New Map Project: Highways of the United States
At long last, I can finally unveil my (almost) completed map project that i’ve been working on since May 31, 2012. Yes, 2012!
I’ve given plenty of teasers about this project over the last two years, but I still think the final scale of it will amaze you. Not only have I created a map of the contiguous United States that shows every single last active and numbered Interstate Highway and U.S. Route (both two- and three-digit), but I’ve also broken the map down into separate state and regional maps. So far, I’ve made 33 of these maps and there’s another 11 to go to complete the set. There aren’t 48 state maps because some of them are just too small to show individually (I’m looking at you, Rhode Island!). These are included in regional maps like New England or Chesapeake (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and DC).
Posters in a variety of sizes are available in my brand new shop. Orders taken up to the end of the month of April are pre-orders; I expect to begin shipping in the first week of May.
Comments, reblogs, likes, and shares are appreciated to spread the word! Let me know what you think, or let me know if you find any glaring errors.
Happy New Year from Transit Maps!
See you in 2014… here’s a final progress image for the year of the Interstates and U.S. Routes map: everything in the shaded areas is just about done, just parts of Ohio and Kentucky to finalise! Cincinnati is being… difficult.
All the best,
Work in Progress: Simplified Map of All Interstates and U.S. Highways
Map. Almost. Finished.
Seriously. Just a few problem cities to sort out and a couple hundred more labels to add (there’s over 3,000 named places on this map so far!) and the first draft is done. I’ve been working on this for about a year-and-a-half now, but it’s so worth it: this map is the most beautiful piece I’ve ever created.
Big Project — Work In Progress Screen Shot
Some people have asked how I’m going on my new big project — a simplified map of all U.S. Highways and Interstates on the one map. Well, here’s where I’m at currently.
Everything in the western half of the map is pretty much finished: the east coast needs to be revisited for consistency and there’s still a whole heap of work to do in the south east. I actually feel that I’ve left the hardest bit until last… which probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, in retrospect. Although I now have a really good feel for how things should work in the grand scheme of things, so it’s actually getting easier as I go. The rules have been set, now I’m just applying them, like solving a logic puzzle.
I like how, even at this scale, the main “hub” cities can be seen clearly — Denver, Minneapolis/St Paul and Chicago have been the hardest to work out so far.
Here’s a new preview of my Highways project to round out the old year. Last time, I showed an overview of most of the western United States: this time I’m zooming way in and showing a selection of smaller cities.
My decision to include all Interstate highways (even tiny spur lines) is having a very interesting effect. The small cities shown here — which on my previous Interstate and US Route maps were all rendered as a single dot at the intersection of roads — are having to be plotted with a startling degree of detail and accuracy to make the junctions between all the roads make sense.
Shown here are Boise, ID; Lincoln, NE; Duluth, MN; Sioux City, IA; Las Vegas, NV; and Salt Lake City, UT, each of which presented their own challenges. Of these, I’m most proud of Sioux City: finding a way to show the short concurrency between US-20, US-75 and the spur Interstate 129 as they cross the Missouri River to I-29 on one bridge, while also showing that US-77 splits from US-75 and crosses the river on a separate bridge to terminate in Sioux City was quite a challenge. Finding a solution that was also aesthetically pleasing and simple to understand was a bonus.
Sometimes I wonder what I’m getting myself into with this project. On my previous road maps, there were maybe five to ten “difficult” junctions like these … but there are multitudes of these small cities on this map, and we’re not even talking about complex “spaghetti junction” cities like New York, the Twin Cities, or Dallas/Fort Worth, to name a few! One at a time, that’s what I keep telling myself…
Happy Holidays from Transit Maps!
I’m signing off for the year to spend some quality time with loved ones, but I’ll see you early in 2013 with more reviews, maps, photos and my own work. I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and an awesome New Year!
I’ll leave you with a progress screen shot of my big Highways project, which shows both Interstates and numbered US Highways (all of them, even those tiny little two-mile spur Interstates!). It’s really starting to come along nicely, although there is still a lot to be done!
As you may know by now, I create my own transit maps as well as write about them. But unless you’ve been following me for a while, you may not know exactly what I’ve done, and what I currently have available for purchase this holiday season. Here’s a quick rundown:
Interstates as a Subway Map and US Highways as a Subway Map
These two posters are by far my most popular items. Because I can print in bulk with my supplier, the fantastic Wallblank Printery, the price on these is excellent for the superb quality. Each 36” x 24” poster is just $39 plus $10 shipping, or you can buy a combo pack of both posters for just $68 plus shipping — a saving of $10 over buying each poster individually.
This will be the last Christmas that I offer these posters for sale, as I have plans for something bigger and better next year (which I’ve already been dropping hints about). So, if you’ve been thinking about picking one — or both — of these posters up, do it now. You won’t get another chance. Click through to the order page on my website here.
Not all the maps I create generate as much interest as the ones above, but I still make them available for purchase through my Society6 store. As these posters are print-on-demand, the cost per unit is a little bit higher than the ones I order in bulk through Wallblank, but these are still excellent ideas for unusual gifts for the transit geek in your life.
Note: Due to the fine type and detail in many of these maps, I really, really recommend that you purchase only the LARGE or X-LARGE print sizes that Society6 offers. You will almost certainly be disappointed (and the type will be illegible) if you go smaller than that.
Amtrak Passenger Rail System
Fully updated for 2012, this map shows all of Amtrak’s passenger rail services — split into route lines and colour-coded in the style of a subway map. Big preview here on Flickr.
Boston Rapid Transit Map
My own original redesign of Boston’s transit map. Comes in two flavours: one with key bus routes and the other without (which I like better — the map looks so much cleaner without it).
European International E-Road Network
A couple of years old now, but still one of my favourite maps. Who knew Europe had an international network of routes?
Rail Transit of Portland, Oregon
My own original version of a unified rail map of my home, Portland, Oregon. Shows MAX Light Rail and the Portland Streetcar — including the new Central Loop line on the eastside.
Passenger Rail of Portland, Oregon | 1912 | 1943 | 2015
Overlays passenger rail services — light rail, streetcar, interurban and intercity trains — from three different eras for a comparison of how things have changed over time.
I’m very pleased to announce that my Interstate System as Subway Map and U.S. Highways as Subway Map posters are back on sale for the holiday season. At the moment, I’m taking pre-orders as I carefully check the maps for accuracy and the latest, up-to-date information, but I’m expecting that to be done within the next week or so, and then the posters will be on their way to you in plenty of time for Christmas.
So if you missed out on the last edition, or if you’re just after an awesome present for that transit lover in your life, click here to go to the order page. The posters are priced the same as before: $US39 plus postage for either 36” x 24” poster, or a combo pack of both posters for $US68 plus postage (a saving of $10 over buying the posters individually).
Sneak Peek: Los Angeles
This project has been ruminating in my head for a while, but I’ve finally got going. Very early days, but the look is starting to come together. How is this project different to my previous Interstate and U.S Highway paps? You’ll see… think bigger.
Just a reminder - today is the absolute last day to order my Interstates as Subway Map or U.S. Routes as Subway Map posters. I’ll fulfill any orders made up until midnight U.S. Pacific time tonight, and then that’s it… at least for the foreseeable future. Click on the title above to go to the order page, or just click here.