A project that’s been on my mind lately is to make a map of the Twin Cities to hang on the wall. I’ve always thought maps are pretty and the visualization of data feels like a fun way to try to have a more artistic outlet than I’ve traditionally been able to find.

The inspiration

I think the idea for using maps as an art project come from this guy’s amazing laser-cut wood hanging.

Since I’m hoping to have all the fiddly parts be in the digital realm, I immediatley ruled out wood-cutting. So, looking for beautiful maps, I found this series or this of roads as line maps. I’ve also always been fond of those typographic maps with neighborhood names like these.


My initial ideas for data layers that could be included on the map are:

  • Road data
  • Bike lanes
  • Water features
  • Topography
  • Breweries

The first 3 seem like they could come from government sources, but would all be in the same format if they came from Open Street Maps. The fourth should be easy enough from USGS data, and a quick google search revealed this list of breweries.