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Map of the week: The fun of the Global Street Network

Fun with maps? Simon Kuestenmacher doesn't mind that at all.

Fun with maps? Simon Kuestenmacher doesn't mind that at all. Photo: TND

Your friendly neighbourhood Stats Guy is on parental leave for the next nine weeks. So instead of a weekly data-driven column I am going to share some of my all-time favourite maps with you, week after week.

Christmas is not only the season to be jolly but also the time to do a bit of arts and crafts.

Let’s have some digital fun and craft a simple little map project. You could even turn this into a personalised gift for your loved ones.

This amazing little tool created by Andrei Kashcha simply draws all streets in any city you want. If you type in a big city like Sydney, rather than a suburb, the page takes a while to load.

open street map

My home town in Germany. Source: Global Street Network

As examples, here are the German town I grew up in (with fewer than 20,000 residents) and the Australian city I live in (with more than five million residents).

I find this to be a nice and quick way to reflect a bit about where you came from and how you ended up wherever you are now. Have a play with it.

global street network

The website’s version of a map of Melbourne. Source: Global Street Network

The exported screenshots make great desktop backgrounds, the website allows you to print this on mugs (I’m not affiliated).

Or you could download the screenshots and have them framed for significant locations in your loved one’s life.

Demographer Simon Kuestenmacher is a co-founder of The Demographics Group. His columns, media commentary and public speaking focus on current socio-demographic trends and how these impact Australia. His latest book aims to awaken the love of maps and data in young readers. Follow Simon on Twitter (X), FacebookLinkedIn for daily data insights in short format.

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