Chicago unDensity is an interactive tool for the dimensional visualization, manipulation, and exploration of several spatial boundaries in Chicago. By focusing on boundary definitions of the unbuilt environment (rather than the buildings, which get plenty enough attention), the project looks at the city-defined functions of open and shared public spaces; these boundaries are conceptual rather than physical, so they may not be visible on the actual terrain.
While this tool intends to provide new pragmatic possibilities— such as visualizing densities of conservation areas and historic districts or plotting a bike ride through an industrial zone—the true spirit of the project lies in its speculative potential. From citywide to neighborhood-specific vistas, the viewer can juxtapose, isolate, or spatially untangle boundary options, then manipulate both the view and the dimensional space of selected layers. This project is an invitation to manipulate and explore imaginary topographies based on real geographic data.
This application was built using Processing, an open source project. All data was obtained from the City of Chicago Data Portal. This video is a brief demonstration of the interactive tool.