03.07.14 – 11.11.14


Urban Shape is a set of graphic maps designed by architect Paolo Gianfrancesco.  The maps are based on Open Street Map data. The Open Street Map (OSM) is a collaborative project set up to create a free map of the world that can be edited by the user.

The series covers all the European capitals.

The aim is to visualize in a vibrant and modern approach a classic urban map focusing on the urban shape through communication flows. Each capital has its own rhythm and balance, a hidden equilibrium between void and buildings. The research goes through a data reduction to better emphasize the core of the urban environment. Many capitals are shaped by natural phenomena such as a river or a mountain, or a coast line; some by a military division.
The maps show the actual status of the open source mapping. As with old traditional maps, these describe a view of reality and not reality in itself.
The cities are in continuous evolution, the urban reality is fluid and reshaped daily by man´s actions. As in past centuries, these maps are not telling the truth, but offering point of view.
The maps are available in 66w X 96h cm printed in High Definition in a Pantone color palette fading from the highest to the lowest population.