Washington DC Metro Map Cocktail Menu

The cocktail menu from a now closed (and not much missed, judging by its Yelp reviews) Washington DC restaurant/cocktail bar. It’s a pretty lazy attempt at a very obvious motif, executed without a lot of panache… the best value is in the “activities prohibited” icons at the bottom of the page.

Source: urbanbohemian/Flickr

Photo: Old London Underground Northern Line Map

Taken at the London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot. I absolutely love how the newer additions to the map have been literally riveted onto the old map – no stickers here! The presence of both British Rail symbols and an early Docklands Light Rail logo seems to place the final iteration of this map somewhere in the period from 1991 (when the Bank DLR station opened) and 1997 (when BR was totally privatised), although I suspect the map itself had been in use far longer than that.

Source: andywalton7/Flickr

Photo: DC Metro Map Made of M&M’s

Delicious! But where’s the Silver Line?

Source: Joey Butler/Flickr

Submission – Official Map: Bucharest Metro

Submitted by ssjmaz, who says:

M4 is under construction, M5 and M6 are future plans.

I’m planing on making a map of my own that is fully diagrammatic, will submit it when it’s ready.

——

Transit Maps says:

I look forward to seeing ssjmaz’s map, because it will almost certainly be better than this tired old thing. In this modern day and age, it absolutely baffles me that transit agencies put tiny, poorly-rendered JPGs, GIFs and PNGs of their system maps online. This one measures just 785px by 683px, and is quite difficult to read – both because of the small font size and the awful rendering of the type. PDF is nearly universal now and allows users to easily zoom in as close as they need to read the map. At least this is better than an embedded Flash map, I guess…

The map itself is pretty dire, with route lines wobbling around all over the place. The future M4, M5 and M6 lines have just been drawn in to fit around the existing map, which leads to strangely angled lines and awkward shapes almost everywhere.

Accessibility and main line interchange icons for the stations also seem to have been put wherever they can fit, while the grey and white zone background is really quite distracting. It’s also a little misleading, as it just shows districts around the city – not fare zones as one might reasonably expect on a transit map.

Some of the labels seem to have little relationship with their station marker, especially on the purple M6 line. At least most of the labels are set horizontally, although this makes the one outlier – Expoziţiei station – stand out like a sore thumb. Sub-par typography and a couple of really dull legends round out a pretty sad effort.

Our rating: An absolute minimum of effort expended here. One-and-a-half stars.

1.5 Stars

Source: Official Metrorex website

Submission - Unofficial Unified BART/Muni Metro Map by Jamison Wieser

Submitted by Jamison, who says:

I don’t want to share this map as much as the concept behind it. 

San Francisco’s Muni Metro light-rail system and the regional BART heavy-rail system share a subway under Market Street and the five busiest rail stations in the Bay Area. They share a subway, but side-by-side the system maps with radically different designs that don’t share anything in common besides the names of the station.

There are 10 lines between the two agencies and between the two maps, 4 of the colors used are duplicated. Topping that off, neither actually refers to the lines by the color. Muni lines have a letter and name, like the N-Judah. BART refers to trains by their destination, which means figuring out where a Richmond train goes means finding Richmond and backtracking along the map. Nearly every time I fly back home I meet a first time visitor who’s confused when the train is announced as a “Pittsburg/BayPoint train” instead of a Yellow line train they expect from the map.

I didn’t want to rename lines so much as just group them into color coded categories based on which subway corridors they run through in Oakland and San Francisco.

It’s exactly how Boston represents branches of the Green.

Muni’s JKLMN lines through Market Street get merged into the “Orange line” and what we called a line before becomes a branch; so the N-Judah line becomes the N-Judah branch of the Orange line. I choose orange for a couple reasons including the fact that the San Francisco Giant’s ballpark sits along it and it was Muni’s brand color at the time the Metro subway opened. The T-Third Street will be running north-south through a new subway under construction to Chinatown and for all the cultural connections and branding reasons the T was given the color red: I just dropped the letter name. At least as long as there isn’t another branch of it.

