“Boston, the city directly at hand, is unique in character among American cities, being both vivid in form and full of locational difficulties.”
In the 1960 seminal city planning and mental mapping book The Image of the City, MIT’s Kevin Lynch wrote the above remark on Boston. Its physical setting, quirks of layout, and diversity of neighborhoods conspire to make Boston a very “imageable” city, to use Lynch’s word, in people’s minds. Those images of Boston, when put to paper or screen as maps and graphics, can be fascinating in their meaning, or sometimes just plain nice to look at.
Bostonography is at least a site for interesting visual representations of life and land in Greater Boston, and at best it exposes and explores the geographical sense of place in the city. It begins with maps but needn’t be confined to them. In addition to linking to existing designs the aim is to inspire the many brilliant and creative people around here to turn their talents toward their city. As a showcase of such efforts large and small, perhaps Bostonography can do its tiny part to help people better know their city, spur further exploration, instill civic pride, and build a sort of graphical visibility that promotes Boston as a cool city to the rest of the world.
Bostonography is an endeavor by two cartographers. In addition to posts about interesting things we’ve come across, the project has so far inspired a number of original maps, a few of which you may even have spotted in the Ideas section of the Boston Sunday Globe. We encourage everyone else to make maps, too! Send us anything you’ve made or found!
Ideas, comments, and hellos are most welcome.
Also follow us on Twitter at @bostonography.