We all wish the United States had better trains. (If you don't, you should.) That's why this subway-style map of every U.S. Highway and Interstate in the country is so much fun. You can almost imagine heading down to your local stop for a quick jaunt up the East Coast. If only…
The impossibly detailed map is the latest project from Australian graphic designer Cameron Booth. It's actually not the first one like this he's done, either. Previously, Booth created separate, subway-style maps of the U.S. Highway system and the Interstate system. This new map simply merges the two systems and makes some design upgrades to accommodate all of the information.
However, as Booth described in detail on his website, everything follows a strict set of rules:
The map follows much the same design principles as the previous ones: white circles with black strokes denote named places (cities, towns, etc.) where two or more roads intersect. The more roads at that location, the larger the dot. Named places at intersections are always shown, even if they're just a teeny-tiny little hamlet. Not all roads meet at named places, so there are intersections with no labels. Places that fall along a road between intersections are shown as a "tick," and are included if they have a population of 1,000 or over (thanks, Wikipedia!). Obviously, some places are left off the map for clarity in very populous urban areas, especially if they are considered as part of a "greater" metropolis: I apologise in advance if your home town is missing. There's still an incredible 4,385 named places on the map!
It looks like this, up close:
The full-sized map (44 inches by 72 inches) is currently on sale for $225. You can also download each of the map's four quadrants, albeit plastered with copyright watermarks. And if you like this, you'll love the state-by-state breakdown. Feel free to hang them all over your apartment as a reminder of what could be. [Cameron Booth]