If you’re new to a city, and you need to know how to get anywhere, you look at a map.
But a Google Map of San Francisco, for example, doesn’t tell you where you can get “real dim sum.” Or where the “worst Trader Joe’s” is.
That’s where “Judgmental Maps” comes in.
The maps are a little bit racist, a lot a bit judgmental, but with a name like “Judgmental Maps,” that seems to be the point.
Judgmental Maps is the brainchild of comedian Trent Gillaspie.
Many of his comedy routines involved the gentrification and changes that were happening in Denver, where he lived from 1995 until 2013. He got the idea for making a map of Denver by how he would describe the neighborhoods to his friends and audiences.
“I’m a big runner and cyclist,” Gillaspie told Business Insider. “That really helps you get to know a city. So I’d say, ‘I’m going to hooker and drug dealer avenue,’ instead of Colfax Avenue.”
He made the map of Denver, which got a good response, and decided to expand it to other cities. He reached out to other comedians to have them describe cities they live in, and thus a site was born.
As of this writing, there are 29 maps on the site. Anyone can submit a map; the only rules are that map-makers have to be creative, not offensive for the sake of being offensive. “I try to make sure that nothing is too derogatory, but the point is that I don’t want to moderate it,” he said.
Many of the submissions Gillaspie gets on the site are requests to make certain maps. But that’s not how it works. “I can’t make a map for a city I’ve only been to a few times,” he said. “I don’t know the city like the people who live in it.”
If a map is too offensive or mean, he sends it back to the person who made it, and asks them to change things.
But the main point of the site, he said, is to get a laugh.
“At some point it was like, ‘Wow there are a lot of labels here,'” Gillaspie said. “Some are judgmental, some are humorous, and all of them have a little bit of truth. As long as you offend everyone possibly you can, it ends up making it OK.”