Saturday, December 3, 2016

A map of and for the times

I find myself unreasonably obsessed with The Unscientific Bay Area

Mapping today is dominated by data freaks, obsessed with being scientifically rigorous and statistically significant. But as a data freak I’ve come to realize that not all maps have to involve equations. I want to take a break, be a little unscientific, and put the human element back on the map. Ultimately, cities and neighborhoods are collections of people, and I wanted to map their experiences. As it turns out, these unscientific maps are just as charming, thorough and thought-provoking as any other.

If you load the PNG file for the map into your browser, you can zoom in and scroll around.

And you can lose hours trying to reproduce the process that Trubetskoy must have followed, wandering around Urban Dictionary to find pages like Oakland

City east of SF Bay, aka "tha town". Separated into 3 parts (North, West, and East Oakland). There is no south. North Oakland is the hills. West Oakland has downtown, lake merritt, chinatown, and jack london square. East Oakland has the airport, coliseum, and the zoo. Deep East Oakland is where you can find the sideshows, people actin' a fool and gettin' hyphy, goin stupid doo doo dumb retarded, smokin perk and chewy, sippin' on some heem or yak, and slappin' hard in they box chevs.

(Looks like Trubetskoy mistakenly coded that as "The Town".)

"There is no south", indeed; that direction leads to my home, accurately described as "increasingly yuppie.".

Many of these jargon terms are completely unfamiliar to me. For example, Fruitvale has always been called Fruitvale to me (though I'm an oldster, not hip at all). I've certainly never heard it called East Side Oakland (ESO), though perhaps that term is describing the area where 98th meets East 14th, a bit farther away.

My son will be (perhaps) excited to know that he lives in Haystack, "the heart of the bay"

The city of Hayward, California. It is known as the "heart" of the bay. The city was founded by a man named William Hayward, who came to California to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush (Began in 1848, I believe). He bought some forty acres from some Rancher, and in a few years sprouted into a town. Was at one point misspelled into "Haywood". Haystack is a slang term when refering to this city.

Person A: I live in tha Haystack
Person B: Um...?
Person A: Hayward
Person B: Where is that?

And I'm sure my daughter would agree that Surf City is indeed known for "awesome local bands."

Anyway, it was an inspired idea, thanks for putting the beautiful map together!

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