Seeking another way to portray the way Americans live "unmediated by proxies like city boundaries, arterial roads, state lines, etc.," MIT grad student Brandon Martin-Anderson recently put together an interesting map portraying everyone in the United States as dots.
The overall effect is a bit like a density heat map, and about as precise. Martin-Anderson used census block data, rather than pinning down individual addresses, so a few screwy things do show up—no one lives in the sand traps at the Minikahda Club, for example. In the aggregate, though the map offers an interesting and even beautiful look at the nation.
A few things jumped out at me:
- The striking gash Interstate 35W cuts through the south side of Minneapolis
- How much more dense a single apartment complex can be, versus its single-family home neighbors
- CARAG, East Harriet, and Lyndale look even denser than they do when you're out walking around.
- Save for its Morningside neighborhood—Linden Hills' long-lost twin—Edina looks deserted compared to St. Louis Park, Richfield, and Southwest Minneapolis
- How St. Louis Park has been able to concentrate its residential development along Excelsior Boulevard
- Southwest Minneapolis is about as dense as suburban New York City
What do you see in the map?
(h/t The Atlantic Cities)