Despite persistent, unsubstantiated rumors that The New York Times is failing, the paper continues to produce some of the best visualizations of data being produced these days. In today’s online edition (and Sunday’s print addition) they’ve created a map of every building in America. This massive figure-ground diagram of the nation we’ve built for ourselves is truly amazing. Better than a map or satellite imagery it clearly illustrates the patterns of development that define where we live.
Naturally my first instinct was to find where I live and work. From there I explored some more and was able to locate my kids’ schools and the other landmarks of my life (HEB, Target, etc.).
Of course by illustrating only built structures you also start to realize just how expansive the built world is. There’s lots of open space as well and so it looks like us architects will be busy for some time.