Turn Any City Map Into A Cool Illustration Of Roads

Image altered by the author
Image altered by the author
Screenshot: City Roads

The aptly named City Roads project is simple: Just go to the site, enter the name of your city, and software creates a map that exclusively shows roads. With no text or topography at all, the results are really quite beautiful.


Check out City Roads today if you’re looking to kill a few minutes. I was turned on to it this morning by Mike McPhate’s California Sun newsletter, which is a daily California-centric news aggregation email that’s also free and quite good.

McPhate reports that City Roads is the brainchild of software engineer Andrei Kashcha, but did not get into the engineering aspect of how the site works. Neither will I. The source code is public if you’re into that kind of thing.

If you find these maps as pretty and interesting as I do, City Roads gives you the option to download them as a vector or raster image. That gives you a much nicer copy to keep than a simple screenshot. I think I’m going to see about printing the Los Angeles one in a fun color. If I do that, I’ll send Mr. Kashcha a few bucks.

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles



That is a really interesting way to look at a city. It offers a surprising amount of information that can digested quickly. I’m not even familiar with L.A., but I think I can make some pretty good guesses just from this: You want to spend your time here in the green area. Avoid the red area if at all possible.

So tell me L.A. people, how wrong were these guesses?