Eisenhower Interstate System

Ten months in the making, I've finally completed my Eisenhower Interstate System one- and two-digit highway interchange abstraction map! I originally saw Chris Yates's simplified version (www.chrisyates.net) on Strange Maps (strangemaps.wordpress.com), and decided to do a decidedly non-simplified version. If I counted the number of hours devoted to this, it would provide a quantified measure of how nerdy I am. The total hour count is easily in the three digits.


I like the look of Chris's map better than mine (www.chrisyates.net/reprographics/index.php?page=424), but you need to make aesthetic compromises when you're cramming that much information into a small space. Plus I don't want to step on any artistic toes.


Just for kicks, I added lines indicating coastlines and borders.


If you see any inaccuracies, let me know! With over 220 interchanges, I'm bound to have made some errors.


I collected my data using Google Earth, and frequently used the City Boundaries and Places of Interest layers to pinpoint exact locations of interchanges. In places of ambiguity, I applied a consistent set of rules for determining in which city an interchange occurred; these criteria are too numerous and boring to list here, but I'd be happy to explain them if you disagree with my choices.


UPDATE: Find this map on page 168 of this book:


Thanks, Frank Jacobs, for including me in this beautiful book!

  • Infidelic 7y

    I like it.
  • Lemming Solution 7y

    You have a very special brain. This looks supercool.
  • r32motorman 7y

    Actually, I find your map far better looking than Chris Yates's map (bright orange? What the hell was he thinking?). I do have one small suggestion though, I hope you will consider it. I believe the one problem with both yours and Chris Yates's map is the distortion of distance in certain areas (for example; I-4 in Florida seems to be about 1000 miles long). However this could be remedied somewhat (and make the map actually usable as a map ) if you simply added a small number, in a circle perhaps, next to each segment to indicate the distance between each interchange. The information is easily available online, and I think would greatly enhance your map's usability. What do you think?
  • Rebecca Brown 7y

    Thanks for the comment and compliment, r32motorman! I personally enjoy the amount of distortion because it illustrates how very NOT linear and uni-directional the interstates are. But it's funny you should suggest indicating on the map how much distortion each segment represents; one of my ideas for a variation on this map was to assign each segment a different degree of color intensity to visually indicate to what degree each segment was distorted. First I would list each segment and document the length of the real-life distance, then list the represented distance (how long the line segment is) on the map. Then I would select the median segment as a "baseline" or "normal" real-life-distance-to-map-distance ratio, and it would get a 50% color intensity; each other segment would be more or less intense depending on whether the real-to-map ratio was higher or lower than the baseline ratio. So, for example, that segment of I-4 that's so obviously distorted would be very light (high positive distortion), while the segment from Newburgh, NY to New York, NY would be very dark (high negative distortion). Naturally I'd devise some consistent formula with which to assign color intensity percentages to real-to-map ratios. A linear relationship would probably be easiest.

    I look forward to having enough free time to do that!
  • i_substrate 7y

    interesting re-interpretation. I like this one better than this dude's - who I'm not too happy he's claiming the idea as his own for the most part, and selling his map.. www.hedbergmaps.com/store/catalog/10667

    Nice job. Although it's Arvada, CO, and 76 should pass a little north of the 25/70 junc.

    -chris yates
  • miked03c 7y

    This map is simply fantastic. I'm also a fan of Mr. Yates' original but the extra detail here and attention given to this is fantastic. Great work!! By chance is a vector image available of this or would you consider selling large sized prints? I think this would make for a terribly nerdy addition to my wall.
  • isit crunchy 6y

    Can you do a version where you can read the highway numbers and larger town names in a size that fits a computer screen?
  • randomuser100 6y

    Great work! However, you stranded Washington, DC with only one connection (I-66). I-95 also runs through DC. (Thanks to sharp-eyed Lexabear on Reddit).
  • Steven Tamm 6y

    I-74's missing a large section.
  • malson123 6y

    Work on your spelling. Several towns are wrong.
  • randomuser100 6y

    Work on your manners, malson. Did you pay her to make the map?
  • Rebecca Brown 6y

    randomuser100: I checked a map of DC again, and it appears that I-95 proper swerves east of DC. I'm not including "spur" interstates such as I-395 (which is the freeway that actually enters DC). Plus I'm only marking the cities where interstates actually intersect, rather than all the major cities they pass through. But thanks for checking!

    Steven Tamm: Can you please let me know which sections of I-74 I'm missing? I'd like to correct my map if I made a boo boo.

    malson123: Off the top of my head I remember misspelling Arvada, CO as "Avarda, CO." Please let me know which other ones are misspelled!
  • Rebecca Brown 6y

    miked03c & isitcrunchy: Please send me a message with your email addresses and I'd love to send you my .AI file (with the corrections I've asked for above) so you can manipulate it, print it, flip it upside-down, change the colors, anything you like.

    Thanks, everyone, for the compliments. If I weren't in grad school right now I'd have followed up this project with something else cool.
  • Cameron Booth 6y


    I thought you'd like to see my take on this. Inspired by you, Chris Yates and H.C. Beck (the London Underground diagram), I've completed my own version of an Interstate Diagram. My version is more geographical, but definitely owes its look to a true metro diagram, using colour coding for the roads instead of a single colour for the whole map. I have to say that your map was absolutely invaluable as I tried to work out where all these highways began and ended, so I definitely owe you a huge thanks for that! Please stop by and take a look if you can:

    Eisenhower Interstate System in the style of H.C. Beck's London Underground Diagram
  • jim tipping 6y

    Lovely work! Hope it's not too late for a correction: Amarillo, TX was misspelled "Armarillo."
  • riffsyphon1024 6y

    I notice most of the comment traffic went to Senex's map, so I'll give my kudos here as well. Although I must note that when I tried loading the map in Original view, it crashed Firefox... o.O
  • riffsyphon1024 6y

    I notice most of the comment traffic went to Senex's map, so I'll give my kudos here as well. Although I must note that when I tried loading the map in Original view, it crashed Firefox... o.O

    And congratulations on making the map book!
  • brooksmoses 2y

    Another typo: Beckley, WV, not "Beckly". (I'd noticed Chris Yates had gotten Wytheville VA as Wyethville, and was checking to see if you had the same mistake -- but you got that one right!)
13 faves
Uploaded on January 4, 2008
This photo is in 1 gallery

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context