Exploring San Francisco

December 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Is it possible to explore every block of a 7-mile by 7-mile city? I intend to find out!

A couple weeks ago Cassidie, Esther and I were walking around Russian Hill and found a cool little alleyway. I started wondering how I could discover every hidden gem in the city, and how I could track where I’ve been. I’ve already documented my fascination with maps, and this is another map-focused project.

As a byproduct, if you want a really huge map of San Francisco (12,000 x 10,000 pixels) compiled from Google Maps screenshots, here you go.

First, here’s a map of San Francisco showing the three places I’ve lived and where I work as a reference for the other maps:

I’m sure my cell phone and the NSA know everywhere I’ve been in the city, but I don’t know how to access that info. The best I can do is look at exercise apps and credit card statements. I used the Nike+ app to pull up every running route I’ve taken in the city since last summer:

You can see that hills and traffic lights make some parts of the city less runable than others. I’ve spent a lot of time on Market Street, on the Embarcadero, and in Golden Gate Park (as well as the Panhandle east of Golden Gate Park and the Wiggle which connects the Panhandle to Market).

Next is my biking map compiled from rides recorded on Strava:

The biking map is less adventurous than the running map. It’s mostly the 5.6 mile ride from the Sunset to work that I make ten times a week, once again connecting Golden Gate Park to Market via the Wiggle. There are a few other rides, like our ride to church last summer when we lived in the Mission. Next month Esther will be 9 months old, the approved biking age for a baby. I’m hoping our biking adventures spread out once we can go as a family.

I also looked at credit card statements (and racked my brain on cash purchases and work lunches) to see where we’ve dined, shopped, and otherwise spent money in the city:

The blue dots are restaurants, the green dots are grocery stores, and the orange dots are everything else. The bigger the dot, the more times we’ve been. There are clusters around our apartment in the Sunset, our former apartment in the Mission, and my office. You can see that we’ve made our way around the city in search of greasy things that make us poor.

Here is the combined map for running, biking, and spending (click the image for a bigger view):

Now to figure out everywhere I’ve walked…