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Old January 5th, 2011, 06:42 AM   #1
dleung
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North America's largest cities and their skylines on Bing Maps

No more subjective photos and speculations on density. Now that Bing Maps can zoom out to cover an entire cbd (for North America so far), each city's skyline is in full view in 3D, without any distortion via perspective. It also shows the quality of the surrounding urbanism, and not just the skyline. All cities with 2 million + population are shown below at roughly the same scale. That's 31 American cities and 3 Canadian cities. Some skylines punch way above the city's population, others punch way below. List is ranked by the metropolitan population.

New York: 22.2 million


Los Angeles: 17.8 million


Chicago: 9.8 million


San Francisco: 7.6 million


Dallas: 6.8 million


Philadelphia: 6.5 million


Toronto (Canada): 6.5 million


Houston: 6.0 million


Atlanta: 5.8 million


Miami: 5.5 million


Washington: 5.5 million


Detroit: 5.3 million


Boston: 4.6 million


Phoenix: 4.4 million


Montreal (Canada): 3.6 million


Seattle: 3.4 million


Minneapolis: 3.3 million


San Diego: 3.1 million


Denver 3.1 million


St Louis: 2.9 million


Cleveland: 2.9 million


Tampa: 2.7 million


Baltimore: 2.7 million


Orlando: 2.7 million


Pittsburgh: 2.4 million


Charlotte: 2.4 million


Sacramento: 2.4 million


Portland: 2.2 million


Cincinnatti: 2.2 million


Vancouver (Canada): 2.1 million


San Antonio: 2.1 million


Kansas City: 2.1 million


Indianapolis: 2.1 million


Columbus: 2.0 million
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Old January 5th, 2011, 06:56 AM   #2
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That's pretty interesting, I must say. However, it looks like some of these are fairly outdated. I can say for sure that Sacramento's map is definitely outdated, probably from 2006 or so. San Francisco's also looks a few years behind, but, for what it's worth, this looks like an interesting tool.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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I love New York and Los Angeles (L)
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #4
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I always fail to zoom out that much on bing maps? How do you do that?
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:42 PM   #5
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Missing Mexico City, and the population figures seem off.

But good effort. I didn't know pittsburgh had such a cool skyline
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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It seems Vancouver is punching above it's own weight.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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American city's have the most beautiful skyline but are so ugly form the sky. All the same Grid plan with highway's who cut the city in to small blocks.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #8
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Miami's is missing several 50 to 60 story buildings. Quite outdated. Plus Miami's skyline being linear doesn't fit into square boxes very well, it extends well to the north and a little to the south.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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I can count off the top of my head about 30 major buildings in downtown Toronto not represented there... those renderings are at best 2007. Good for places with very little development the last few years, especially because of the financial meltdown, but not good for Toronto.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 03:26 AM   #10
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Even places like Philadelphia, with relatively little skyline development even in the best of years. It's missing the city's current tallest building!
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Old January 6th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #11
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New York is mind boggling!!! Everything else seems minor in comparison....
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Old January 6th, 2011, 05:23 AM   #12
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this is a better angle for KC since it includes the crossroads/crown center side of downtown
[IMG]http://i53.************/28l5cvt.jpg[/IMG]
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Old January 6th, 2011, 05:28 AM   #13
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@Taller

Yep ... and the screen shot does not even encompass Lower Manhattan! Development in NYC can remain stagnant for at least half a century and I don't think any North American city will even come close to matching such density and height.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 05:36 AM   #14
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As always, people complain about missing buildings, lol. Vancouver is missing it's 2 tallest buildings as well as dozens more... not that it makes a difference when downtown has 580 towers, hehe. People should take the opportunity instead to check out the subtle differences in the urban fabric of different cities within Canada/USA, or at least appreciate the fact this is the closest we're getting to an objective comparison. It answers the "5 best skylines in NA" thread relatively definitively IMO... won't say which cities, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post
I always fail to zoom out that much on bing maps? How do you do that?
Try again. This feature is relatively new on bingmaps. So far I think it only works for some Canada and US cities.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 06:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dleung View Post
As always, people complain about missing buildings, lol. Vancouver is missing it's 2 tallest buildings as well as dozens more... not that it makes a difference when downtown has 580 towers, hehe. People should take the opportunity instead to check out the subtle differences in the urban fabric of different cities within Canada/USA, or at least appreciate the fact this is the closest we're getting to an objective comparison. It answers the "5 best skylines in NA" thread relatively definitively IMO... won't say which cities, lol.
Well done for finding this, dleung! Makes us look at cities in a very different way! You are absolutely right; there are one or two skylines I was at times tempted to include in the top five, but these new perspectives really highlight a surprising lack of height variation in them.

I'm quite impressed by the view of Minneapolis, and Pittsburg!

But, when it comes down to it, any judgement of the beauty of a skyline has to take into account more than simple apparent density from an aerial view. That would be like choosing Miss Universe on who is the tubbiest and tips the scales highest! At the end of the day aesthetics play a greater rôle than some may realise!
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Old January 6th, 2011, 06:49 AM   #16
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Maps are probably outdated because they've probably been working on it for awhile. Maybe to release it all at the sametime. It takes time to do these things. Populations are a little off but meh. All those freeways look scary to me. Just driving on the Whitemud here in Edmonton puts me on nerves. It's a really cool idea and really cool to compare.

It'd be neat to see places like Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa and some Mexican cities.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dleung View Post
As always, people complain about missing buildings, lol. Vancouver is missing it's 2 tallest buildings as well as dozens more... not that it makes a difference when downtown has 580 towers, hehe. People should take the opportunity instead to check out the subtle differences in the urban fabric of different cities within Canada/USA, or at least appreciate the fact this is the closest we're getting to an objective comparison. It answers the "5 best skylines in NA" thread relatively definitively IMO... won't say which cities, lol.
Umm, how do ya figure? Some of the densest cities that look the most impressive in aerials have layers of density that you can't even see from a skyline perspective because many buildings are hidden behind other buildings.

The most impressive aerial does not make most impressive skyline (and vice versa).
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koolio View Post
@Taller

Yep ... and the screen shot does not even encompass Lower Manhattan! Development in NYC can remain stagnant for at least half a century and I don't think any North American city will even come close to matching such density and height.
Isn't there already a NA city that matches its height?
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Old January 6th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Umm, how do ya figure? Some of the densest cities that look the most impressive in aerials have layers of density that you can't even see from a skyline perspective because many buildings are hidden behind other buildings.

The most impressive aerial does not make most impressive skyline (and vice versa).
+1
You can't judge a horse by looking down on it from on top of the barn!

In the case of New York, I think it has the best aerial, and the best skyline both. Sometimes a dense aerial looks dull as a skyline.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 09:03 AM   #20
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The look a lot like SimCity shots. Strange.
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