Nicholas Rougeux Interchange Choreography is a series of abstract color maps of the world’s tangled highway interchanges.

Mesmerizing Maps of the World’s Tangled Highway Interchanges

Mesmerizing Maps of the World’s Tangled Highway Interchanges

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
May 13 2016 8:58 AM

Mesmerizing Maps of the World’s Tangled Highway Interchanges

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Newark, New Jersey.

Nicholas Rougeux

Chicago-based web developer and artist Nicholas Rougeux has created a series of 60 mesmerizing color maps of the world’s spaghetti junctions that transform nightmarish highway interchanges into fluid rainbow-hued abstractions.

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Taiyuan, China.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Milan, Italy.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Bern, Switzerland.

Nicholas Rougeux

Rougeux, who has also created data visualizations of Shakespeare sonnets and urban weather patterns, said that he created the series to reveal the “beauty in the chaos” of tangled roadways across the globe.

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St. Petersburg, Russia.

Nicholas Rougeux

toronto-ontario-canada
Toronto.

Nicholas Rougeux

surabaya-indonesia
Surabaya, Indonesia.

Nicholas Rougeux

In a project description on his website, Rougeux said that since there is no official list of the world’s spaghetti junctions, he started by scouring maps to find the “most complicated” interchanges. “The rough list of spaghetti junctions on Wikipedia was a helpful start but isn’t a complete list,” he said. He collected satellite photos from Google Maps, Yahoo, and Bing in an earlier project called Road Knots.

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Queens, New York.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Springfield, Virginia.

Nicholas Rougeux

ramla-israel
Ramia, Israel.

Nicholas Rougeux

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He exported OpenStreetMap data, removing lines for surrounding roads to isolate the interchanges he wanted to highlight. “Lines for each road were colored individually using Illustrator's gradient along stroke feature so each road starts as one color and ends as another regardless of its twists and turns,” he said. He then simplified the lines to turn the hard-edged data into smooth curves while being careful to preserve the original structure of the interchanges.

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New York City.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Los Angeles.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Chicago.

Nicholas Rougeux

“Each diagram contains every possible path from one road to another,” he said. “Many paths overlap by using the same stretches of road which is why the colors of some roads stop abruptly.”

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Louisville, Kentucky.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Keaysbey, New Jersey.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Brandenburg, Germany.

Nicholas Rougeux

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Birmingham, England.

Nicholas Rougeux

To see more from the series, or to purchase a print of your favorite interchange or a poster featuring all 60, check out Rougeux’s website

Update, May 13, 12:38 p.m.: Many of this post’s images were originally distorted or overlapped. These images have been deleted and replaced.

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.