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I did a comparison of city street network orientations in major US cities, and now I've got a better sense of why I find Boston so difficult to navigate. Visualization uses Python, OSMnx, and @openstreetmap data.…
592 replies and sub-replies as of Jul 13 2018

And woe to those trying to navigate the city of Charlotte.
Each of the cities is represented by a polar histogram. Each bar's direction represents the compass bearings of the streets (in that histogram bin) and its length represents the relative frequency of streets with those bearings.
For example, Manhattan's famous angled, primarily orthogonal street grid:
Detroit is interesting because it has two separate orthogonal grids, one a slight rotation of the other:
And then there's Boston. Although it has a grid in some neighborhoods, they tend to not align with each another, resulting in a mish-mash of competing orientations. Plus these grids are not ubiquitous and Boston's other streets wind in many directions.
Kevin Lynch defined "legible" cities as those whose patterns lend themselves to coherent, organized, recognizable, and comprehensible images that help us mentally organize city space, find our way, and develop a sense of place.
But what Boston lacks in legible circulation patterns, it makes up for in other Lynchian elements (paths, edges, districts, nodes, landmarks) that help make it a highly imageable city for locals and visitors. From Lynch:
It would be interesting to plot them based on when they were founded/incorporated.
Great piece and thanks for posting your code! I don't see a place in the notebook where you plot the street maps for Manhattan, Detroit, and Boston. Did you plot those separately? I'd like to see the same for Charlotte since it's such an outlier.
Love it. Extraordinarily clever way to visualize this information. Just so I fully understand the methodology: each individual street segment's angle is measured independently, right? From any segment's origin (or intersection) to the next intersection (or terminus)?
Great viz. Thank you for sharing!
Bwahaha Pittsburgh would be pretty funny I bet.
Could you do the same analysis on major European, Asian or African cities?
I’d love to see this done for London
...getting this error when trying to run the notebook. Upgraded osmnx as well. fiona-1.7.12 matplotlib-2.2.2 numpy-1.14.5 osmnx-0.8.1 pandas-0.23.3
Had the same issue ... for me it was caused by having less than 3 items in the `places` hash. nrows will be 1, and that will cause matplotlib to return something non-iterable.
Fascinating, although I would argue this only proves a lack of imagination by all American city fathers save those of Boston and Charlotte.
this is fantastic!
Ah, if you do another round can you do Pittsburgh? A great city of weird angles.
One of the reasons I loved Boston was bc of the landmarks. I'm notoriously bad at navigating, but Boston is so easy for me (at least as a pedestrian) bc of the landmarks aiding me.
...has anyone done New Orleans
I'm surprised by your Seattle result, as the downtown area is a matrix rotated 45 degrees relative to the rest of the city. But perhaps it is too small of a proportion to show up in the plot
This is great, and thanks for making it open source. I was trying to make one for Berlin, but it seems no not get proper geometry data for it. Is there a way around that?
I consider Boston a different kind of Lynchian
Boston is best imagined as a lattice of neighborhoods and city squares, all connected by MBTA lines and major roads, and bounded by the Charles, the harbor, and the Emerald Necklace. Forget cardinal directions or coordinates. Everything is next to someplace everybody recognizes!
do Cambridge and Somerville!! Us locals just get complained at about the roads, but there are totally regularities that ppl miss
Be careful what streets you take in Boston as visitors often end up in weird red draped rooms where little people talk to them backwards about that gum they like coming back into style.
which explains the striking difference in navigation guidance from Bostonians. A typical Boston set of directions references not geography or position but memory. “Take a left where the ihop used to be, and then drive until the gas station that used to have the Pegasus sign”
Arguably this means “legible” cities create boring, predictable, non-human city spaces. Alternatively, you exercise your mind and build up a relational map of places and directions to understand and navigate the human spaces in a city that grew organically (London, Lisbon...)?
Well... DOH. It's the cow paths, silly. 😉 [At least that's what we always tell people & generally it's right: streets follow old footpaths & cart paths, along old hills etc. Grids came MUCH later.] Seriously, you want to read 'Boston: A Topographical History' by Whitehill. 🤓
Honestly this looks a lot like a UK town. Possibly more organised even.
Especially given the landmarks etc comments. You have to navigate via big objects (aka the pub)
This is mostly because UK and Boston are old/pre-automotive grids right? I don't understand Charlotte.
I think you need to redo the Washington data, giving more weight to the most heavily traveled roads, which are almost all diagonals of various degrees. DC “seems” easy to navigate, but is one of the most difficult towns IMO.
Also, I found Boston/Charlotte to be pretty easy for walking - at that pace the decisionmaking process is allowed sufficient time to make up for the lack of order.
Boston, Greenwich Village in New York, most European Cities are not organized along strict grids; this might be the reason why they are full of surprises and discoveries for the flâneur. What is harder at first, becomes a delight.
It's looks so European! On that note, can you do some of the European please?
That's because when Boston was founded it WAS European. It's pre-revolution, and they were going by the old method of 'put the streets wherever'.
Is Greenland then also European? 🤔
Eh. I was indulging a bit of silly, since when Boston first started, the US was just a bunch of English colonies.
Greenland only got their government almost ten years ago, and they're still seen as a district so 🤷‍♂️
What you're seeing there is a pre-Revolution city, that established before the idea of City Planning was a thing. I seem to recall reading that Pittsburgh was the first to use actual planning and grid lines.
Frustrating for drivers, but imagine how much more difficult #Boston is to invade ...
Hence my breaking into fits of sobbing for years upon moving here from NY!
Of course, that's the orientation of the Detroit River.
Denver has three, but the non-compass-point-orthogonal areas downtown, and NW of downtown across the Platters, are apparently too small to show up.
Nice, this looks rad. I bet one effective measure of "plannedness" of a city would be it's effective number of orthogonal "baselines," since lots of cities have at least one Baseline Road.
I imagine Brooklyn might look similar?
original grid was set up by French colonists to be perpendicular to the river. Later Americans added the more-or-less north-south grid as the area was surveyed under the Northwest Ordinance.
Pittsburgh has a similar situation. Part of it is aligned to the Allegheny River, part to the Monongahela. They collide along Liberty Avenue.
Detroit looks like a combination of two separate settlements that bumped into each other later. This is what happens whenever you find t-bone intersections.
god bless hippodamus
I like your tweet and a day later I learned about Manhattan Distance from one of my courses. In taxicab geometry we can say circles are just rotated squares without sounding crazy!
You should check out the #Manhattenhenge hastag.
Funny. I found it relatively easy to navigate Boston. Follow the lay of the road and after curve x turn right or left. I find it difficult to navigate a grid-based city: I have to look at the signs how ‘far’ I am and wether to turn left or right. Being European in this regard?
