Visualizing San Francisco’s Urban Revitalization

The San Francisco Urban Revitalization map is a map created by Esri for the City of San Francisco which shows the changes in the city over the last 12 years. The map uses some of the city’s enormous cache of open data to animate change in housing prices, residential and commercial uses and community sentiment over time. The tool uses a simple transition between years with a play/pause button, and includes a popup with additional information on the top right corner.

Although the design is sleek, the map starts the animation before the user/viewer has a chance of orienting themselves or reading the legend. Furthermore, with such slow circle expansions (likened to an overly large frame rate), it is hard to see if there is any change in size between certain years. ย Regardless, the tool provides a real shock in 2010 with the emergence of huge amounts of residential units in the Downtown Civic Centre. The dramatic change, an explosion if you will, highlights important changes in that neighbourhood at that time.



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