Emergent patterns
End of year effect?

Scribbling as art

ZipscribblemapcolorthumbOver at EagerEyes, they created this beautiful visual of zip codes in the U.S., proving that scribbling is art.

They took the zip codes in numeric order, connecting all of them in a line.  The colors represent States.  We begin to see some order in the 5-digit madness.

Of course, such scribbling serves a specific and highly appropriate purpose here, and would not be generally recommended.


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Very nice, but why would dots without lines not make a better information graphic than lines without dots? It seems to me that the lines emphasise zip codes that are far from their numeric neighbors, in proportion to the distance between them.


Answering myself partly, I notice that the lines, by not straying across the intra-state borders between regions, show up those borders in white even though the colors are the same for any one state.


It would be interesting to do something similar for Tokyo. My understanding is that their "zip code" system is chronological, not geographical, so it would be interesting to see the "lack" of spatial patterns.

Robert Kosara

Derek: Lines show a lot more structure, and also give you a better impression of density. The "scribble" quality also makes for a much higher aesthetic value, which is part of what made me publish these maps at all.

Kaiser: What you say about Tokyo sounds really interesting. I don't think there would be no structure though, rather the structure would reveal a lot about how the city has grown. If only I had the data! There is absolutely no postal code data to be found on Japan.

I posted ZIPScribble Maps for a dozen new countries today, though, and a few more are coming up in a few weeks.

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