Bricks to Blocks: a Lego New York

Lego and New York. They were made for each other.

New York is famous for the grid pattern of its city blocks. Lego is famous for the interlocking bricks that are the foundation stones of its worldwide toy empire. The two were destined to meet, as they do in the art of J.R. Schmidt. 

In 2012, the 3D artist and motion designer computer-generated this psychedelic interpretation of Manhattan and surrounding boroughs, using Lego-like bricks to give his map the look and feel of a "real" scale model. It helps that Lego, probably Denmark's most successful single export product, is the real-world equivalent of the pixels that make up a computer graphic.

Schmidt based his work on various maps and satellite images depicting the elevation level in NYC. He translated that data into the height, color, and opacity of his bricks — which therefore don't correspond with individual buildings, but represent an abstract, statistical average of the city's topography.

Many thanks to J.R. Schmidt for allowing me to use his work. Grab a wallpaper version of the image here on Dribble. For more exclusive delectation, buy a print here on Curioos.


Strange Maps #734

Found a weird map? Let me know at

European wind farms could meet global energy demand, researchers now say

A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.

Surprising Science
  • A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
  • The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
  • Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less

New vaccine (for cats) nixes allergic reactions for humans

You want one. Now you may be able to survive one.

Photo credit: Jie Zhao
/ Getty contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • Cats live in a quarter of Western households.
  • Allergies to them are common and can be dangerous.
  • A new approach targets the primary trouble-causing allergen.
Keep reading Show less