The Bike Shops and Beyond map was created just over 4 weeks ago, but was already due for an update. Bicycle Space has moved to a new location, 8 Capital Bikeshare stations have been added, and I added a bunch of shops that had been missing. Though the map purports to represent only Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, I added more places around the region’s perimeter. (See Mapping Bike Shops, and Beyond.)

To support the map’s bike-friendly theme, I used a bike-oriented map. This was done by using the Layers feature of the Google Maps JavaScript API. The Bicycling Layer is drawn on top of the traditional Google map types (including the satellite view), and displays bike lanes and suggested bike routes. I do not have a bike layer for the OpenStreetMaps view.

I also added more categories. There didn’t seem to be much room left in the panel below the map, so I added “secret” keyboard codes:

A: Apple stores
C: cinemas
I: IKEA stores
S: Smithsonian museums

The map’s data is static, meaning stores may come and go, but the map changes only when I make an edit. There are so many factors in deciding what to include: not just the map’s boundaries, but also how to define a category. For showing cupcake shops, I had to decide how cupcake-ish a store had to be. Grocery stores and even Starbucks sell cupcakes. And many bakeries have lept on the cupcake craze by giving them prominence, but without perhaps the requisite dedication. Similarly, for the bikeshop category, I left out the “Bike and Roll” location at the Old Post Office, since they rent bicycles but don’t sell them. The Bikestation at Union Station (staffed by Bike and Roll) was included; it offers repairs and limited retail options.

The goal of the map is help tell a story about the neighborhoods that don’t otherwise stand out. Seeing clusters of inviting shops is a sign of a healthy neighborhood, though certainly I am missing many more indicators. The map now has 549 data points, but is still evolving.

Updating the Bike Shops Map

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