I narrowed BART from 5 lines to 3 and with only two of the lines branching I didn’t over-complicate it. The Richmond Line, becomes the Richmond brand of the Green Line. I chose the colors here so the Oakland A’s would be served by the team colors green and yellow, and like Berkeley would be served by Cal’s team colors Yellow and Blue (OK, it’s a different, but…)

I’d like you know what you think of this idea?

——

Transit Maps says:

There’s a lot to be said for unified transit maps — people just want to know how to get from place to place, without the barriers put in place by two (or more) separate maps getting in their way. With the Clipper Card, the transit systems of the Bay Area are becoming increasingly integrated, so some sort of joint map makes great sense.

The main problem, as I think Jamison is discovering in his working map above, is the vastly differing scales of the two networks. BART is a vast commuter/regional rail network that spreads out across the entire Bay Area, while the Muni Metro is a much more compact streetcar/light rail network that’s contained entirely within the City of San Francisco.

However, the Muni network has substantially more stops than BART, spaced much closer together. This means that it’s almost impossible to show the two networks together on the same map and keep things looking cohesive. The same problem is evident in Portland (with the MAX light rail and the Portland Streetcar) and in Sydney (with the Sydney Trains network and the new Inner West light rail). The solution is to only label “important” Muni stations, leaving out most of the street-running stops, as seen on this Bay Area map that I’ve previously featured, and on this newer version of that map.

However, I think the simplification of the multiple routes to branches of coloured routes is very solid, and works well for me. Much the same as the Boston “T” has an underlying rationale behind its colour choices (the Red Line goes to Harvard, whose school colour is crimson, for example), so does Jamison’s vision for San Francisco. Having to ride the Orange Line to the ballpark to see the Giants is bound to annoy opposition fans no end — I love it! 

Source: jamisonwieser.com

Question: Do you do theoretical maps? Because I’d love to see one of Cincinnati.

Asked by notsammyv.

——

Transit Maps says:

This is the only future/theoretical map of Cincinnati you ever really need to see. It was made by Michael Tyznik, the same guy who created that amazing Game of Thrones transit map recently.

Not only does it look awesome, but it’s firmly grounded in reality – the map shows what would have been constructed by 2031 if the MetroMoves ballot had been passed back in 2002. It didn’t, and transit in Cincy is still struggling to this day (streetcar woes, anyone?). Click on through to Michael’s site for more details and some more images of the map. He also sells prints!

Source: tyznik.com

Submission – Is there an awful typographical error in the New York Subway Map?

Submitted by Nelson Ricardo, who says:

Big typographical oopsie in the latest release of the NYC subway map [September 2014, to coincide with the reopening of the Montague Street Tunnel – Cam]. Station names written horizontally are markedly darker than those written at an angle.

——

Transit Maps says:

I was all ready to agree with Nelson – I opened the PDF up in my browser and the angled type did look terrible – until I did a little more research and opened up the PDF a few different ways (browser plug-ins vs. Acrobat vs. Preview). In short, not all PDF engines are created equal, and some of them render objects or type in a sub-optimal way.

Opening the PDF in Chrome using the PDF plug-in resulted in “bad” angled text, as did using Preview (which uses Apple’s own PDF engine, not Adobe’s). Opening the PDF in Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro on both a Mac and a PC resulted in much better rendering for the angled text, as shown above. Strangely, Safari (Apple’s own browser) uses an Adobe PDF plug-in, so the type renders well there!

For final proof, I managed to unlock the secured MTA map PDF and open it in Illustrator: all the type labels in the above image are 6.92pt Helvetica Bold, regardless of what angle they’re set at.

However, differing amounts of horizontal and vertical scaling have then been applied to the text labels (extremely poor typography!), which is probably what is causing the different PDF engines to render the type so differently.

Source: MTA website (PDF)

Going outbound

Forest Hill Station, Forest Hill

(Source: sanfranciscer)

QuestionYou don't have Cleveland? Why? Answer

I’ve got some Cleveland for you right here.

ddotdc:

A picture map of the Washington Metropolitan Region, created for the official bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution (1776-1976). Dated 1975. 
Please view a full, high-resolution version of the map.
Image 2: This section of the map gives an overview of the District, as well as listing information about different Metrobus stops and the in-progress Metrorail (which opened in March 1976, just before the bicentennial). 
Image 3: The map gives an up-close look at different sections of the city and inner-ring suburbs, including: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Southwest, Capitol Hill, and Old Town Alexandria. These special sections point out landmarks such as Howard University, the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Rock Creek Park. It also provides information on famous buildings such as the Willard Hotel, the Old Post Office, and the British Embassy. 
Image 4: The last section provides historical details about the District and the surrounding region, including facts about the National Mall, a graph that charts the city’s population growth, and the March on Washington in 1963.

