City Layout

from
Google Earth

 

The city layout is a map of your city.  You will probably make at least two of these.  The first one is your basic city map.  The second one is a detailed map showing what you intend to build in your scale model.  The easiest way to make a map is to use butcher paper (schools have more of this than grocery stores).  Your basic map can be any size, but your detailed map should be the size of your scale model (25" x 50").  We recommend that you use colored pencils rather than markers or crayons because it's easier to make changes to the map.
 
Basic Map
 
You should start your basic map by drawing the landscape.  Next, draw your infrastructure.  You do not have to show all of the structures at this point.  Just show the areas where the structures will be.  For instance, where your commercial buildings are, where people live, or where are your sports stadiums?  We suggest that you use different colors to show different types of structures.  For example, blue for housing, red for office buildings, or orange for retail.  What colors you use are up to you, but the map will be far more useful if you can see the different areas clearly later in the project.  You would use this map to build your virtual city (SimCitytm).
 
Detailed Map
 
Your detailed map is used to build your scale model.  Whether you choose to show your entire city or just a section you should draw a detailed map.  A reminder, make sure that your map is exactly the same size as the scale model.  You may have to glue or paste pieces of butcher paper or other paper together to get the desired size.  We recommend using colored pencils so that it's easy to make changes.  On this map, you will draw your landscape, infrastructure, and every structure to scale.
Hint: use what you learned from the virtual city simulation to revise the design of your city.
 
Scale
 
Scale is a very important requirement for your scale model.  Scale reduces the size of the real world to your scale model size.  Scale is a ratio often shown as a measure of your city to the real world.  It can be shown in many ways.  For instance, model = world, model/world, or model: world.  In order to convert the real world to your model size all measures should be in the same units.  For example, 1 inch = 1 mile is not 1 = 1, it is 1 = 63,360.
 
How do you figure out what scale to use?  A good tool is Google Earth.  Choose a city somewhere in the world that has a similar landscape to your city.  Zoom in on the city.  As you zoom in, you will notice that the numbers in the lower left-hand corner are changing.  That is the scale.  When you zoom into the size that you think will look good for your city, write the scale from the lower left-hand corner onto a sheet of paper.  This becomes the basis for your scale.
Hint: you will probably find that the entire city does not fit within the scale size that you like.  Use this knowledge when planning what you are going to show in your scale model.
 
Scale Conversion
 
Click here to download worksheet, Scale Conversion.
 
We created a scale conversion worksheet that can help you convert features in your city to the size of your scale model.  Remember, make sure that all measures are expressed in the same unit e.g. inches.  If you have Excel, once you choose your conversion ratio, the worksheet should convert the real world measures to your scale model size.  Your conversion ratio is your scale shown as a fraction.  For example, 1 inch = 1 mile is 1/63,360.  Multiply the real world dimensions by this fraction to give you the scale model dimensions.
Hint: if you're using the spreadsheet, type the fraction preceded by an = into the conversion rate cell and Excel will calculate the decimal equivalent as your multiplier.  If you're using paper, enter into your calculator your scale number and divided by the real world number and it will give you the same decimal equivalent.  Write that decimal in the conversion rate cell on the worksheet.
 
You will notice that we also included a shape column and an area column.  The shape column combined with scale model dimensions will help you to find parts for your scale model.  You will also use it to choose the formula for area that goes in the area column.
You will notice that when you enter an area, it will reduce the remaining space figure.  This will show you how much space is left on your model after you added that piece.
 
From the information on your scale conversion worksheet, you can begin to find the pieces for your scale model and begin drawing the city features on your detailed city map.  Once your detailed city map is complete, you can use it to build your scale model and prepare your presentation props.
 
We hope that you enjoyed designing and creating maps of your city.  You'll have a lot more fun completing the deliverables for the competition.
 

Stay with it!