The Lyft Embarcadero. Postmates Street. IDGA Ventures USA Boulevard. Those are just a few new names for San Francisco thoroughfares according to the latest shudder-inducing experiment from mapping software company CartoDB. In it, streets were awarded to startups and established tech companies based on their funding (as listed onCrunchBase).
"That’s kind of one of the neat things we do, is that we can do combinations of data on the fly and recast them,” Andrew Hill, Chief Science Officer of CartoDB, tells the Next Web. “It’s looking at the same question: what do you do if you look at San Francisco as its redrawn by the startup world?”
Perish the thought!
Sure, the project reveals a narrow view of our city as a one-industry town, but it's not without historical precedent. SF streets, like those in most metropoles, are all named for monied interests. Thoroughfares like Larkin, Van Ness, and Geary bear the names of rich men and political leaders, with the exception of a few cultural heroes.
Of course, many of those namesakes didn't have the audacity to name streets after themselves while they were alive. And further, they had relatively typical names like Haight and Howard — the same can't be said of Rdio or ClassDojo.
Sadly for CartoDB, they don't fare too well in their own thought experiment. With a measly $8 million in funding on CrunchBase, at best they'll get an alley in the neighborhood they're calling "Envivio Valley."
To further their point, CartoDB also went ahead and created a map of the San Francisco's skyline as redrawn by how much funding is held by the startups working in each building. I'd say that's redundant. The skyline itself is basically a bar graph of SF tech money.