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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Vancouver Relief

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It seems fitting to inaugurate the new re:place website with an image of one of the most influential factors determining local city life and character – topography.

The above is a cartographic relief image of Vancouver. It depicts the topographic elevations/contours of the terrain and is shaded to emphasize its corresponding landforms (the steeper the slope, the darker the shading).

Being a self-proclaimed map geek and amateur cartographer, I decided to create it out of sheer frustration with not being able to find such an artifact except for a handful of inaccurate relief maps drawn in the 1800’s.

Many of us often take the local topography for granted as we race across the city preoccupied with more important life issues. Yet it is one of the most important distinguishing features of our city and has a direct relationship to many things local: from land values and social status to location of parks and street patterns.

I hope this will be the first of many geeky things I post on this fine site for kindred spirits to enjoy, and help others to see this great city in a different way.