Bringing the Text to Life
Houston, we have a problem.
A recent survey by MapQuest, the online mapping and direction service, says that Houston is the hardest city in the country in which to find one’s way around. Add this to other surveys that place Houston high on the obesity scale, pollution index, weather nastiness and one that says that Houstonians are particularly lax in cleaning up after their dogs, and you’ll understand why some reporters at The Houston Chronicle responded to the MapQuest survey with self-deprecating humor in the headline: “It’s easy to get lost in our big, fat, hot, polluted city.”
Houston is the country’s number one navigational nightmare for several reasons, but the big one has to do with how cities have been traditionally laid out. Older cities are generally planned on a grid system with some significant landmark in the center as a reference point. Think Washington, D.C., with the Capitol as the center (though even with this seemingly simple grid, D.C. made number two on MapQuest’s...