Sometimes you come across a cool image or video, you read what it is all about – but you still don’t fully understand it. This is what happens to me when I read this great article from Geoff Boeing. It’s about Urban Street Network Orientation.

I think it’s for the best, when I use his exact words to explain what is going on in these pictures:

This study explores the spatial signatures of urban evolution and central planning. It examines street network orientation, connectivity, granularity, and entropy in 100 cities around the world using OpenStreetMap data and OSMnx for modeling and visualization.

Public transportation in pictures

This study explores the spatial signatures of urban evolution and central planning

I would have to copy almost his entire blog post in order to explain to you how the images are put together. And he’s 100 times better in doing this than I am.

Street Network Cluster

You notice similarities between cities in the same country.

The image above shows dense, gridded cities like Chicago, Portland and Manhattan close to each other. The red cluster represents sprawling, but relatively low-entropy cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

On the other hand you see cities in Europe like Amsterdam and Venice on the right. It has a lot to do when a city was build. So it makes sense that older cities are closer together in this graphic.

Did you find your city? How does your city look? Mine is not on there, but I think it would be a purple dot. I understood that much of this Urban Street Network Orientation paper!

This is definitively not your average easy to digest, fun to read post – but if you dive into it a bit, it’s super interesting. And of course, it’s a great topic to talk about during the next party. People gonna look at you, like you’re the next Einstein when you drop this knowledge on them.

Copyright/Images: Geoff Boeing