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Reimagining Massachusetts' Maps

Posted by Josh Rothman  July 27, 2011 11:02 AM

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A map isn't just a visual description of a place -- it's also a tool for reasoning about it. Ryan Sullivan, who leads a Portland, Oregon-based design firm called Paste in Place, has designed a series of reimagined maps of Massachusetts for ArchitectureBoston, the journal of the Boston Society of Architects, in a project called "Redraw, Reboot." The maps leave out the traditional boundaries of towns, counties, and states, and replace them with new boundaries, revealing, for example, which parts of Boston have the right number of residents for town-meeting style government.

This map, for instance, shows what Massachusetts would look like if organized by watershed. Other maps let you see the state in terms of electoral district, or even in terms of shared Dunkin' Donuts -- since each Dunkin' Donuts creates, in a sense, a small community around itself. See all of the maps at ArchitectureBoston.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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