Recently I came across Typographic Maps, and I thought I’d try something similar. Not by hand, like they do. Instead, grabbing some map data off OpenStreetMap and automatically transforming it into SVG, as shown below. Not as nice as the original, but I didn’t want to spend hours making it look better. (It would probably never look as nice as when done by hand, although the ability to choose any place is a plus.) Instead I learned a few interesting things along the way.
How it works:
A rectangular map is selected. I used GetLatLon to find the exact latitude and longitude of the test maps.
The OpenStreetMap data is retrieved (here, Hyde Park Corner):
This returns nice and well-formed XML.
The format is easy to understand, and so it was also easy to write a basic XSLT stylesheet to select features of interest (roads, parks, etc) and turn them into SVG. Again, if someone ever wanted to make it into a generic tool, there should be a GUI lets you choose your map and the tool would automatically adjust to the scale and filter out details that are too small and make the output a mess like now.
Here is the rendering of Hyde Park Corner (and in SVG):
And that’s it.
All the code and examples are at github/maxf/maporizer