River Transit Maps


Honorable Mention: CaGIS 2011 Map Awards

I wanted to create a series of maps that gives people a new way to look at rivers: a much more modern, urban type of portrayal. So I turned to the style of urban transit maps pioneered by Harry Beck in the 1930s for the London Underground. Straight lines, 45º angles, simple geometry. The result is more of an abstract network representation than you would find on most maps, but it’s also a lot more fun. 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.

I've put together a few dozen of these so far, in hopes of building an atlas of major North American river systems, which I have about 99% complete. For more information, visit my blog, where you can download free PDFs of these maps or buy prints.