I always imagine Europeans would find it relatively easy to navigate Boston. Whereas growing up western U.S. suburbs has doomed me.
How are you determining directionality? Most streets are two-way. Surely this should just run from -90 to +90?
e.g. in Charlotte and London you have more streets running due north than due south, which makes no sense unless they're one-way streets...
Are they weighted by street segment length?
Hey, I figured that out for myself! You really capture how Toronto is just Chicago rotated 75°.
Run this on European cities.. ;)
I don't understand how you got the result you did for DC, given its hexagonal street layout.
Even worse than the graph suggests. Try telling someone to take Sardis Rd N west, take a right on Sardis Rd, a left on Sardis Rd, a left on Providence Rd, and a right onto Old Providence. I-85 North enters Charlotte going east-by-southeast. The uptown grid is >45° off north.
The first time I pulled up to the intersection of Queens Rd and Queens Rd, my head exploded.
I grew up there, and oh man this is so true.
It looks like just a very small downtown and most of the rest is generally residential (suburb-like) outside of a few main roads. Accurate?
Very. The urban area (“uptown”) is very small (but growing), and the rest is sub- & exurban.
Please explain what you see in the Charlotte grid. Those of us who live here are still trying to figure it out 🤔
Essentially: there's no dominant orientation. Its streets point in every direction relatively evenly.
But what if you limited your program in Charlotte to an area the size of Manhattan? How would that differ from the overall city?
And what if you looked at all of New York City, not just Manhattan? All of New York City covers about the same area as Charlotte, so it's unfair that you've limited that city to only a subsection
I saw this on reddit. Also Sacramento? Why Sacramento?
New York City covers as much land as Charlotte, yet you decided to limit your focus for them to only Manhattan Island? That's a big bias
yah, WTF is up with Charlotte? It's not a big enough city for that kind of chaos. NOLA would be interesting ...
What are we even looking at with Charlotte?
Been here 4.5 years. You just use your phone to get around. Street intersections with the same names. Streets changing into different names continuously.... fun to navigate
Something funny going on with Denver though. The downtown grid is set at a 45 degree angle to the rest of the grid but this doesn't appear to be reflected in your figure. I would have expected something more along the lines of Sacramento...
Learning to drive & get places pre-GPS was quite the exercise. Don't even get me started on all the road names that change.
It’s not so bad. But this is coming from someone who grew up in Charlotte.
You would assume Charlotte would be a better designed city, since its relatively new compared to Boston.
“You can come here any time you like, but you can never leave” is secretly Charlotte’s city motto.
I grew up in Charlotte. Learned to drive there. Your diagram doesn't cover the half of how bad Charlotte is to drive in. Because all the streets change names, three to four times.
Not to mention there are intersections of Sardis and Sardis as well as Queens and Queens
Plus the streets in Charlotte change names many times and some streets turn and stay the same.
So Charlotte has significantly more one way streets going North than South?
Charlotte is amazingly bad. 3rd and 4th streets actually have an intersection.
Oh, you have no idea...
Especially if you're trying to find a house on Queens Road but they actually live on Queens Road West.
Thank you for putting our pain into a easily-digestible graphic
It's like the Charlotte city planners were playing a game of spin the bottle to figure out orientation.
Curious how Honolulu plays out. It’s a massive planning failure
Charlotte must be lovely
Where the same streets change names up to 5 times...
Try 10! Mulberry Church Rd Billy Graham Pkwy Woodlawn Rd Runnymede Ln Sharon Rd Wendover Rd Eastway Dr Sugar Creek Rd Browne Rd Asbury Chapel Rd
Resident here, are you using endpoints? Did you have a method to account for road name change?
I lived just outside Charlotte for four years. I couldn't find anything without a map...
Yeah... Charlotte takes... patience to get places.
Yes. It's a nightmare, compiled with the fact that roads change name for no reason and with little warning.
Surprised by comments in the negative in regard to our Charlotte streets. I think it's to Charlotte's credit. More organic growth between church buildings. Not a planned, sterile city. See: place vs non-place
Never fear, we have streets that have 7 different names and 90-degree turns in them. After 10 or 15 years you get used to it.
Ha! As a citizen of Charlotte, I can verify that navigation here sucks
Having grown up there, I always wondered how I found other cities so easy to navigate . . .
Ha! Try being an Uber driver here. 😵
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
brilliant! thank you so much!
Nice stuff. So Charlotte is the US city most like Rome and Paris... :)
ha, yes that's my impression
Except actually it has a very US-style downtown layout; all 400'x400' squares.
makes sense that Boston resembles London, Paris, and other "old world" Northern European cities
Very interesting! Would be interesting to rank cities by Shannon entropy or some other information theoretic metric
This is very cool. Well done sir
Was just in Rome. Can confirm, it’s confusing af. I don’t even know how taxi drivers operate over there.
They were born there, most likely. There are a few monuments here and there to get oriented
Seriously considering making this a floor to ceiling poster! @anthonymobile @BloombergME @bryanboyer @archisholm @meldelacruzz
this is so cool! i absolutely love it!
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Typiquement Rome, Paris , Séoul c'est pas très étonnant.
Merci, c’est vraiment super pour la géo urbaine. 😊
Je pense qu'il y a un truc à faire en terme de corrélation avec l'age de la ville. Après Barcelone m'étonne, mais je crois qu'historiquement y a des raisons
Je pense que ça doit être lié à la guerre civile, un peu comme Caen ou Royan après 45, mais j’avoue que l’histoire contemporaine de l’Espagne n’a pas fait partie de mes sujets d’étude contrairement au Siècle d’Or.
Téhéran aussi, plutôt étonnant.le reste ça s'explique soir car elles datent de l'epoque coloniale, soit car elles ont été rasées à la 2nd GM
Je crois me rappeler que le dernier shah avait voulu hausmannisé Téhéran. De plus, la croissance urbaine a vraiment explosé ses 50 dernières années, ce qui favorise les rues à angles droits.
Pas de relation, voisà (en catalan). Il s'agit du plan d'expansion de la cité à la fin s. XIX
Good luck with a 45degree turn in Toronto 😯
I really expected Rome's to just come out looking like "LOL".
Having driven extensively in Delhi, I find that hard to believe. Of course, I'm a layman and this is purely my gut feeling and you're probably right, but is osm data from India of the same quality? Or did it take into account only a limited area?
This is wonderful! Surprised to see that Mumbai's histogram suggests planning. Expected utter chaos! Maybe only a square mile around the fort area was considered?
Try Spanish Cities like Sante Fe in US vs Anglo settlements. Note the latitudes Even within LA, Anglo areas EWNS and older Hispanic areas spread solar gain.
