Matthew Hampton B.S. ’92
September 18, 2012
Robert M Reynolds
Robert M Reynolds
Though most have never heard his name, thousands of bicyclists in the Portland area are familiar with the work of Matthew Hampton. As the senior cartographer for Metro, the regional government of Portland and its suburbs, Hampton has designed the last three editions of “Bike There!”, Metro’s comprehensive map of bicycle routes across the entire region.
“Bike There!” has been published in various forms since 1983. “I first saw a Bike There map when I was a student at Lewis & Clark, and at that time I had no idea I was going to become a cartographer,” Hampton says.
Indeed, Hampton spent his first seven years out of college in the wilderness, working as a trip leader for Outward Bound and as a professional guide. After a brief stint teaching science at a ski academy on Mount Hood, he earned a master’s degree in geography at Portland State University and promptly landed a job at Metro as a geospatial analyst.
“I realized that I have a talent for turning geospatial information into a product that people can assimilate easily,” Hampton says. His skill as a map designer harkens back to the combined love of art and science he cultivated at Lewis & Clark, where he pursued a self-designed major in the epistemology of science. “Mapmaking is artistic in terms of the presentation of the information, but it’s also scientific and analytical,” he says. “I’m having a great time.”
Among Hampton’s current projects is an analysis of bicycling data, including crash locations, for Metro’s upcoming Regional Active Transportation Plan, which will identify gaps in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. “We’re identifying areas where we want cycling to be in the next 25 years,” he says, “so we can continue building out the best cycling infrastructure in the country.”
Read more about how other alumni continue to put the bicycling stamp on every area of Portland life.
Started Go By Bike which provides valet bicycle parking, bicycle rentals, and repair services.
The City of Portland’s transportation policy director and former executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
Bicycle advocate and employee of Nutcase Helmets.
Owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair.
Program manager at Alta Planning and Design, a bicycle and pedestrian planning and design firm.
Author and advocate for women building bicycle-related businesses.