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MIT Project Maps Everything From Greenery to Bike Crashes to Build Better Cities
The project, which launched at the start of April, brings together a diverse team of computer scientists, mathematicians, artists, designers, and educators. Thus far, they’ve mapped the locations of independent coffee shops in high-density cities, bike crash data, and most recently, street greenery in various high-density cities such as San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The group hopes that these maps will inspire people to better their cities. The bike accident maps, for instance, can help urban planners and city officials determine the next location for separate bike lanes and the greenery maps can inspire local residents to plant more trees in areas where there are none.
The maps are also more than just an exercise in compiling data–they are art. For instance, the maps of independent coffee shop and their walkingshed communities are rendered as beautiful splashes of watercolor. Data is aggregated from multiple references from Google Street View to police reports and the sources are listed in the About section of each map. At its current production pace of at least one map a day, the project will finish in 27 years at the latest.
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