Yes, that's the case in most older California cities. Central areas off-axis to rest of the town. It shows up as tiny on the larger city charts like LA.
London is honestly more ordered than I expected...
Well, now I know why I never found the same streets twice when I was walking around Rome. Entire blocks seemed to have disappeared into another dimension. Usually taking the gelato shop I was looking for with them.
Am I looking at the data wrong or should opposing sides be mirrored? so there should be the same numbers of streets going south as there are going north? Which looks like it for almost all cities. However I can see a big difference in London and Dubai. Why is that?
potentially i would hazard a guess that those are due to the prevalence of one way roads and cul de sac's in london and dubai
It's systematic though. In almost every city, the imbalance is there and always in the North direction. No other directional axis has it that I can see. Seems unlikely to be about the direction of travel.
Hongkong has some differences at west and north-west direction. And moscow too on the bar 2 left of north.
Melbourne has it in both major axes and Paris has it in the NNE/SSW axis so it's not as constrained as it seemed at first.
As a non American living I Boston, I can see now why I like the city so much, feels different from the boring rectangular cities in the US. Thanks!
just thought in the same direction: now I know why Rome is one of my favorite cities. :-) History literally paved its way thru the city. Beautiful dataviz!
This is fascinating! European cities are as expected, but Delhi and Mumbai streets are surprisingly orthogonal!
I'd be curious to see Tokyo
These are mesmerizing
Moscow is really interesting. It’s basically an 8 way intersection with a grid aligned to each of the 8 branches.
Oh, Tokyo, please, Tokyo.
Really cool. What a perspective. Would be nice to see one of Montreal (especially) or Quebec City. As the oldest colonial cities in NA and for their reputations.
candidate for your maps thing
As expected all roads lead to #Rome! Cool plots. See some indirect correlation to the historical relevance of cities (ex. #Charlotte)
In fact, the saying should go: In Rome ways lead to all directions 😀
Rio de Janeiro is every designers nightmare. Imagine spending years designing the streets and then get told it looks like a swastika
Toronto's orientation is easy to explain. With the exception of a few blocks near the harbour, all of city's land was once farmland divided into 160-acre lots. All of the arterial roads were originally the boundaries of those lots, 1.25 miles apart with four lots per square.
I think the US modern cities are the "strange ones" compared to the older European cities :-) Street orientation was originally much more related to physical (e.g. rivers) and orographic characteristics of the area, so way more complex than N-S orientation
Yes, both rivers, lake shores, hills etc, and also the how the main roads are coming in from neighbouring cities. If they come in at an angle, and you build square grids around each, there will be several different grids.
Cars, it's the cars, surely
Maybe have a look at Munich again? Looks a little implausible to me.
Very cool, curious that you plotted Munich over Berlin (Not that I'm biased or anything, living in Berlin). Amsterdam, with its "semi circle" centre would also be interesting.
Could you do Stockholm as well? Or is your software available so I can do it myself?
I noticed earlier that one US city had more north than south oriented streets, but on this one it looks systematic. Almost all cities show a greater number of north than south oriented streets. No other direction shows this imbalance. Any thoughts on why?
Actually, looking closer, it does show up in other orientations. Both of Melbourne's major axes have it, and Paris shows a small one in the NNE vs SSW direction. Really curious how that's creeping into these.
so cool! Would love to see Istanbul
It would be interesting to see how big the sample was. Is this a representation of Melbourne 3000, Melbourne City Council Area, or the Greater Melbourne Area, I wonder?
Wouldn't make much difference, excluding the highways and tollways it's grids out for many kilometres except where the coastline dictates otherwise.
The Hoddle Grid is offset from most of the grid based layout. Taking just Central Melbourne would be very different to taking the Greater Melbourne area.
That's why it shows three different grids on there
So darn interesting! I lived more than 13 years in Charlotte. This reminds me how hard it was to get oriented at the beginning. Now I know why.
I was going to ask on your original post if you'd done London, and I'm glad to see you have! This also explains why I like Toronto so much compared to other cities. Thanks!
very cool, love it
Oooh, can you do Berlin? I'd like to see how the former split of the city has influenced street orientation :)
Cool, but the main orientation of the streets is marked by the orography, geography, and the original development of the city: Roman, Muslim.. of recent creation, with orderly or disorderly growth. Comparing cities with different origin and growth doesn't make sense. #geography
Correlate age of city with some variance measure of orientation :) ?
Good stuff! Looks like cities that were influenced by railways are more organized. Cities settled by walkers are more influenced by terrain. Very interesting. Thank for doing this!
It's interesting that some maps seem to rotate. I mean... How to say? there's consistently more streets either left or right of the main axis in most cities. I wonder if left- or right-hand traffic could be the cause?
I wanted to see the ones for Paris and Rome because I remember having an *extremely* hard time walking around them, and your visualization seems to confirm that. 🙂
I wonder how much the lack of a strong orientation is linked with the topography (the seven hills of Rome, for example)
Should explain part of it. But Moscow is not hilly and Paris not that much. History should play a role too, with waves of urbanization along centuries, adding different logics of city building.
In the case of Paris, the Seine is probably a more important driver: streets are perpendicular to the river, and the city is nested within a meander.
Moscow actually used to be VERY hilly, names of these hills are all over local toponyms.
Bad for me. The last time I went to Moscow was in 1982 and I suppose that I was so young that climbing hills was so easy that I figured out that Moscow was flat 😊
You are right - it's flat now, like most modern urbanized landscapes, after centuries of terraforming...
Consider the time axis and all patterns fall in place neatly
Interesting how the plot of Warsaw just looks like Warsaw.
would be cool to factor in length of roads and their degree of curve, as also big role in character. Also topography, Bristol and Sheffield (some of the hilliest UK cities) in comparison to Manchester and York (Flat), would have a big part to play in the layout of those towns!
You might want to include Athens in this. Pretty interesting job you did there, thanks for sharing.
Hi, is it possible to have Marseille ?
I wonder if running a fourier transform on streetmaps would give similar, but noisier, visualizations.
It's the question of symmetry. Cities predating modern time have radial symmetry dictated by the city wall - streets run from the center to gates
Modern time cities laid out on a grid. Cities in colonies never had walls. Charlotte, NC is a post-modern exception in which recent urban development is dictated by the intersection of interstate freeways
Consider historic center separately from post-industrial suburbs and the pattern may change. Denver was originally on a different grid, then got money for the land purchase and made a switch
Brilliant! At least a plausible case for a density vs age of city correlation in those diagrams!
I love that Boston looks similar to Rome, one of the best cities to get lost in!
These visualizations are striking, and get right to the crux of legible circulation patterns. I'd love to implement something similar for the North African city in the Roman period. Thanks for sharing!
