Millennials and Gen Xers don’t always see eye to eye about things in San Francisco, but we can all get together and bond over this awesome 8-bit version of the city, developed by New York City-based digital artist Brett Camper and, presumably, laden with invisible bonus boxes and trees that reveal secret caves after being set on fire.
Camper designed 18 NES-style maps of major cities, starting with New York and branching out. The 2010-2011 project had fallen by the wayside a little bit, until Mashable stumbled on it last week (mistakenly calling it a new map project).
Camper sees it as a marriage of retro and 21st century tech, joining modern, ultra-specific satellite maps where GPS routing can lead you to a specific penny on the sidewalk with the "lo-fi overhead maps" of classic games, which often provided maddeningly little information and let you wander for days without a clear idea of what you’re searching for.
The imagery was created by taking the OpenStreetMap of the city and running it through a rendering engine that converts it into the graphics you see. Each tile is 16 by 16 pixels, and if you zoom in on any one block you’ll see that the program does a reasonable job of faithfully translating the city, though some landmarks and neighborhoods come in strange forms.
The Sunset is labeled with its historical name Doelger City for example. Maybe that’s just another bit of retro fun.