Growing by the Bay

Category: maps

Terror map of San Francisco

By David Enos

Bay Area canoe and kayak put-in locations

For a handy map of canoe and kayak put-in locations around the Bay Area, check out Happy paddling!

map of bay area canoe and kayak put-ins


A street-level view of the city’s neighborhoods

san francisco homeless map
map by Chronicle Graphics

I missed this article when it appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle back in December. It presents several of the city’s neighborhoods from the perspective of the homeless.

I work in neighborhood no. 2, the “service/crack sector.” Chronicle staff writer Kevin Fagan describes it pretty accurately:

During the day, soup kitchens such as St. Anthony’s and other programs for the poor reach out to the homeless, turning the Tenderloin into a service center as vital as Market Street. But it is also where those who traffic in crack can most easily find or sell the drug. At night, it becomes frightening — the only homeless people who sleep here are those who pass out or who group up with sentries, because bands of drug dealers roam the streets all night and terrorize the unprotected.

Didn’t Mayor Newsom have a plan for improving this?

BTW, the graphic — this map is only one section of the larger map — reminds me that, while the Chronicle gets a lot of (well-earned) criticism, one area in which it excels is graphics. I worked on a project once with one of the people in this department, John Blanchard; he was a real wizard with information graphics.


San Francisco murder map

SF Gate provides this cheery map, on which each pin represents a homicide. What a lot of them!

distribution of san francisco homicdes

Could violent criminals be going into upscale neighborhoods and mowing down the ruling class? Let’s compare that map to this one, which I posted last week, showing San Francisco housing prices. Hmmm.

san francisco home prices heat map

San Francisco home prices heat map

san francisco housing prices by neighborhood

Thinking of buying a house or two in San Francisco? The Trulia real estate prices heat map might be just the thing to help you narrow your search.

Shown are price averages as of January 23, 2008. As you can see, if you refuse to pay less than a million dollars you will have to scratch off several city neighborhoods.

For the most part, the city’s wealth resides at the top of its hills.

1938 San Francisco map

1938 san francisco map

By 1938 the essential outlines of the city were filled in and established. Some names have changed — I didn’t know that Fort Point was called Fort Winfield Scott. The location of Funston Park was called Lobos Square. USF was the San Francisco College of Women. There were “bear cages” in the park, as well as “elk and deer corrals.” And so on.

A large (5800 x 4358 px) image of the map is here.

SF Neighborhoods: another view

san francisco neighborhood map from ork posters

This cool San Francisco neighborhood map is currently sold out from ORK posters, but I assume it will be back in print at some point. It’s much more sophisticated from a graphic design point of view than this version.

The typeface appears to be FF DIN Condensed.

(Note that the map is copyrighted by ORK design and should be purchased from them.)

San Francisco neighborhoods

san francisco neighborhood has a good overview of San Francisco neighborhoods, with some comment under the heading “a local’s guide.” Nice identification of SF neighborhoods, although the typography and color scheme would induce migraines. For the screenshot above I mellowed out the colors a bit.

Historical map of San Francisco Creeks

This great map from the 1890s shows creeks in blue and marshes in green, with modern landfill in magenta. A larger version is at the Oakland Museum of California site.

historic water featuers of san francisco

NOAA coast survey maps

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a series of excellent bay maps on the web. Although the NOAA cautions that the maps are not to be used for nautical navigation, they do show depth contours in considerable detail. This section shows the Bay Bridge where a South Korean vessel collided with the bridge, releasing an oil spill whose effects will likely be suffered for years.

noaa map of san francisco bay

The maps can be zoomed and dragged. In the following view I’ve zoomed in a little (but not nearly all the way) to show some of the detail that the maps contain.

noaa map of san francisco bay

As far as I can tell, the site does not as yet have a user-friendly overview page. You kind of have to go to a page — like this one for chart 18650 — and then back up a directory and hunt around — or you could just try entering contiguous numbers in the url. It’s worth the effort if you are planning on being out on the bay or if you have an interest in its shorelines.

1907 San Francisco Street Map

1907 sf street map

This 1907 street map from the San Francisco History website has great detail. Clicking on the sections of the map at that site enlarges them.

Bay Area Maps Online

san francisco region mapsBay City Guide has posted a selection of useful Bay Area maps in pdf format.

Included are:

  • San Francisco street map
  • San Francisco MUNI map
  • Bay Area / Northern California map
  • Golden Gate Park / Union Square map (interesting concept)
  • Fisherman’s Wharf map
  • BART map
  • Ferry map

Some rights reserved 2022 Tom’s Garden. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (attribution, noncommercial, no derivs: 3.0) License (US), although some of the work this blog incorporates may be separately licensed. Text and images by Thomas Christensen unless otherwise noted. For print permissions or other inquiries please request via