All roads lead to Rome. ....but when you get there....
a quanto pare se guidi una macchina per Roma senza avere una mappa potresti rimanere intrappolato in un caso di Anderson localization? 😆
Più che altro Roma è un sistema non percolante. Quindi non c'è alcuna garanzia che esista un percorso che ti porta da A a B. Figuriamoci uno che ti ci porti senza farti diventare matto 😆
Wonderful Visualization! Vienna and Venice would be great, too.
One for Pittsburgh, PA please?
Can you do Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto?
Go London! Jane Jacobs, eminent urbanologist: "The well-ordered grid of a shiny metropolis was not for her; instead, Jacobs favored a haphazard juxtaposition of everything – industry, leisure time, ethnicity – that insured the vibrancy of the city."
Jane Jacobs, the writer who changed the face of the modern city
The journalist, activist and subject of a new biography believed cities should be haphazard and diverse, and prevented the destruction of the Village in New York
Maybe it would be interesting to also see when the city has bee founded (entropy creeps in).
Is the code available online?
Would you do Pittsburgh, please? h/u @billpeduto @Richard_Florida
I would like seeing the same visualization for cities metro networks!
Yes!!! London is by far the most confusing city I have tried to navigate. It’s the only place I’ve been where I knew where I was on a map, knew where I wanted to get to, but still didn’t know which way to go. These are amazing, thank you for posting!!!
could you do Tokyo? I found its streets to be one of the most painful to explore
OK but now make it a poster print on etsy
Istanbul? Too complicated to visualize? :))
Is the length of the road considered at all? What about number of lanes? Or is it just a pure count that doesn't take those other (more important, IMHO) factors into account? Curious because Washington looks much more orthogonal than some of the major routes would suggest.
What creates the asymmetry present in some of them? One way streets?
ok, i never go to rome.
If Tokyo was in there I expect the whole circle would be filled. Their street orientation is a woven mess!
"All roads lead to Rome" and Rome is almost a complete circle. So cool.
Whoa, London's pattern is really cool!
Most of the European cities will look like Boston or Charlotte I guess, and they are generally not difficult to navigate. I don't think that grid is equal to legibility of the place.
A mishmash of grids is probably worse than London-style streets for navigation. Not knowing which grid you're on, the orientation, etc. London at least you can point in a direction and go "thataway-ish".
But what Boston lacks in legible circulation patterns, it makes up for in other Lynchian elements (paths, edges, districts, nodes, landmarks) that help make it a highly imageable city for locals and visitors. From Lynch:
City's of Belgium are a complete disaster. There are some execptions, those who are close to the coastline. Great work! Nice package!
Why do you call it disaster? I don’t know those cities and this analysis won’t tell you whether it’s good or bad, so I’m just curious.
I'll be more precise: I meant it in terms of intuitive/sense of orientation.
In non-grid cities, there are generally a lot more of noticeable landmarks, making navigation much more easier.
The view from alttude is not intuitive. Intuitive is a neural network bult from a person's experience in the city. I told someone that my NYC was different from his. I'd only been there a few times. I know a few blocks well. Compass directions are irrelevant.
A grid city feels more naturally navigable because of the structure. Compare grid to a tangle of roads?
Yes and no: for example in London, many streets are based on Roman roads which run the length of the country on compass lines. So you might be surprised?
I believe it will looks similar to Boston as I said before, just without that angle. It looks like I will have to try Geoff’s script to see the actual result.
I remember an article sometime ago contrasting the way Europeans will typically navigate a city vs Americans who are much more familiar with carefully laid out grids.
True. Old European cities have an organic-like growth guided by geographical features and historical events. Straight lines don't survive for long :)
Very interesting. My guess is that D.C. would have more prominent diagonal axes if the data were weighted by traffic (the city has a grid for most of its side streets, but a lot of the major avenues are diagonal).
Indeed, or weighted by number of lanes too probably.
Yes, if you weighted by traffic or number of lanes, I'd like to see if there might be a slight pattern to Charlotte
Could you do this for EU capitals and (optionally) large cities? London, Warsaw, Paris, Madrid, etc.
this is the coolest
Pretty cool... And it would be nice to compare with European cities too.
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
Awesome! I might use it in class to try to make a point on the more grid like the less accessible for PwD are the streets (big slopes) in cities with many topographical features (happens a lot in Curitiba). Grid would be only good for flat cities.
As a Charlottean, Charlotte seems interesting and pretty much makes sense. It has such a strong hub-and-spoke & and monocentric structure. I suspect I-485 matters much.
it'd be cool to apply this to Eurpoean cities. I imagine they'd be similar to Boston or even more complex
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
So highest entropy is Rome! My bet is that Istanbul might challenge it. That’s cooler than the World Cup!
Awesome work, any chance to see the correlation with length of developmental age of the city?
Maybe also controlling for density if data allows. Some old cities are not so dense of street networks... but maybe I’m wrong.
I actually find grid based cities really hard to navigate (grew up in Boston) because I find there's nothing to hold onto. All the angles are the same. I guess Boston informed my internal navigation so much that I look for and pick up different cues when navigating.
Same! I look at a map of a grid based city and get really overwhelmed and quickly lost when walking. My eyes end up on the wrong lines. it’s like looking at those optical illusions with all the black and white lines that make your guys get weird.
Other problem with large grids is how interruption dominates. You can't say "I'll get on 17th street and follow it to my destinationo on 17th"... bc there will be parks, plazas, rivers, etc. in the way and this forces you to use some through streets and not others.
Being from MA and having Boston as my big city concept it took me *forever* to get comfortable with New York when I lived there. But it only took me a couple of weeks in the german cities I lived in, that were structured more like Boston.
I've noticed people who grew up in grid cities tend to maintain internal 'compass' bearings - as an automatic process. Not a useful skill in non-grid cities, so other skills used and developed.
whereas I have no idea about cardinal directions because they've been useless to me. "Meet me at the north side" he says. Yeah fuck you it's cloudy outside.
Where I grew up it's an essential skill to get around - useless in Boston.
In this city there is a really tall building that everyone can see from a long way off. It turns out that the major east-west street is adjacent to this building. And, the major north-south steet is adjacent as well. I do not know what goes on in that building. First landmark.
Could’ve saved you a lot of work here ...
I was down in Virginia (Charlottesville area) this year and came upon the realization that the reason chain stores are so dominant is because that is all you find in suburbia. Malls, strips malls, commercial corridors.
It’s a bit of a shock to the system coming from an urban area with lots of unique shops. I was like, “where is the good tea?” Mom: “Oh, there is a Starbucks by the Harris Teeter.” Me: “That’s it?” Mom: *Sigh* … “Yes."
