a visitor sees your print on your wall, at first it may look like just a familiar map... But getting closer to it, they will see that it's not familiar at all! It's a whole new way to look at the city, uniquely centered upon your house:
Above, you see the possible driving routes from the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Below, the same but starting from the sunset. This one also uses some thicker lines:
Practically any city can be mapped this way:
How are these made?
Custom software routes from the starting point to every intersection in an area. This involves tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of routes which are compiled down and overlaid. Each route segment is counted to calculate the thickness of the line at each point before being projected and converted in to a PDF for printing. Each print can take multiple hours to compile, depending on the size and so on.
Extensions: States and Countries
I've done a lot of work in cities but it's possible to do states and countries. While I can't guarantee it, you should be able to choose a State or Country by the time the kickstarter ships. This may require extra time to process than a city print.
I try to both give a lot of detail and make them frequent enough to be interesting. If you want to see what updates for the last poster project looked like, see here. This isn't a project where you send some money and don't hear anything until the poster arrives - you're part of the story.
Where will the money go?
The printer I used for my last poster kickstarter is dead and I have to exchange it for a new one (of a different brand this time). After that, paper and postage. There's some more software to be written to automate aspects of each print production but since each print is customized this is limited.
Haven't I seen this before?
Graphserver, while not used for this project, serves as the inspiration. Brandon Martin-Anderson produced similar images a few years ago of San Francisco. More recently, a similar map of all roads to Rome made its way around the internet.
Risks and challenges
This is my third kickstarter project, and my second involving posters. Both of my first two projects shipped successfully. Because I've done this before, I don't see many potential issues.
That said, my last poster kickstarter ran in to issues with shipping posters outside of the US. The basic problem is that some posters didn't arrive, and some arrived badly mangled using government postal services. This time, if you add $130 I'll ship UPS or FedEx. Ideally it would be less, but it's what they charge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)