Category Archives: Geography

Map your neighborhood! (Again!)

When you think of your neighborhood, you probably think of many things—people, institutions, cultures… and geography. In your mind it probably has a spatial extent, or a center, or some fuzzy definition of what is “here” and what is “there.” … Continue reading

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Boston is 46 Percent Water

This is not a a paradigm-obliterating viral map. Boston is 46% water and this shows where it all is. Most of the water is offshore. Some of it is inland. But what if you don’t care where it all is? … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, Historical | 2 Comments

Crowdsourced neighborhood boundaries, Part One: Consensus

UPDATE! We’ve got a new and better version of the neighborhood mapping project! Head on over to! OLDER UPDATE: There’s also a newer map of what’s described below. As you may recall, we’re running an ongoing project soliciting opinions … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, Projects | Tagged , | 90 Comments

Thirteen neighborhoods: one city

If there’s one thing everybody knows about neighborhood boundaries in Boston, it’s that nobody knows where they are. But they’ll tell you you’re wrong if you try to draw lines. That’s fair enough, really—any line drawn will divide neighbor from … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, Historical | Tagged , | 9 Comments


Ah, The Super Bowl. Whether the home team is in the game or not (ahem… ours is), we can’t help but use the occasion as an excuse to hit up the local watering hole and have a few drinks with … Continue reading

Posted in General, Geography | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments


One of the things that quickly struck me—and that, I think, becomes apparent to most newcomers and visitors—after moving to the Boston area is how small it is for a “big city” in the United States. It is of course … Continue reading

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A Cartographic Year in the Life of Boston

In early December, we Tweeted the following: Bostonographers—Tweet your favorite Boston-based news story of 2011. Boston is a place where things happen. What happened this year & where? We received one response . . . and that’s only if you count … Continue reading

Posted in General, Geography, Holiday | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Shaking the municipal Etch A Sketch

Fair warning: some day I am going to post long, questionably logical rants and ramblings about boundaries. I have a thing for—actually, against—boundaries invented by humans and what they do and don’t, and should and shouldn’t mean. This is not … Continue reading

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Boston: Fair and Square

Whether you blame it on cows, humans, or nature, Boston’s street network is very confusing to visitors and unseasoned newcomers. We cartographers can do nothing but delight in how lost you are going to get. Thence spring my two minimal, … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, Transportation | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Footprints of Boston

We mapmakers earn our keep by somehow adding value to raw geographic data; that is, the craft requires more than just plotting the location of objects on the Earth’s surface. But sometimes it’s hard to compete with the simple elegance … Continue reading

Posted in General, Geography | Tagged , | 7 Comments