(Granted, downtown CVille has plenty of nice unique shops and restaurants.)
It does. Between Twisted Branch and Goodberry's, Charlottesville is actually a terrible example for you.
I was thinking more of Route 29 corridor and the surrounding area than CVille itself.
New Orleans! Please oh please do New Orleans!
New Orleans was included in this similar analysis from a few years ago:…
Are the jagged edges on San Francisco because of earthquakes or city planning/costal alignment?
that would be one heck of an earthquake :P fortunately its due to planning. SF has a few different grid areas that don't quite align, to the frustration of many
I live near there now hence the curiosity, although it is a bit surprising Seattle is as aligned as it, there are a lot of wonky angles there. I do really like this stuff, it's facianiting the information and patterns we are pulling out of data now.
Yeah, every different grid in a city tells a story. Usually of some person who thought they were building a little utopia :P
We can still dream can't we ^.^ fully convinced that we are already living in utopia. Just need to figure out how to make it fair for everyone.. hard problem that one.
Did you analyze any European cities? Paris? Rome? London?
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
I’m curious about Delhi, Seoul, and Beijing. Also Budapest.
just curious because i'm extra - how did you determine a street's orientation/direction if it shifts direction over the course of its length?
I took the street segment's bearing from one intersection to the next if it curves along the way.
and did an average of those directions, or did you count them all as separate streets?
Each street segment (ie, the "side" of a city block) is counted as a unit for the histogram.
ahhhhhh! of course.
Thank you for asking the important questions! Methodology is key!
The Washington histogram seems wrong to me, if only because I often travel on the diagonals. They were designed to be major thoroughfares. Perhaps you need to weight them by size and capacity. New York Avenue, Connecticutt, etc carry so many more cars than 20th street.
this is really neat!
Frankly, I'm surprised that Boston looks this organized on the chart.
For Charlotte how far out did you go from the center of uptown? Which would be the intersection of Trade and Tryon. Inside the I-277 belt is pretty much square city blocks, but outside that it gets weird, but we Charlotteans wouldn’t consider outside 277 the city.
Is that a native Charlottean thing? I'm a 10-year immigrant and I think of Charlotte as everything inside 485. Yes, including Matthews.
I’ve been here 20 years. If I’m comparing NYC to Charlotte I only think of the areas where there are “city” blocks. I’m just referring to that area, I realize the city of Charlotte encompasses most of Mecklenburg County.
All of New York City covers the same area as Charlotte yet his graph looked at Manhattan. If he had likewise limited the focus in Charlotte o our city centre of Uptown, South End, Elizabeth, West End, and up to NoDa, then you'd see a much clearer pattern
I was thinking the same thing. I grew up in Atlanta, with 72 streets named Peachtree so navigation is a joke, but then moved to Charlotte. The streets are easy there, as long as you're in the city.. inside 277.
HA! Definitely accurate. 8 years later and I'm still getting lost
is charlotte just a parking lot?
I see now that it looks like one of those cities that're thrown off by the fact that many of its suburbs are within city limits
I would love to see the highly orthogonal San Fernando Valley separated out and see what the rest of LA looks like.
Check out James C. Scott's discussion in "Seeing Like a State" of the street grid and rectangular land parcels and their role in selling and managing the street. tl;dr - orthogonal grids create predictable parcels that are easier to sell and tax.
Ha, I had just mentioned essentially that to @HenryGrabar
Related: Portland, OR downtown is 16 blocks per mile instead of 12 as corners are more valuable.
That was my first thought when @gboeing mentioned legibility previously. This is so fascinating!
No New Orleans? That would've been fun
New Orleans was included in a simikar analysis a few years ago:…
Don’t come to Europe, you’ll be forever lost 😜
Thanks for writing such easy-to-use software! I made one for Portland, ME. Do you have a sample of the ones with the city overlaid that I can crib from? (Will figure it out if not, no worries)
This is unfairly kind to Seattle's "let's be diagonal at two different offsets" downtown core
Re-run the script with different bin sizes and you might find a different result :)
Love this, actually, it made me re-reflect on how big Seattle is since the total mania between Denny and Yesler shows up as such a small part!
same is true wrt Denver
That’s one of the reasons for which Boston is said to be more European. I bet most cities in Europe give similar histograms.
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
How about original 13 colonies? Influence from Europe came to early cities in US?
interesting! thanks
Lovely work. i think it would be even more compelling if the radii (?) were comparable between cities. That way the shaded area would represent the number of miles of road being measured.
I expect you'd get a lot more results like Boston and Charlotte if you repeated the experiment for European capitals.
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
Looks like all streets lead to Rome.
It’s funny - took me years to understand Rochester NY city core because of the “Inner Loop” and some of the streets “bending”, but I find Paris utterly understandable and simple.
I assume this must be Portland, Maine because PDX is weird.
Very cool. Also interesting how "European" Boston seems to be, in its lack of a simple orientation. Plop it into the world cities list and it doesn't stand out at all.
Here's that part of San Francisco (SoMa) that has the 45 degree offset.
Can you add Salt Lake City? It's a giant grid
I love Salt Lake City. Not only is it a grid, the addresses are coordinates.
Interesting! Now try this in Europe 😀
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
As expected (I’m Italian). I wonder how that impacts a city’s productivity. A simpler grid must have a positive impact
You learn to navigate by different measures.
Or more complex navigation might correlate with creativity
Not if you use Citgo sign!
Seriously. You’re never *that* lost if you can still see Citgo, the Pru, the State House dome, or one of these:
North star for BU undergrads
And so much better for the brain and travel times than the monotonous pattern of the grid.
Minneapolis has a nice grid for most of the city, but then the downtown has a grid offset at an angle. Interesting and thanks for putting this together.
San Francisco is a nice concise portrait of wretched intersection problems.
Your maps also point out why it's so hard for Transit with nice straight streets making cars so convenient
The data on Denver might be a bit off; there's two definite distinct orthogonal grids in the downtown area. I'm wondering how much of the Denver area was taken into account for the calculation; a larger area would eclipse the orientation difference.
yeah, I had a similar thought, the two systems should have looked like a "star"
I just replied the same thing before seeing your reply. I think you're right though that the total length of N-S/E-W streets of Denver writ large is probably >100x larger than the downtown grid.
It's the entire municipal limits. Over that spatial scale, the N-S-E-W grid completely overwhelms the other variations.
That's completely fair; I figured that was the case.
I went through the same thought process for Portland. Downtown has 2 axis, but there’s more data in the eastern grid overwhelming it.
In this sense, it would be nice to compare how these directional histograms change within bounding boxes of different scales.
Lynch fan & urban blogger from Buffalo here. I love this! As Buffalo grew it subsumed the village of Black Rock, which had its own street grid oriented toward the Niagara River. Where the 2 grids collide are some of the most interesting spaces, places & neighborhoods in the city.
