Atlantic Cities
Maps

Check Out This Food Atlas Created by 'Guerrilla Cartographers'

The duo behind the book mapping San Francisco's Mission District are now turning their attention to food-related maps — from America's global almond trade to taco trucks in East Oakland.

"Food: An Atlas," edited by UC Berkeley geography professor Darin Jensen with freelance cartographer and former student Molly Roy, includes over 60 maps at the neighborhood, national, regional, and global level.

Atlas contributors (such as artists, designers, cartographers, and researchers) became part of the "guerrilla cartography community," or "a loose band of people who are passionate about geography or food, or both," according to the website for their Kickstarter campaign to print and distribute 1,000 books. The project raised $29,569 — nearly 50 percent more than their goal, which allows them to build a website and print additional books.

The Kickstarter site also notes that the atlas focuses on food production, distribution, security, and cuisine. The initial request for map submissions asked for any new research (mapped or map-able) "from urban food security to rural food industrialization; foodstuffs distribution to cuisine diaspora; foraging for food to being paid not to grow it," says Jensen, who sent Atlantic Cities a selection of the atlas's maps.

This first map shows the number of farmers markets in the largest metros, as well as the share that accept SNAP food stamps. The chart at the bottom of the map shows the top six metros with the highest levels of food stamp-enrolled households as compared to that metro's share of farmers markets that accept them. Notice the difference between these two shares — as Jensen writes in an email, "farmers markets are not accessible to all."

Also on the topic of farming, this next map shows the farm-to-table community supported agriculture distribution networks in Massachusetts. The green dots represent CSA locations, while the orange dots are drop-off/pick-up sites. Jensen noted in his email that this map shows eastern movement toward Boston.

And here's a map of meat production and slaughter in Maryland, showing pork, beef, and poultry.

In addition to food production, the atlas also covers dining, like this map of typical foods in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Here's a video of co-editor Roy describing the project (from the Kickstarter page):

Keywords: Maps, Food, Kickstarter

Sara Johnson is a fellow at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

Join the Discussion