My portrait of COVID Toronto in maps
February 19, 2023 1:42 PM   Subscribe

My portrait of COVID Toronto in maps
I needed to exercise to be productive and take care of myself, but curiosity and the availability of technological tools turned that into a project of exploration, map-making, and collaboration with friends.

When the gyms at the University of Toronto closed, I decided that all my pandemic exercise would be in the form of walking. Exercise was and is indispensable to good productivity and good disposition: even if I had to do it at 5am after working all night, I could put on my wireless noise-cancelling headphones and at least listen to an audiobook for 90 minutes while tracing the outline of parking lots.

I also decided that I preferred not to cover the same ground over and over, and so I would try to vary my exercise walks.

As that progressed through 2020 and 2021, I was recording GPS tracks using a free app on my phone. As I accumulated more, I began learning about GPS data formats, mapping software, and particularly the free cross-platform Geographical Information Systems (GIS) suite QGIS.

I feel that the maps have both considerable visual and artistic appeal and significant utility for comprehending and examining the urban geography of Toronto as it relates to pedestrians.

Wanting to take walks, see new places, and make maps have all reinforced one another. That led to a collaboration to develop a collection of inter-linked and field tested urban hiking routes in Toronto, the Toronto Urban Hike Collection.
Role: cartographer, historian
posted by sindark (0 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by aniola on February 24, 2023: Toronto Urban Hike Collection

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