In the early 1860s Olmsted spent some time in CA. SF city fathers asked him about laying out their city & he recommended streets following the terrain. That would have resulted in something more like Boston. But city fathers balked & slapped down a grid. Dammit.
Olmstead designed Gaily Rd. in Berkeley. It’s good. I think the problem with mapping either Oakland or Berkeley could be the hills. The flats of cities are grids but hill streets are seldom straight (which I guess may end up as a solid bullseye in the histogram).
I think you mean Gayley. That was his very 1st residential street design! He laid out the campus & surrounding streets as he was wrapping up his affairs to head back to NY to work on Prospect Park. He believed in using the contours of the land to inform street layout.
Most British cities are radially oriented, and they're pretty easy to navigate tbh.
I don't get it for Charlotte
Seattle has pretty severe dogleg that bisects the downtown core, I do not see that reflected.
Boston driving is a nightmare
Interestingly, I had friends from Europe who found Boston the most comfortable city exactly because of this...
Because it feels more like home. For me the grid pattern feels not natural.
Put your name on your figures or make a logo.
I <3 <3 <3 stuff like this.
Love this but I bet European cities would be more entertaining.
what's with charlotte having more north then south, artifact ?
Is that whole MSA? Core Buffalo has a radial grid I thought
Please do British cities, it’ll just be solid circles
Can you do Kansas City, Mo?! @WaldronKC
Someone should verify this analysis before jumping to conclusions.
I'm curious, most of these seem to have roughly symmetrical lines, but Charlotte seems to have more going north than south. Do you think there are a disproportionate number of one way northbound streets? Or some other explanation?
How about Pittsburgh? Someplace the topography & rivers wreak some havoc?
I’m surprised Pittsburgh wasn’t on here. All the streets and bridges are built into the hills. Lots of weird angles and blind turns.
I’m confused by why Seattle looks so regular. The entire downtown area is on a different grid oriented to the Sound instead of north/south.
i didn't realise that charlotte was that strange for an american city [grew up there] i'd always heard from people it was hard to get around but i never found a problem with it
This is why navigating Amsterdam is possibly so difficult then @WVideoP
I'd like to see one for Missoula, MT. It would be so nuts
...always confused why St. Louis is picked anymore, since it's over 100k smaller than Kansas City these days. O.o
Did Charlotte trip and fall on it’s face?
Love this. How easily could you arrange these chronologically, ideally by date of most rapid expansion, rather than alphabetically, including the world cities? The correlation would be pretty direct, right?
Very cool! I'd love to see this for Pittsburgh.
Weirdly, as a Boston native, I can easily navigate my way around. I have more difficulty in Las Vegas, where all the intersections have a similar look to me.
Is that true north or magnetic? Trying to understand why most are close to the compass points but Manhattan is skewed?
Manhattan is skewed because it's a long, narrow island sandwiched between roughly parallel rivers than themselves run roughly NNE to SSW, which makes it much more appealing to align the street grid to the rivers than to the cardinal directions
One day Kansas City will be interesting enough to be chosen over smaller Missouri cities. One day...
Cool! Would love to hear more of your thoughts on Charlotte. I think we grew during the trolley era as wheel and spoke so maybe that’s why our roads head all directions!
Can you explain your methodology i.e. 1 way vs 2 way streets, choosing direction for curvy streets, name changes, study area boundaries (for Detroit especially), and did you use Arc for the analysis? LOVE the idea and execution! Also higher res to see details would be really fun!
This is cool, but feels kind of unfair to judge Boston, which seems to me to be a polar-graph-shaped city (literally nicknamed "The Hub"!), on Cartesian standards? I wonder if it's really disorganized, or just center-oriented?
Could you do pittsburgh?
how long did it take you to learn Boston?
With all my Boston excursions, not as long as it should’ve!
I guarantee you Pittsburgh is just as round as Charlotte.
Is Charlotte just one huge parking lot with 2000 random street signs?
This is brilliant. Here's to incoherent cities!! Charlotte USA...
Requesting Pittsburgh and Tokyo.
I bet St. John's, NL,🇨🇦 is even worse than Boston.
Fun project you did there. Wish Madison, WI made the cut, we're pretty trippy here. Back in the days before GPS, sonny, we needed celestial navigation to get home at bar time.
Someone once said the US's two contributions to world culture were the gridiron system of streets and jazz.
It's ok. It's enough that we're the cradle of democracy. #betterthanrome
MOST fabulous. DH & I were visiting, on a bus our host put us on, maps IN HAND & streets we passed were NOT on the map. 😲🤔 DH is prof’l cartographer, so I don’t think it was operator error. Insane. 😊
Boston is built on old cow paths connecting colonial towns around the harbor.
Boston streets are laid out on 17th century cow paths. So the only way to get around easily is to think like a 17th century cow.
Funny it shows Seattle as so orderly. Its true outside of downtown, but in the center City, various street grids collide, all pointing to the shore.…
Ugh! St Paul, MN is a nightmare too! Pro tip: Buildings downtown were originally assigned numbers based on their water meter number, so they have literally never made sense 😂
Can you do one for Pittsburgh? I used to live there, found it VERY confusing and am curious how it compares to Boston where I currently live.
I’ve driven in Boston for 35 years. At any given moment, I can say with total confidence that I have no idea in what direction I’m driving.
Salt Lake City. Easiest ever.
This is highly grid-biased. Cities like Boston and Charlotte would look more sensible if you did the same thing in polar coordinates. I suspect the same is true of most harbor towns.
Try La Plata, Argentina.
Boston is much easier once you look at a 1775 map and realize it was an island with a circular street pattern with a grid superimposed on later landfill. Then it makes sense.
And why Chicago is super easy.
Denver pretty clearly has two grids yet your chat looks purely orthogonal. Might be a bug.
Interesting to note how many other cities have similar street orientation as Chicago. Having spent a lot of time walking around Chicago and Boston, the difference is that you can end up someplace you weren’t really expecting to be. And that experience has its own charm.
I bet this explains why Charlotte is the way it is, and I bet you’d see similar graphs for any NC city.…
One thing specific to NC is that until very recently, it had incredibly liberal annexation laws. Instead of people being able to split off into a separate municipality and hoard tax revenue while leaving the inner city to wither, cities could annex any nearby sprawl.
boston is a cool city however i would never, ever drive there even with GPS
The visual itself - could you imagine if it were not in a grid format? Chaos for viewers. Grid > Other
Any New Orleans Network Orientation?
the older the city, the less likely they understood topography/surveying.
Pittsburgh, PA might be interesting, too
At least it’s fun to lose oneself in Boston.
