Archives for posts with tag: map


Toronto’s craft beer scene is exploding. In response, local entrepreneur Michael Stulberg came up with the Craft Beer Passport. For $20, the passport gives you access to $2 craft brews from bars around the city. Just like that you get cheap, delicious beer, support local bars and breweries, and are encouraged to explore Toronto!

The Craft Beer Passport crew used my services as an Urban Geographer to determine how to divide the city into neighbourhoods — Torontonians’ local pride can get mighty fierce, and calling something the wrong neighbourhood would not be good. On top of that, I illustrated a poster for a Pub Crawl that happened in June as part of Ontario Craft Beer Week. Proceeds went to Not Far From the Tree, an organization that redistributes urban fruit harvests.

The map had to be a usable wayfinding device — but  I managed to sneak some local character in there. Enjoy! 



ASEED is an activist organization based in Amsterdam that targets the structural causes of environmental destruction and social injustice.

Much of their work in the Netherlands focuses on food security, and the averse effects of the industrialization of the food system. Their work involves education, workshops and events like the yearly March Against Monsanto march in Wageningen.

Earlier this year, I designed and illustrated a map of the world, exploring the negative effects of GMOs and resistance to them all over the planet. It was a fantastic project, diverse and challenging. The goal was to communicate a dense amount of information in an accessible and engaging visualization. A map is often the best way to achieve this!

Click on the map below for a full resolution version, and support the resistance to GMOs!



ASEED back


Check out these maps I illustrated of the gardens spread throughout Artscape Gibraltar Point.

As Spring approaches, we are busy preparing for the gardening season here on the Island. Some of the plans for 2014 include expanding the main garden and herb garden, with the possibility of a small CSA of mixed greens and herbs that will be delivered to Islanders by bike!

The maps are functional diagrams of the dimensions of the gardens, but also reveal the stories of this special place. Enjoy!

Main expansion Greens garden

Herb garden Raspberry patch




I made a quick sketch of a visualization of Toronto’s Greenbelt.

What do you think?


Exciting news, readers!

Your urban geographer received a 2013 TOmaps Awards from the TOmaps sub-Reddit!

CornishBin, the sub-Reddit’s fantastic moderator put together a list of the year’s best Toronto-inspired maps. The list includes “Best Animation”, “Prettiest breakdown of Toronto’s diversity” and “Best TTC-related map”, naming my map Torontodam “Best Mash-Up” (see below). The map transposes Amsterdam neighbourhoods onto Toronto, matching them based on corresponding geography and culture.

reddit 2013

The list showcases the best of the cornucopia of cartographic treasures that the TOmaps sub-Reddit showcases on a daily basis. A hearty congratulations to the other award winners, and a big thank you to CornishBin for being such a thorough curator of all things Map-TO.


Here’s to a mapful 2014!


It’s my pleasure to share with you an animated map I created for the Mobiation Project.

The map charts the Mobi-01’s nomadic travels through Amsterdam — from its first semi-built incarnations at the Fiction Factory, Friekens and NDSM in Amsterdam Noord, its official launch at the 2012 Magneet Festival on Zeeburg Eiland, it’s short stint as an art piece at Huize Frankandael in Frankandael Park, its winter stay in a playground in sleepy Watergraafsmeer, to its current location on the banks of the Nieuwemeer, in an artist community called Nieuwe en Meer. The map playfully animates this clockwise journey around the city and the trail of goodness the Mobi has left in each of its locations.  The Mobi-01 is the first manifestation of the Mobiation Project. It is a self-built, foldable, fully transportable living space/open house that is working to be off-grid by summer’s end.

It was enjoyable to take a break from digital media and make the map by hand, using a cut and paste technique, with paper and cardboard. I quickly returned to digital media by animating it in Powerpoint, and creating a GIF.

The map was created for the Mobiators’ presentation at the Pop-Up City Live, this Tuesday at Amsterdam’s Brakke Grond. As I have been doing internships with the Mobiators and at the Pop-Up City over the last few months, Tuesday night marks an unexpected colliding of worlds, that appropriately marks the end of my current stint in Amsterdam. Just how will the radical-squat-autarchiks clash with the trendy-urbanists in this surreal manifestation of the extreme sides of my personality and interests? We’ll see on Tuesday night!


Click the map to enlarge it!

Readers, I have yielded to that irresistible urge to compare two cities – in a big way. 

I present to you a rough sketch of a comparison between the neighbourhoods of Toronto and Amsterdam, a mash up map that transposes Amsterdam neighbourhoods into the spatial configurations of Toronto, becoming a new city I like to call Torontodam.

Of course, certain liberties are taken – the comparability  isn’t perfect – but there is something to it: Toronto neighbourhoods seem to correspond quite well to their (urban geographer defined) Amsterdam counterparts.

The comparisons are based on geography, culture or a mix of the two.  For example, it works quite nicely that Amsterdam’s Indischebuurt, located in the city’s east, corresponds to Toronto’s Little India, also in the east.

If you are familiar with the two cities, please comment, and help improve the next draft. Some things to hash out: what should Cabbagetown be? Queen’s Park and the houses of Provincial Parliament? Cabbage town? What is Kensington Market — is there really no concentrated grungy neighbourhood in Amsterdam, no Camden Town (London) equivalent? So much to compare!

Karen Stintz announced the proposed OneCity transit plan today.


Using a language of unity rather than a false suburbs downtown divide. This is one system, one region, the efficiency of downtown routes directly effects the suburban.

Best of luck to the fine people of toronto, may they be protected from divisive politics and incompetent leadership

Google maps represent the most extensive, detailed and wide reaching maps ever created. On a “single map” one can be looking for a shopping mall in North America, then instantly be looking at a Unayzah, a city of 130 000 in Saudi Arabia.

Google’s maps are multilingual. Instead of switching to Spain when looking at it from a North American IP address, it’s name remains in Spanish, España.

The idea of a different word for a foreign place — Spain for España, Germany for Deutschland — is the result of the extent of communications technologies at the time the English were getting to know the people of other cultures. Since lines of communication were minimal, the English referred to the “others” in their own terms, and these names were formalized in map making and when the drawing of borders established modern European nation-states.

But now with a wide reaching and influential global culture, and most explicitly the existence of a multi-lingual global map, I predict that in the future, English speakers will refer to other places by their native names — especially in languages that have latin characters. Check out the google map below: Italy is Italia, the Czech Republic is Ceska Rublika, Poland is Polska. These are easy words to pronounce in English and I wouldn’t be surprised if their use became more common.

This is not a new trend. Beijing in no longer referred to as Peking as it once was by English speakers. Beijing is a transliteration of Chinese, which is ultimately more respectful of their culture. The availability of world-wide geographic data in one place may facilitate a continued transformation of the names of places in the future.

Many branches of contemporary human geography seem to be in a conundrum. Maps and models of reality continue to be produced in immense quantities, conclusions are made that the maps and models are ineffective since they fail to capture certain non-quantifiable elements of reality, yet these maps and models continue to be made. In response to the relatively-made-up quality I have noticed in efforts to quantify geographic phenomena, for my GIS (Geographic Information Systems, essentially computerized maps), final project I decided to instead explore cognitive geography – something that could never be rendered accurately on a computer – with the intention of creating beautiful maps that evoked questions and stimulated reflection, rather than tricking myself into thinking that the maps I made were accurate or representative of reality.

Here are some of my final maps. They don’t really mean anything…but the idea that we all have a different city in our heads, yet can function perfectly well with each other is a lovely thought.