Art comes from the most unexpected places sometimes.  For example, take a look at some of the urban maps below.  Upon a drab canvas of criss-crossing streets and empty spaces are a web of vibrant lines that resemble colored pencil marks, practically jumping off the page.  The deep red pathways are like the lifeblood of the city, pumping through its avenues as the city’s residents rush to work, or to dinner, or the theater.  We can see the cultural and economic activity of each city by these highlighted pathways, and we almost don’t need a tourist map.  These pathways are the ones we instinctively know we want to be on.

Manhattan (via

These maps were created by Eric Fischer over the past five years, and are assembled at his Geotaggers’ World Atlas site.  There, he explains how he used data to create such beautiful maps.  First, he scanned through Flickr to determine where people were taking interesting photos in the world’s cities.  If he saw a clusters of many photos in one place, that led him to believe that that place was worth seeing.  Then, he connected these popular sites, and colored the paths between them based on the speed. The red lines, for example, are faster than walking speed, and could be people on bikes or ferries.  You can zoom into the maps too, and see how what appear to be thick pencil lines are actually collections of many different smaller threads.

Here are a few more:

Los Angeles (via

Tokyo (via

Istanbul (via

Check out the Atlas yourself, there are a ton of cities from all over the world available on there:

Source: Gizmodo.