Colorful Maps Reveal Building Ages In Global Cities

Colorful Maps Reveal Building Ages In Global Cities

Inspired by one another, graphic designers the world over have used datasets to create color-coded guides.

Sara Boboltz
  • 8 october 2013

When Portland designer Justin Palmer got his hands on a dataset of the city’s building construction dates, he did what any responsible Portland designer might do: make a color-coded, interactive map for local reference. A few days later, Brooklyn designer Thomas Rhiel published a similar map, based on figures in New York City’s recently released Property Land Use Tax lot Output (or PLUTO) report. In the weeks that followed, more maps surfaced as a series of international designers showed off their hometown pride — and indulged everyone’s fascination with data.

Palmer, for one, noticed that Portland’s ’50s-era housing boom relied on a grid system of development, whereas homes constructed in the ’80s and ’90s favored cul-de-sac formations. He wrote on his blog:

The dream of the 90s is still alive in 75,434 structures. The 1890s haven’t fared so well, with only 942 structures still standing.

For other cities, the maps divulge reconstruction patterns. In Slovenia’s Ljubljana, for example, many buildings weren’t rebuilt for several years after a devastating 1895 earthquake, and then after both World Wars.

Take a look below, or explore the full-size maps of Portland, Brooklyn, all of New York City, Ljubljana, the NetherlandsReykjavik (Iceland), and the Netherlands (again).

Justin Palmer // Thomas Rhiel


Images via Wired.


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