For a Grid Chicago article I was writing, I wanted to draw on a map to demonstrate to readers where people were commuting and not commuting. I wanted the map to show CTA lines. I didn’t want to use a Google Maps screenshot because it would have been low resolution, and I didn’t think the [...]
For a Grid Chicago article I was writing, I wanted to draw on a map to demonstrate to readers where people were commuting and not commuting. I wanted the map to show CTA lines. I didn’t want to use a Google Maps screenshot because it would have been low resolution, and I didn’t think the styling would be appropriate.
I opened up TileMill and whipped up my own maps! I already had the base layers set up for the Chicago Bike Map app, so I duplicated that project and then added the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra train lines with data and styles prepared by OpenPlans (created for its Chicago bike sharing Shareabouts installation; download the data and styles here). Highways, the most common geographic reference point in cities, are also included on the map.
Data comes from OpenStreetMap contributors and the styling is OSM-Bright.
Go grab them on Flickr. Use them as needed but please provide attribution to “Steven Vance, OpenPlans, and OpenStreetMap contributors”.
Chicago map, with Metra
Chicago map, with CTA
Chicago map, with CTA and Metra
About Steven Can Plan
I started this blog in 2007 as the writing assignment for an introductory urban planning class at UIC. It's about cities (mainly Chicago), GIS oftentimes, and transportation (mainly bicycling). Learn more about me, Steven Vance. I also write for Streetsblog Chicago.
Steven Can Plan is hosted on Dreamhost.
Chicago Bike Map App
The Chicago Bike Map app is a bike and street map stored entirely in your iOS device – no data connection required. The map is designed to look much like the City of Chicago's official printed and online bike map. The app works on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Highly Recommended Bike Products
The best value taillight. It has three red LEDs that alternate and provide extreme brightness. I have two of these.
These folding locks are lighter weight and more versatile than an equally strong u-lock.
Bells can be quite useful, especially to tell people in front that you're passing them. I like the ding-dong bell the best. It makes a solid DING and then DONG on the spring's return.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities (50th Anniversary Edition) (Modern Library) by Jane Jacobs
The Practice of Local Government Planning (Municipal Management Series) by
You could basically design and administer a new town kind of effectively after reading this huge and boring textbook.
Making Maps: A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS by John Krygier PhD, Denis Wood PhD
If you are going to make a map, whether it be hand drawn or digital, you should really give this book a read. Then read it every time you make a map. It will help make sure your maps are laid out sensibly, in a way that others can easily read, and that it doesn't include fluff or unnecessary data.