3798This is a major signpost in a process that's been developing all my life, really. I don't say this just to be dramatic although I do like to write as though I'm saying things to be dramatic.
City street maps have always been my jam, and, in a life full of plans that went nowhere, I'd say #1 of those was to become a mapmaker. No matter how you get those skills, and I'm self-taught there, there isn't exactly a place that accepts applications to be a mapmaker, and I am beyond shabby in my skills at making connections and networking.
I remember one time, many years ago, applying for a job with surveyors with the City o'Portland. I knew enough of surveying and mapmaking to get an interview, but I must have seemed like the most egregious poser because an interview is as far as it got. C'est la guerre, mon frere. But, during all those years, but not so much latterly (which the Brown Eyed Girl will tell you is one of my biggest problems) I dashed off a prodigious number of make-believe city maps, played with street grids, and all that.
The results are lost to time except in my memory, and I am incredible for map memory (as the Brown Eyed Girl will also tell you).
Early in life, I was born. This was a great relief to my mother who may now point out that if we did things according to my schedule, I'd have waited until I was, at a minimum, twelve. And that occurred in the Willamette Valley backcountry metropolis of Silverton. This was a peculiar place for someone obsessed with street layouts and address grids to be; McEachern's Silverton: the Morphology of an Oregon town hints at the amazing textual variety contained within Silverton's snowflake-like street plan - nothing regular about it, a combination of little bits and parts that don't really mesh with each other.
The street grid of Silverton can be inscrutable even to the native-born. This is a point I plan on exploring going forward. It's been a curious trip. Anyway, my exploring this has resulted in the map you see embedded here: the first map I think anyone's ever made that sets out, nearly block-by-block the street addresses you can expect to find in Silverton, Oregon.
It's about a 2.3 Mb PNG and here it is:
To make it I hacked apart a PDF copy of the Oregon Dept of Transportation map of Silverton, which I was able to load into the Inkscape application and editing all the street names into a mixed-case font I liked more than was provided, then, with the aid the public GIS at the City of Silverton's website, figured out where the blocks should go, and plopped an obliqued set of red digits there (this was a common them in the maps of California cities that the AAA's California branch produced and I've always rather liked it).
This is a product which is useful even though it's not a finished thing, there's some detail there outside of town I want to add in and I can do it on a 2nd pass.
It also got me of thinking of ways to renumber and quadrant the town so as to make the address layout a little less inscrutable. But Silverton's street address plan is, as it is, quirky and interesting without being too confusing (that's the beauty of smaller-area towns like Silverton). And this too is something I'll be exploring as a thought experiment roping in a few insights from planning documents I've traipsed across in my intellectual travels.
But for now, here, a most unique map. I enjoy this. And even though I was never able to become a professional map maker, I can at least now say I've put something out there.