Tony Kroeger | Main Street Garage

The Living City Mapping Project

Tony Kroeger

Are you a map fiend? Like knowing where you’re going and checking out new ways of looking at things? Stop by The Main Street Garage to see these unique maps of Dayton that are reminiscent of the London Underground and Amusement Parks. Find yourself in Dayton and celebrate the great neighborhoods we have. Tony Kroeger displays two maps in a series presenting Dayton through the context of recognized graphic representation styles.  The intent is to show the relationship of art and science in cartography.  As the science of mapmaking rapidly evolves, the aesthetic importance in geographic representation is as relevant as ever. Tony Kroeger is a proponent of cities and maps and the fusion of the two with a background in geography and urban planning.

The Theme Park Map

The Theme Park map is a spatial diagram that is intended to convey interest, excitement, and possibilities.

Common characteristics of theme park maps include vivid, saturated colors, vertical distortion, a sense of what is new and what is upcoming, distinctive fonts, and (of course) cartoon-like drawing.  Many such maps also use iconic images to act as wayfinding points—the Eiffel Tower at Kings Island, for instance—and include a  legend with a series of numbers or letters that correspond with features on the map.  Also, these maps have a tendency to impress shorter-than-reality walking distances.

The map of Dayton shown here was inspired by theme park maps.  Just as Walt Disney World has a tapestry of unique realms—Frontierland, Adventureland, Tommorowland, Liberty Square and Main Street USA—Dayton has a network of unique-but-connected urban neighborhoods—Oregon, St. Anne’s Hill, South Park, Webster Station, Central Business District, McPherson Town, Grafton Hill, Wright-Dunbar, and (of course) Main Street, for example.

The Tube Map

Henry Charles Beck (1902-1974) developed the distinctive London Underground map in 1933 that deviated from the traditional geographically-loyal map representation towards a schematic linear diagram.  This map, thought to be more understandable for unfamiliar users, came to be the model for many transit networks worldwide.

The development and subsequent popularity of Beck’s Tube Map shows that cartography is both an art and science.  Today, as the science of mapping rapidly evolves to include highly accurate, interactive, internet-based maps for the masses, we should consider the art of mapping, and how it might interact with such impressive technological advancements.

The map of Dayton shown here is inspired by Beck’s Tube Map.  While it does not depict transit systems like Beck’s map, it nevertheless shows linear paths with many potential “stops” and destinations.  It is also interesting to remove interstate and other controlled-access roadways from the map, which are not usually used for exploring the city at a human scale.



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    […] residents, and past Activated Spaces participants. The displays are sometimes informative like Tony Kroeger’s maps of Downtown or Jacqui Theobald’s peek into the Urban Community Garden scene. Others show off inspired […]

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