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…
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.
Cranialdetritus has got it right! My current transit map project is of the U.S. Highway system… that’s U.S. Routes like U.S. 101 and (the now defunct but famous) U.S. 66 as opposed to the newer Interstate system (I-5, I-70, etc.)
It’s actually a far denser, more complex system than the Interstate system and some routes curve around all over the place, out of the nominal numbering order. Some parts of it are doing my head in.