Cartographic anomaly

My archive of Austin-related printed matter is extensive and I try to keep it current for the benefit of all the out-of-town visitors. Favorites for showing just how much Austin has changed are the old Gracy Title Company maps, which named every neighborhood in a much smaller Austin. Lists of top ten places to visit always included the Treaty Oak, and very often visitors used to insist on seeing it, although I never could understand why; apart from its purported association with history, it was just one more live oak tree.

The current “official map” distributed by the Austin Covention & Visitors Bureau labels just one neighborhood: Travis Heights. But the map places Travis Heights on the east side of Congress, more in Dawson-land, and two neighborhoods away from where Travis Heights is actually located.

I like this map, though, even with its various minor inaccuracies. It’s new enough to include Lady Bird Lake. It shows downtown block by block west of IH-35, complete with parking garages, although not much east of that. The ‘Dillo lines are marked. Most of Travis County, with a fair chunk of William, Hays, and Caldwell counties, is delineated in decent detail. This metro Austin map is a very nice schematic, good for any of us Austinites to keep handy, and not just for visitors. The on-line version is ad-free, with various special overlays; the foldable print map appears to be supported by paid listings and display ads, quite a representative sample of lodging and dining establishments. The (anti-)smoking ordinance receives its own paragraph among the few with a heading in bold-face type. The map is a product of Map Network, “a Navteq company.” The convention bureau offers a free visitor package and also a “deluxe visitor package” for six dollars. Just what can those “other helpful materials” be?

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