A new open-source tool lets users compare the structure of cities around the world.
A city’s street network is like its skeleton—a foundation for features like pipes, electrical lines, buildings, and public spaces. Geoff Boeing, an urban planning scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, has developed a coding tool that visualizes any city’s street network to scale as a black-and-white x-ray style map.
Boeing’s tool complements existing urban-design techniques. “Very often, this kind of computational urban data science speaks past urban designers—it’s unfortunate,” Boeing says. “A tool like this can help support urban designers in the questions they’re already asking. Basically, it streamlines the process [of analyzing urban form] and makes it reproducible without having to reinvent the wheel every time.”
With just one line of code, users can open a square-mile window into any part of a city. Each resulting map is like an x-ray of the city it represents, allowing viewers to focus on the layout of the streets in the area they’ve selected. See some of the x-rays below!
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