The Stream Systems of the U.S. Visualized As Subway Maps

Before the 20th century, one of the easiest ways to get around was on the water. People took steamboats and ferries up, down, and across rivers as their normal mode of transportation. Rivers were the transit lines of an era in which transferring could mean hopping on a horse-drawn streetcar. 

Inspired by Harry Beck’s designs for London Underground transit maps of the 1930s, cartographer Daniel Huffman created a series of maps that imagines what America’s river systems would look like as subway lines. 

His river transit maps give waterways an urban aesthetic, emphasizing the relationships between different rivers. Like most subway maps, they’re not necessarily geographically accurate. All the rivers run in straight lines with neat intersections, without any messy tributaries to clutter the map. The result is, purposely, a far cry from what America’s waterways actually look like. “The geography is intentionally distorted to clarify relationships. I think it helps translate the sort of visual language of nature into a more engineered one, putting the organic in more constructed terms,” Huffman writes

After all, rivers are engineered, too—not entirely unlike how we’ve engineered the routes of our subways. We build locks, dams, and canals to facilitate transportation and control water use, and divert the flow of water to protect cities from flooding. In the 1930s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turned the Los Angeles River into a concrete channel, guiding it into a consistent path. In Chicago, engineers reversed the flow of the city river to divert contaminated water away from Lake Michigan. Other cities force their rivers underground

These neat, visual networks of water as transportation lines help emphasize how interconnected all of our water sources are, even for those who have never traveled up and down those rivers. See the rest of Huffman’s maps on his blog

[h/t: Citylab]

All images courtesy Daniel Huffman.

Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State

Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

Afternoon Map
8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists

Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]


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