All grid cities look the same to me. I'm probably biased growing up in the Boston area but working in city planning makes me think of how an area is unique not how well it accommodates cars. It's Fenway Park vs. Shea Stadium...
Ancient Greek cities deliberately made their street layouts confusing to thwart easy access by invaders from the sea. Did Boston, MA; Portland, ME, other New Eng cities take page from that book.
I'd love to see one of these for here in Pittsburgh, where they are real proud of their "non traditional grid".
The Ramachandran plot of street orientations!
This is beautiful
And your profile says you are moving to Boston. LOL. I recommend testing out the complex intersections (Harvard Sq, Longfellow br, Watertown center etc) when you first arrive, to make sure you familiarize yourself with all 6+ possible wrong turns ASAP.
any chance a layer of street naming conventions could be incorporated/considered? For example Gainesville FL on a grid but also 1/2
This is really awesome! Thank you.
Welcome to Europe; I can only think of one place in Britain that’s laid out on a grid: Milton Keynes. Every where else just evolved organically over the centuries without any preconceived end point, as evidenced by so many contextual & novel street names, 👍
Seth Kadish (@VizualStatistix) did this exact thing four years ago. Maybe it’s a very old idea that lots of people have done; but otherwise, a nod in his direction would be a good idea, especially for an academic.
Unlike like Emperor Kuzco, I was actually born with an innate sense of direction. If you’re like me, and you use the Sun to navigate, you probably appreciate cities with gridded street plans that are...
And Charlotte's like, "Boston, you've got nothing on me!"
that is an INCREDIBLY charitable read on Atlanta.
It would be sweet to see a few cities in Utah as they are pretty much all organized the same way
Not sure how far from city center you went, but that's not the Atlanta I know.
shouldn't u be tending ur airplanes >:(
Boston and Charlotte. Yikes! Who in the hell planned your cities..? Haha you guys almost colored in the whole circles...hahaha
How does Charlotte have more streets going north than south? Are you counting one way streets differently?
Houston’s isn’t right, at least not centrally.
Requesting San Diego. As a top 10 city it should have made your first list of 25. Instead we see the likes of Sacramento?!? (No offense.)
I think you’d be into this!
When I first moved to Boston I tried to get from the north end back to Brighton at around 12 at night. This was right before the ubiquity of smart phones and gps so it was just me and the roads. I wound up in Cambridge unable to find a bridge to cross the Charles for 2 hours 😞
Modesto, CA was one that always messed me up.
Yes, but what do Queens and Brooklyn look like? Only doing Manhattan for NYC is hardly fair. Queens is nuts. Probably worse than Boston.
Fascinating! Can you think of a way to capture the radial spoke and ring structure of a city like Paris or Washington DC?
I'd love to see you do this with Salt Lake City as it's heavily based off a grid system.
I enjoy this immensely, however i don’t think this is rendering how absolutely shitty it is to get around SF if you don’t know it. This makes it seem easy. It’s not.
could you please do Beirut ?
Excellent. Thanks for sharing!
Dude, you’re wrong about Boston. It’s wicked easy to navigate. You just take a left at the church, hang right down the cobblestone street, follow the freedom trail for like 3 blocks, bear right at the blinking yellow, go under the overpass, 1/2 way around a rotary & you’re there.
Could you do some major world cities for comparison pls? Thanks ;)
European medieval cities are comparable with Boston. :')
Really loving this and the world addition ! For us Europeans, it is a lot more natural to navigate complex cities but I can see how it can be troubling if you are used to grid cities 😯
Maybe you should include some European cities. Maybe there is a correlation between cultures. Interesting. I think Amsterdam is like Charlotte.
Have you tried to correlate the street patterns with the elevatation distribution for each city (using Google map's terraine data) ? I bet Charlotte's characteristics will be similar to Pittsburgh in terms of the "random" distribution of hills that surrounds both downtowns..
Baron Hausmann created the Paris grid so troops could more easily fire into crowds who could not take covers on side streets easy to barricade...
Love this! So we are like cows and prefer north south!!
fascinsting! Now try it with other world cities! :)
nervermind...see it on your timeline. Nice work.
This is really interesting. I live in the midwest where nearly every town is on a north-south grid, which I love. But driving east in the morning or west in the afternoon is dangerous because of the sun. I would use the Manhattan pattern to avoid the problem. Would it work?
Interesting thoughts. Having lived in Chicago (grid) and now Orlando (griddish), I’ve experienced the same “driving into the sun” problem. If you oriented the grids NW-SE & NE-SW, you should avoid that. When the sun is lined up with the streets, it’s too high to be in your eyes.
Weird that you didn't include San Diego.
Don't you try coming to Europe then ! ^^
My hometown was the first privately built planned city, moving from there to Portland, Oregon was jarring, all roads didn't lead to the mill!
man I'd love to see what Sydney Australia looks like
Interesting, caught the international cities version. Any chance you could plug in Tokyo? Always had some trouble navigating through their alleys. Heard they were confusing on purpose to slow down and misdirect invading armies.
I might have missed someone else ask - why do more of Charlotte’s streets go north than south? Are they one-way?
I would like to see this for all the capital cities in europe. Should look a lot like Charlotte.
Do the same for some Europeans cities (except Barcelona): you will find the same result than for Boston ;)
Did you do Tokyo by chance? Curious
How about Gini coefficients for the orientation distributions?
Try to do the same in European cities, you need to have the sense of orientation of a pigeon to navigate there. Super nice dataViz congrats
What about some European capitals?
As a Dallas native, I find it interesting to see the ‘X’ in the center representing its initial layout using the Spanish Grid. I see that LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento, other cities w/ Hispanic origins are similar. Loved the article!
Dallas had to deal with the old East Dallas grid (Live Oak/Gaston/Grand), the downtown grid, and the Oak Cliff grid as the old cities merged. Then once you got north of Old East Dallas the N/S/E/W grid took over as farms were turned into subdivisions.
Yup. The city map looks like a badly pruned crepe myrtle. Which may only make sense to Dallasites, as I think about it ;)
Florida has this thing figured out.
I want to do exactly the same with #Rstat
Please try Chongqing City, a city that confuses every navigation app
Try european cities 😁
Had the same thought. Boston is more like a European city, which tended to grow more organically than be planned
One should study Belo Horizonte
Would be interesting to map a European city like Paris, Rome, London, .. etc. !
De Tweet bekijken van @gboeing:… Wel heel tof!
By popular request, here's a quick follow-up comparison of street network orientations in cities around the world:…
I'm sure you're getting tons of requests, but if you could, would you do Baltimore? This is an awesome visualization, thanks!
its interesting to see the myth of D.C. and Paris layouts...the viz look completely different. I assume because of the larger and more numerous arrondissements
I'm really surprised about LA. It seemed super ungridded and disorientating when I was there
You need to move out of the Atlanta downtown for this to make sense. Only a very little is on a grid.
