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Bike to Books, The Poster: Bigger, Stronger, Faster

March 8, 2015

Remember the Bikes to Books Map that highlighted a bike tour connecting streets that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors renamed after 13 authors and artists? Did you say to yourself, “Oh man I loved the map, but I really wish it were bigger and had more things on it?” If so, you are in luck! Behold and gaze your eyes upon Bikes to Books 2.0, The Poster!

It’s bigger! At 3 feet by two feet, it contains over 863 square inches of history!

bikes to books poster crop

It’s better! It now contains 31 individuals and entities, and over 50 points of historical and literary interest, and an awesome comparison timeline that shows who lived and worked in San Francisco at the same time.

bikes to books timeline crop

It’s faster! It’s not folded! You can readily hang it on your wall! But you’d better hurry to catch this limited run. Be the first to get one of these maps at our release party at Benders on Wednesday, March 18th, 7-9 pm. It’s like a giant Burrito Justice post that you can hold in your hands! Details below!

Bikes to Books Beer Social and POSTER RELEASE party!
Wednesday, March 18, 7-9 pm
Benders Bar and Grill
806 S. Van Ness, SF

Join Nicole Gluckstern and Burrito Justice, the creators of literary bicycle tour “Bikes to Books,” for our annual beer social where we’ll be unveiling our latest iteration—an expanded poster version of the Bikes to Books map now with more authors, more historical context, and more nifty visuals. We’ll be talking up our collaborative mapping project and tour and fielding questions while enjoying some tasty adult beverages at our fave neighborhood watering hole, in the first of a series of “Bikes to Books” events planned for 2015.
Combining San Francisco history, art, literature, cycling, and urban exploration,  “Bikes to Books” began as an bike ride homage to the 1988 street-naming project spearheaded by City Lights founder and former San Francisco Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in which twelve San Francisco streets were renamed for famous artists and authors who had once made San Francisco their home. First published in The San Francisco Bay Guardian and then in October 2013, with the generous assistance of City Lights Books, the physical map has been available ever since in many of San Francisco’s finest book emporiums, and is appropriate for use as a navigational tool, a history lesson, and a unique work of art in its own right.

Bernal Porn

March 6, 2015


“Dude in Cole Hardware runs out exclaiming ‘it’s a volcano!!!'”

March 2, 2015

So Saturday the fire was in the sky. Some panoramas I made at 24th & Mission.

I liked how this rabbit hole picture turned out:


Hey Sutro:

A Burrito Justice agent atop Upper Market took this ominous looking shot:

And of course the epic GIF of lightning by @mahlie via Mission Mission:

Here’s what the weather radar looked like as the storm passed through:


And of course the erstwhile Sutro Sunset Cam timelapse set up by the honorable @rrmutt:


(slow to load, as Flickr invariably is, but worth it)

The headline of this post is via @AndyKosinski.

UPDATE: Andy provides more details on the Cole experience:

The History of a Piece of Oakland

January 27, 2015
tags: ,

A year ago my now friend @brockwinstead wrote a fascinating series of blog posts digging into the people who used to own his house and the land on which it stands. He contacted BOOM: A Journal of California and it is now an article in the winter edition.

Brock had dug up lots of old and cool maps in his investigations. The awesome Jon Christensen at BOOM asked me if I’d be interested in making a digital mapping supplement to Brock’s article. Little did I know what I was getting into when I said “sure, that should be straightforward.”

Much Javascript and CSS and GeoJSON later, behold the historical slippy map showing how a ridiculously large land grant got whittled down by regime change and sub-divided over time. Click on the years to travel through time and space, hover or click over red things for more information. While it is certainly viewable on mobile, it is even better on a desktop. (Click on the image because WordPress hates iframes.)

1820 Rancho San Antonio

In the 1820s the Spanish government regularly granted good soldiers like Luis Peralta chunks of land larger than present-day San Francisco. In the 1850s, Americans forced them to sell most of it off. Seventy-five years after the grant, the Peraltas sold off their last piece of the grant.

Brock read his article and interviewed me on his show The Eastern Shore — we talked about the map and the people and what we learned making it (both historical and technical). Gracefully edited podcast version here:

What did I learn? While I would love to do this for more neighborhoods, it was a heavy, heavy lift. For those map and history nerds amongst you, the basic workflow was:

old maps —> NYPL Map Warper —(GeoTIFF)—> Google Earth —(KML)—> QGIS —(shp)—>
CartoDB —(GeoJSON)—> Leaflet —(JS/JQuery/CSS)—> dynamic slippy map

This is not a scalable workflow. I am pretty sure this needs to be an integrated product. I just need to figure out where I can work to make that happen.

NB: I have collected all the slippy maps onto for your viewing pleasure.

But before you think all the other websites get the good stuff, a Burrito Justice exclusive! Here’s a GIF of one of our first efforts to align actual Sanborn maps. (Click to zoom)

sanborns 1889-1903-1911-1951

Song Frankongsko

January 26, 2015

Hong Kong, 1841

Hong Kong Island 001 (2)

San Francisco, 1847

San Francisco 1847

(Hong Kong 1841 via the Corinthian Column. SF 1847 via the Big Map Blog.)


January 26, 2015

I have the best followers.

Heron’s Head Park

January 20, 2015

Such a nice spot. So much better than a Southern Crossing.


And what great view of the Burrito Railgun.


And Sutro and Bernal of course.



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