See How Metros in the World's Biggest Cities Intersect on Aerial Maps

Paris
Paris
Dadapp94, Reddit

In cities around the world, subways form massive networks that snake under the urban landscape, creating systems that we're familiar with seeing in the form of colored, intersecting lines on a poster, but basically can never see from above ground.

Luckily, the cartography and transit nerds of the internet have you covered. A number of users on Twitter, Tumblr, and forums like Reddit's r/MapPorn have created image mashups of subway lines overlaid with aerial images of urban environments, showing what cities would look like from above if their massive transit networks were above ground. CityLab recently collected some of the most compelling ones, and they're fascinating to examine. (The one above, of Paris, was created by Reddit user Dadapp94.)

Below are a few of our favorites:

Here's London:

And New York:

Here's one of Amsterdam that was posted to r/MapPorn by Reddit user Conducteur:

An aerial photo of Amsterdam with subway lines represented by colored lines
Amsterdam's railway and subway lines
Conducteur, Reddit

And one of Milan, posted by Reddit user medhelan:

An aerial view of Milan with colored lines representing subway paths
Milan
medhelan, Reddit

To see more aerial shots like this, head over to CityLab. And if you love aerial images of infrastructure as much as we do, we also recommend these photos of airports seen from above.

The World’s Steepest Street Is in Harlech, Wales

Tonktiti/iStock via Getty Images
Tonktiti/iStock via Getty Images

It wasn’t by chance that Ffordd Pen Llech just clinched the Guinness World Record for the world’s steepest street: The townspeople of Harlech, Wales, worked hard to steal the recognition from Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand.

At its steepest point, the gradient of the street in Wales is 37.5 percent, beating out Baldwin Street’s 35 percent. “I feel sorry for Baldwin Street and the New Zealanders,” Gwyn Headley, who spearheaded the campaign, told The Guardian, “But steeper is steeper.”

Guinness World Records has a surprising 10 criteria for the honor, including a blueprint of the street in question. This was the toughest for Harlech residents, because the thousand-year-old road was there long before roads were planned out with blueprints. So surveyor Myrddyn Phillips created one from scratch, using a satellite dish and chalk to calculate every possible measurement. Another criterion is that the road must actually be used by both people and vehicles. This one was easy, considering it leads to Harlech Castle, a UNESCO Heritage Site that was built over 700 years ago.

Having just lost to England in the Cricket World Cup, New Zealand is having a rough month—which Headley does feel bad about. “At least they have the Rugby World Cup … for the moment,” she said.

Because of its opportunities for bikers, motorcyclists, and other thrill seekers, Baldwin Street has become something of a tourist destination, which Dunedin residents have capitalized on by establishing nearby food, drink, and souvenir shops. Since the street is just as steep as it was before losing the world record, it’ll likely still function as a tourist attraction. But the townspeople are understandably disappointed, and one even suggested resurfacing it to increase the gradient.

In the meantime, Harlech is planning a party. “We know the anticipation has been building for quite some time now and I’m pleased to see the outcome has brought such joy to the residents,” Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday told The Guardian. “I hope Harlech enjoys the celebrations and that the new title brings lots of people to the beautiful town.”

[h/t The Guardian]

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