Seeking Bike Map Sponsorships

UPDATE #2: Fundraising is done!

UPDATE: Sponsors so far include the Haile Foundation, Steve Magas, the UC Geography Department, UrbanCincy, Frank Henson, REI Cincinnati, Urban Sites, James Braye, Jack & Lyn Martin, and Gaslight.


The Cincinnati Bike Map, now so nearly complete, seeks sponsors to help finish the work and get the project to print.

Here’s the basic idea: Most bicyclists, most of the time, are using the streets. They’re using the streets for increasingly diverse ends in fact, from training for a race to picking up groceries. Such diverse users, each with their own ends and abilities, must have objective information on the conditions of the roadway, most notably of their potential relation to it’s automotive traffic, if they are to make informed decisions when planning their trips or finding their way.

Beyond this navigational goal, the map is also an advocacy tool, showing objectively what someone might expect were they to try riding a bike. This role emphasizes the importance of a tangible, printed map, as opposed to a shifting, digital one, in conveying a reliable, secure reality that people can learn to understand and depend on; a security they must feel if they are to try something they are unused to1.

Concretely, the map will measure 24″x31″, fold down to a pocket-size 4″x5.16″, and take in 210 square miles of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky at a 1:28,000 scale. 10,000 copies will be printed locally and distributed for free through a variety of outlets targeting cyclists and potential cyclists. All data and work will be available, freely under an open license2.

Your sponsorship supports this work and gets your name on the map.
Sponsorship Levels:

If you’re interested in sponsoring, please send me an email with your information. You can and use the button below to donate through paypal or I can give you an address to send a check.

I’m shooting for publication in Late July or Early August.

Thanks to a very generous grant from the Haile Foundation, we’re most of the way to our goal of $7,000 for production and printing.

Raised already: $6,800
Left to go: $200 )

What the money will be used for:
About 80% of the money will go directly to printing and distribution costs. The rest will help me keep a roof over my head while I finish the project since I have no real income over the summer. That’s right, about $1,400 to pay a highly educated cartographer for a couple month’s hard work. I live pretty cheap ;-)

What still needs done:

I thank you heartily and preemptively for your support.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. And this secure reality really is secure and stable, despite our learned desire for up-to-the-moment updates. Infrastructure changes at an extremely slow, incremental pace. I also want to make clear that while I’m emphasizing a tangible, printed map, adding a digital version to this website is a trivial task, so an online version will certainly be available as well.
  2. Meaning that I’m not hogging the ideas here. I’m trying to make bike maps better, not make a buck off of updating them.
Comments: 3
Posted in: Bicycles | Investments | Maps
Tags: | | | |

The ontology of bike routes

It is the implied authority of geospatially precise ‘bike route recommendations’ that puts me off;¬† my travelling ontology doesn’t recognize such routes.

OKI bicycle map of the cincinnati area

Bike routes to me, where not literally demarcated by bollards or boundary paint, are a loose, conceptual topology of best-paths contingent on weather, health and my day’s ambition. There are rare edges that are fairly static and these can be mapped: Spring Grove can be for racers and relaxation, snowing or scorched. But why transpose it literally? “Spring Grove”, as I mean it, is a heuristic referencing the whole street, perhaps even to the whole Mill Creek valley east of the tracks, not a geocoded centerline. Ol’ Colerain sliced by the highway is a good ride too, and I take it sometimes if I feel like looking at something different.

How to communicate such useful, abstract edges?

A hand-rendered, schematic map is so clearly subjective it openly invites criticism from the viewer’s own ideosyncratic subjectivity. This is ideal. The point of bike-route¬† maps cannot be to convey authority but to connote personal suggestion.

Here is my morning’s attempt at a bicycle edges map, from memory and a half-hour.

central car-free-cincinnati schematic map

Now to digitize and make it look decent…

What’s all this about a West//East divide? I’d like to propose a distinct Car-Free-Cincinnatian spatial identity that apparently fails to recognize any but the central neighborhoods and places well-connected by transit. I couldn’t for the life of me recall how to bike to Xavier, NKU, or College Hill because I so often take transit to those places. My concept of the city seems to have a very tightly connected core with more distant neighborhoods dangling from abstract transit lines but no street names. This may more accurately be my winter version of the city. Come summer I’m much more likely to bike laterally.

Comments: 2
Posted in: Bicycles
Tags: | | | | | |