Visit Space Station Earth’s ‘Miami Colony’ via Mapbox

City Lab is reporting today on a highly stylized “futuristic digital map skin” developed for Mapbox by freelance graphic designer Eleanor Lutz.

Space Station Earth's Miami Colony via Map Box. Some of Biscayne Bay's most prominent islands. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

Space Station Earth’s Miami Colony via Map Box. Some of Biscayne Bay’s most prominent islands. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

The skin is hyper-industrial and metallic-looking, thus making it very cold, yet very sleek.

Space Station Earth's Miami Colony via Map Box. Miami in the Caribbean Basic.. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

Space Station Earth’s Miami Colony via Map Box. Miami in the Caribbean Basic. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

Lutz’s inspiration for her interactive global map skin, titled Space Station Earth, is attributed to her favorite “post-apocalyptic worlds: the Matrix, Battlestar Galactica, and Starcraft”.

Space Station Earth's Miami Colony via Map Box. Normany Shores. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

Space Station Earth’s Miami Colony via Map Box. Normany Shores. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

City Lab’s John Metcalfe likens it to that planet-sized intergalactic destroyer of actual planets in the original Star Wars films, the Death Star — rightly so, as Lutz herself explains how she “removed all of the water labels, since they distracted from the illusion of floating in space.”

Space Station Earth's Miami Colony via Map Box. Kendale Lakes. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

Space Station Earth’s Miami Colony via Map Box. Kendale Lakes. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

There is indeed an ominous feel of an almost Orwellian, globally-urbanized new world order, suggesting perhaps that the planet’s population was wiped-out by extra-terrestrials seeking to exploit Earth’s bountiful resources and enslave the few humans who survived the initial invasion.

Space Station Earth's Miami Colony via Map Box. Airport to Bay. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

Space Station Earth’s Miami Colony via Map Box. Airport to Bay. Source: Mapbox: Space Station Earth. 2014.

Lutz’s exercise in creative cartography evokes the dormant sci-fi geek in us all . . . well, in me at least, clearly.

It’s an excellent marriage of clean graphic design and digital web cartography, and makes for a great Friday escape from those more mundane maps of Earth’s space that circulate so freely.

Be sure to check out the fullscreen version of Space Station Earth at Mapbox (which will start you off in Lutz’s favorite Earth ‘colony’ to map: Paris) and learn more about Lutz’s rationale behind her latest map-design project in her own words.

Happy weekend, Miami.

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