Andy Woodruff has a great post called Paint by Numbers (go take a look!) on his Cartogrammar blog. Patterns emerge based on addresses, hinting at some city planning at work. Something he mentions is the idea of displaying all addresses in a city by number, color ramped. The problem he talks about, and rightly so, is that the huge range of numbers assigned to different streets muddles the data, and makes it difficult to consistently visualize a city’s addresses all at once. But I gave this a try anyway, to see what resulted for San Francisco. I grabbed address data from DataSF (great resource), and set to work. Actually, it makes a beautiful map, and where you don’t necessarily see citywide patterns, there are some fantastic neighborhoodwide patterns. Click on the image below to see a larger version and a clearer view of these patterns.
One pattern that sticks out to me, is the influence of Market Street, the diagonal line in the northeast. For streets that branch off to the west from Market (though at different western locations, because of the diagonal nature of Market, make sense?), each street starts at 1. What this means, is that if you were to walk halfway down Market, then turn to the north, the cross streets will be different blocks. So the addresses would be 1, followed by 100, followed by 200, etc. Makes for some interesting navigating.