What would Fresno’s defining feature be? What would look cool enough and speaks to you enough to be illustrated? What jumps out at you when you look at a map of Fresno or think about Fresno in a map inspired way?
I recently came upon a website called barelymaps.com. On it are map inspired graphics (like the one above using Buffalo intersections) of a city feature, illustrated in a creative way.
There isn’t a Fresno one, as you might expect. I would love to see one though. I have some simple ideas as to what Fresno’s could be:
The Railroad Tracks (active and abandoned). That might look cool pulled off a map and featured. The Union Pacific and Santa Fe tracks (and maybe one day High-Speed Rail tracks) are very Fresno. Also, there is a track that spurs off into Southwest Fresno that I think still may be active, but I have never seen one pass through to confirm as I am only occasionally in that part of town.
Ponding Basins. I know every town has ponding basins but Fresno’s seem to be more defining. Might look cool pulled out as well.
Canals. Some of our more featured canals have been converted over into a pipe system and covered over but many remain. Enough to make a graphic with or you could include the ones covered over as if they still remain. Canals are a big reason Fresno became a city so that is defining for sure.
Swimming Pools. That would be a lot of swimming pools to feature, for sure. I have always been curious as to Fresno’s pool ratio. I would bet we have the highest pools-per-capita rate of any city outside of Phoenix, Tuscon and Las Vegas.
Freeways. We “only” have four. A well-designed poster of them could look rad.
The San Joaquin River. Our largely overlooked NW border would look sweet with everything within range of its Fresno side, featured.
Save Marts. Really, what is consistent throughout Fresno and is local? Actually, there is no Save Mart downtown or in the Edison High area or… in Southwest… well, unless you consider Sunnyside Southwest. You know what, screw those cowards.
The Grid. Nothing says Fresno more than a map grid. In fact, we could be the poster child of grids.
This one we actually can see an example of because I found a website that will let you search for a city and it will pull up a map of it the city you search for but it only features the streets, everything else is stripped away.
If you use the website and your smartphone, it will let you zoom into specific areas of the map (I couldn’t get it to do it on my laptop but I could on my phone).
I’d love it if a Fresno graphic artist made something up inspired by Fresno and the Barely Maps. Please share it if you do.
While we’re here, a friend sent me this drawing of Fig Garden Village at a time when Rock Bottom Brewing was still there ALONG with the movie theater. I had recently been really wishing the movie theater was still there, so this made me pause:
Stay safe out there mapping.