New website maps San Francisco hills


San Francisco is a city of immense beauty and immense hills. Some of them so steep you have to climb them to believe them.

Berkeley grad student Sam Maurer, Ph.D., has made himself an expert on the hills of San Francisco as part of a little project.

Most maps of San Francisco are flat. You'd never know this was a 23 percent grade until you got here. Of course, there are things like Google Earth.

"I found existing 3D maps a lot of fun to play with, but then I didn't use them when I was out around the city as much as I thought I would," said Maurer. "The red lines show streets that are going uphill for us, and the blue lines show streets that are going downhill."

The darker the line, the steeper the hill. He calls it The best part is the colors change as you move. A hill that looks red when you're at the bottom turns blue once you're at the top.

So in theory, you'd never get stuck climbing this ridiculous hill unless you actually wanted to.

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