This is why Boston was forced to become the first US city to build a subway system. :)
This is brilliant work, thanks!
I will Study your work and try to come up with similar work on the streets of major cities of India.
Seriously Detroit?? Detroit ain't a major city. Hell it shouldn't be even given a consideration. 😐😐 @gboeing
Amazing job, and very handy that you shared the notebook! I'm very intrigued to see what else can I do with OSMnx!
Every city in Europe is like Boston. I found it far easier to navigate than most US cities, and now I see why. We don't navigate by street no or how many blocks. It's the curve of the street, and by pub
There are new cities with grid layouts in the UK. They are considered impossibly difficult to navigate, because you can't differentiate between one road and 4 roads up. The houses, and thus the corners, look the same
Can I ask which cities these are?
No clue if it's as bad as it once was, but concrete cows aside Milton Keynes springs to mind.
That's one of them, but I was thinking of Skelmersdale, where a friend lived for a while. It was designed like a Sim city - with repeating blocks. Local lore had it the planner committed suicide when he saw how it turned out, tho I assume that's scuttlebutt
Also, England being England, it was designated a New Town in the 1960s, and that's the larger part of the town, but the name is Norse, and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book
I don't see London but I guess it would be a plain filled in blue circle.
awesome retweet, buddy. Thanks.
Gotta love Boston. We tell everybody; use public transport. 😂
would love to see some visualization of this on a regional level—showing what parts of the country are more likely to have different patterns
Anyone who's ever lived in Boston could have told you its street layout is based on age old cow paths.
Ever navigated Charlotte? Way worse (as your data set shows)
Pittsburgh might be an interesting addition, given how much topography impacts its layout
Love to see a London version
It seems like there is more of a smoothing effect in the graphs from the statistix project. I can't pull the hi-res copy of the statistix graph because it is no longer accessible from Dropbox.
👏👏👏 found this interesting because I find that the cities with the most saturated compass are the most enriching to explore on foot or bike. Rome, the most saturated is endlessly enriching, for example.
You should really add some European cities to the mix.
I see you already did and it's just what I expected.
That you can take three left turns and still be on Tremont St. Or you take just two right turns and are going in the same direction you started. Navigating Boston has no logic and just takes experience. Still. I love it.
New Orleans is also about as bad as Boston.
Toronto would be a realllly interesting addition to this.
Nevermind, I see you've added it below!
Damn you guys are so pampered 😂😂😂 Try the same map in a town in any other country in the world...
I think the rest if the world is much more fun navigate. More variety gives you some challenges.
I'd like to see Pittsburgh.
Why both is longer than with for Atlanta? Did you count one way streets as one direction?
Dear #Charlotte Drivers, Now you know, I'm not sensationalizing my traffic reports. @gboeing This is outstanding!!
That’s super interesting Geoff
Whoa! What happened to the other 4 boroughs of NYC? What are we, chopped liver?
What is happening in Charlotte!!?
It's funny - I expected Seattle to look a lot more like Detroit in these diagrams, but I guess the non N-E-S-W part is overrepresented in my mental model because it happens to be downtown.
Try Victoria, BC: lots of mini-grids in different orientations. Odd for a city laid out in the 1860s.
Hmm. Now I know why I personally found Boston easy and natural to navigate: I'm originally from Rome! ;-) Welcome to Boston & its environs!
I'm thinking Louisville is most similar to Philadelphia? What do you think?
Ooh, big ask but what if you did this for some European countries too, to see how starkly different North America is? (I thought grid systems were a stereotypical joke portrayal of NA cities before I moved to Canada)
How awfully boring such regular cities must be
San Francisco is nearly fractal!
Man don't come to Europe! :)
Downtown Denver is more like Manhattan, though the rest of the city has a normal orientation.
I too have a visualization of how confusing Boston is:
Do Cincinnati please.
Denver seems incomplete. It's mostly standard grid, sure, but the 45° grid downtown seems like it'd be big enough to register.
I'd love to see how the rest of NYC's boroughs compare!
Not sure if it’s elsewhere but request for New Orleans? Gotta be a mess...
As bad as Charlotte is, the rest of NC is even worse. It is madness.
Boston sucks, part XXVIIXVI.
This is what happens when you let cows determine where the streets go.
Anything similar to major international cities?
Have you done Salt Lake City?
Staying the fuck outta Charlotte!
Yep, that pretty much captures Phoenix. A grid draped over the desert.
The results for DC are quite misleading. Doesn't catch all the diags.
yeah manhattan doesn't really account for everything below 14th, either, but it's close!
not sure if this was stated yet but, super interesting how symmetrical all of these are. it makes sense until some of them are a little off :)
Very interesting! And enlightening!
Can you do Pittsburg? Seems all over the place to me
How does the Denver image represent the two distinct grids near downtown?
How are you accounting for varying street length? I.e. Market is one of the longest streets in SF.
yes, we liberal Bostonians choose not to enforce a traditional binary orientation but rather to embrace the true diversity inherent in our paths and ways.
DC is not that simple
Can you do this for major italian cities?^^
I wonder if there is any correlation with the Global Liveability Ranking of world cities?
Boston has the dual challenge of having once been a peninsula and having based its streets on cowpaths. Many visitors find it daunting. As a native I didn’t.
So cool! I’m used to, and comfortable with Houston, Dallas and Atlanta and you can see how similar they are. I detest Boston!! I drove in it once and took cabs from the next trip on.
I find Boston pretty easy to navigate. I'm from Iran and I'm used to not relying on grids to find my way. Although, I live in Charlotte now and I always get lost in it.
والله ي دكتور انا معرفتش افهم الشبكة اللى هو عملها هنا دى نظامها اى بس هى مش زى اللى شوفناها ف المحاضرات بتاعة حضرتك
هو اعتمد علي توجيه الشوارع وانتظامها يعني الاربع اركان دول هما اتجاهات الشوارع فالشوارع البسيطه او المفهومه هي اللي بتبقا grid لكن الشكل المعقد واللي متشعب ف كذا اتجاه ده بيمثل الشوارع الملتويه والملفوفه حولين بعضها... علشان كده بيقولك ان الدراسه دي معموله علشان تحدد انهي اسهل.
تمام ي هندسة😍😍تسلم
Boston looks like city of #Brisbane in #Australia. A city where the roads were designed by a toddler with an etch-a-sketch, crayon and some dribble. #auspol #qldpol
Oxford is just as bad
(laughs European)
But that Atlanta map does not reflect that like half the streets are named peachtree something😂