WayMaker at MERL

Normally we read maps with the expectation that we will find in the world what we see on the map. What if we designed maps with the expectation that we will create in a world what we place on the map? That is the premise of WayMaker, a design tool based on Kevin Lynch’s elements of the “city image.” Districts are broad regions, such as neighborhoods; edges are boundaries between one region and the next; paths are the channels along which people move; nodes are foci to and from which people travel; and landmarks are punctuation points used for general orientation. WayMaker users duplicate, stretch, and position representations of the elements to form a map. The software calculates and displays street-level views along the pathways.