Beautiful Rome + Paris maps based on quantity of geotagged photos within a city:
The link to all top-100 cities based on the number of photos taken/uploaded onto Flickr + Picasa: http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/sets/72157623971287575/
Self-organization is a process of organization that is not directed by any external force or factor, but by the character of the basic unit itself. Although unpredictable in outcome, this process could produce the most efficient systems as witnessed in an experiment conducted by the architect and structural engineer Frei Otto. He produced a geometrical system of paths by connecting all the points (i.e. targets such as houses) on the circumference of a circle (or any other form) using wool. Due to theoretical “detours” people often take, the wool was given some slack. He then dipped the entire system in water, shook it and then removed it. The wet wool began to gather and merge, eliminating some of the paths that previously existed. The total length of all the paths was shortest in the final stage of the experiment. Contrary to what most might believe, an orthogonal geometric system is not the most efficient system.
Munster, 1550. Simple, but informative, map of major natural and human networks in and surrounding Rome.
Pinard, 1555. Just a few years after Munster’s map, this bird’s eye view of Rome illustrates a gradual infiltration of human growth into Rome’s surrounding. An interactive map can be found here.
The Nolli, 1748. This beautiful and influential plan can be viewed in more detail here.
Bretez, 1739. I love the way the streets are drawn in the Plan Turgot — the light and shadow playing across the buildings lets the streets read as powerful and dynamic. The boats gathering in the Seine are also wonderful, if perhaps a touch out-of-scale:
The key to the Turgot plan is also wonderful–after months and months of staring at maps of Jerusalem’s walls, it is so refreshing to see a map of a city that suppresses walls and highlights a river:
Stockdale, 1800. This map shows agricultural fields both inside and outside the city wall, as well as built-up areas around city gates. Next up, I think, is a closer analysis of the relationships here to see how this relates to Howard Saalman’s ideas about the radial growth of cities:
and coming soon… medieval maps…