The atlas of the U.S. in the style of Joy Division

Profiles have long been used to show a change in slope by depicting the variations in height along as if the terrain has been sliced open.

Vivid Maps tried to use the same method to depict the variation in any measurable value across a surface, with lines representing a value of data vertically, such as in this extract of altitude, precipitation, population, or whatever.

The name ‘Joy Plot’ was created by Jenny Bryan in 2017 and related to the original presentation album “Unknown Pleasures,” published in 1979 by Joy Division, from England. Joy Division became one of the most famous post-punk groups. The album’s cover “Unknown Pleasures” was a reinterpretation of the image of radio waves from the first observed pulsar.

Cornell student Harold Craft showed the original model in 1970 in his thesis, and then the image was printed in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy.

Joy Plot


The atlas of maps in the style of Joy Division shows elevation, precipitation and population density in the United States in the style of Joy Division.

The U.S. of elevation


The annual amount of precipitation in the U.S.


The population density in the United States


But we can use rivers and roads instead of lines as well.

Rivers and elevation


Rivers and the annual amount of precipitation


Roads and elevation


Roads and population density


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