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Maps in Four Dimensions

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Brandon Martin-Anderson (Urban Mapping)
General
Location: Regency Ballroom

Users of public transit have a very different view of the city than car-bound folks. For a driver, the city is more-or-less static - the time it takes to cross the city will stay more or less constant. To a transit rider, the city is a constantly shifting landscape. A short trip one moment becomes a long wait the moment you miss a train. An express train in the morning may become a lethargic slog midday. Displaying the time-dependent world as seen by a transit rider is a challenge to cartographers, who must find a way to display four-dimensional, time-varying data on a two-dimensional canvas.

We’ll take a look at different ways that mapmakers have attempted to squeeze all sorts of four-dimensional data onto maps, from the oscillations of transit systems to the shifting landscape of relative distances within a city throughout the day, from the movements of armies in battle to the dance of a collegiate housing shuffle.

Video

Brandon Martin-Anderson

Urban Mapping

Brandon Martin-Anderson is a free-lance map hacker and public transit enthusiast. Brandon is the founder and administrator of Graphserver, an open source multimodal journey planning engine.