From "Wet End'' to "Coquitlam Island": New map shows the future of sea-level rise in BC

Sep 21 2021, 6:02 pm

An artistic and futuristic map of Vancouver has been making waves.

The engaging map is creating conversations around how rising sea levels will affect where Vancouverites will live on the heels of an election where climate change has been a top concern for many Canadians.

Jeffrey Linn, the artist behind the map, told Daily Hive Urbanized about its meaning and inspiration.

The piece is an original work inspired by both “Ursula K. LeGuinā€™s vision of a future California in her book,Ā Always Coming Home, and A map of San Francisco made by Burrito Justice,” said Linn via email. He’s originally from San Francisco but lives in Seattle now and has created many similar maps of the West Coast.

All his sea-level rise maps show what it would look like when all the ice sheets in the world have melted 1,000 years in the future.

“These maps can highlight a lot of the landforms we take for granted in the places we live,” he said.

“I hope they think the place names are funny, but also see the seriousness behind the puns and the extreme scenario. Our climate, and our world, is changing.”

vancouver sea rise map

Courtesy of Jeffrey Linn

The Vancouver map is full of new reimagined place names and some are darkly humourous like “Drowntown” and “Seamount Pleasant.”

But Linn says that there are other climate chance consequences happening right now that aren’t so easy to make corny puns about.

“Drought, displacement, and of course extreme heat waves, are all things that are happening now, and may be more dangerous than sea-level rise.”

He posted his first sea-level rise map on the University of Washington’s website in 2014 and his maps have evolved significantly since.

“I revised the sea levels I model based on more up-to-date information from the IPCC, and Iā€™ve made a lot of updates to the colour and style,” he said. “Snopes did a write-up based on my Los Angeles map, saying that if anything, the sea levels in my maps are conservative.”

Next,Ā Linn is working on a new retro-future series that will use antique maps as a base and then showing sea-level rise on top. “These show places simultaneously in the past and the far future,” he said.

You can see the Vancouver map and follow his work on Conspiracy of Cartographers and look out for his next project.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

+ News
+ Urbanized