Well, this is just gorgeous (and relevant, as it has a little map of the nascent Metrorail system in the second image). ddotdc:

A picture map of the Washington Metropolitan Region, created for the official bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution (1776-1976). Dated 1975. 
Please view a full, high-resolution version of the map.
Image 2: This section of the map gives an overview of the District, as well as listing information about different Metrobus stops and the in-progress Metrorail (which opened in March 1976, just before the bicentennial). 
Image 3: The map gives an up-close look at different sections of the city and inner-ring suburbs, including: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Southwest, Capitol Hill, and Old Town Alexandria. These special sections point out landmarks such as Howard University, the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Rock Creek Park. It also provides information on famous buildings such as the Willard Hotel, the Old Post Office, and the British Embassy. 
Image 4: The last section provides historical details about the District and the surrounding region, including facts about the National Mall, a graph that charts the city’s population growth, and the March on Washington in 1963.

Well, this is just gorgeous (and relevant, as it has a little map of the nascent Metrorail system in the second image). ddotdc:

A picture map of the Washington Metropolitan Region, created for the official bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution (1776-1976). Dated 1975. 
Please view a full, high-resolution version of the map.
Image 2: This section of the map gives an overview of the District, as well as listing information about different Metrobus stops and the in-progress Metrorail (which opened in March 1976, just before the bicentennial). 
Image 3: The map gives an up-close look at different sections of the city and inner-ring suburbs, including: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Southwest, Capitol Hill, and Old Town Alexandria. These special sections point out landmarks such as Howard University, the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Rock Creek Park. It also provides information on famous buildings such as the Willard Hotel, the Old Post Office, and the British Embassy. 
Image 4: The last section provides historical details about the District and the surrounding region, including facts about the National Mall, a graph that charts the city’s population growth, and the March on Washington in 1963.

Well, this is just gorgeous (and relevant, as it has a little map of the nascent Metrorail system in the second image). ddotdc:

A picture map of the Washington Metropolitan Region, created for the official bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution (1776-1976). Dated 1975. 
Please view a full, high-resolution version of the map.
Image 2: This section of the map gives an overview of the District, as well as listing information about different Metrobus stops and the in-progress Metrorail (which opened in March 1976, just before the bicentennial). 
Image 3: The map gives an up-close look at different sections of the city and inner-ring suburbs, including: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Southwest, Capitol Hill, and Old Town Alexandria. These special sections point out landmarks such as Howard University, the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Rock Creek Park. It also provides information on famous buildings such as the Willard Hotel, the Old Post Office, and the British Embassy. 
Image 4: The last section provides historical details about the District and the surrounding region, including facts about the National Mall, a graph that charts the city’s population growth, and the March on Washington in 1963.

Well, this is just gorgeous (and relevant, as it has a little map of the nascent Metrorail system in the second image).

ddotdc:

A picture map of the Washington Metropolitan Region, created for the official bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution (1776-1976). Dated 1975. 

Please view a full, high-resolution version of the map.

Image 2: This section of the map gives an overview of the District, as well as listing information about different Metrobus stops and the in-progress Metrorail (which opened in March 1976, just before the bicentennial). 

Image 3: The map gives an up-close look at different sections of the city and inner-ring suburbs, including: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Southwest, Capitol Hill, and Old Town Alexandria. These special sections point out landmarks such as Howard University, the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Rock Creek Park. It also provides information on famous buildings such as the Willard Hotel, the Old Post Office, and the British Embassy. 

Image 4: The last section provides historical details about the District and the surrounding region, including facts about the National Mall, a graph that charts the city’s population growth, and the March on Washington in 1963.

Well, this is just gorgeous (and relevant, as it has a little map of the nascent Metrorail system in the second image).