Julia Turner, Slate:

Handmade maps also tend toward straight lines and right angles, a phenomenon spatial psychologists refer to as "rectilinear normalization." The world is full of squiggly roads that intersect at oblique angles. When we envision space, though, we tend to reduce such complexities to relatively simple geometric forms.


MacArthur grant winner Maneesh Agrawala developed software called Line Drive that works along these lines, making computer maps more legible by distorting scale and straightening out bendy roads.

Computer-generated human-readable map

This is another example where too much realism can be detrimental. Found via Bobulate.

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