Slight amendment to I-5 on my map required.
On a more serious note, aging and decaying infrastructure is a growing and serious problem. It was incredibly lucky there were no fatalities in this incident, and we only need to look back to the I-35 bridge incident in Minneapolis to see how bad things could have been.
Fantasy Map: River Song’s Timeline Relative to the Doctor’s
Note: Spoilers, sweetie! Both on the map and in the text!
For those people who just have to know the order that things happen in, this is the map for you!
Created by a designer at Doctor Who Online, this all looks pretty plausible to me, although I don’t lie awake at night wondering about temporal paradoxes and crossing one’s own time stream. It even includes River’s appearances in related video games and Season 6 DVD-exclusive mini-episodes, as well as untelevised adventures like the infamous “Jim the Fish”.
The one thing I would add is a line from River’s death in the Library (Forest of the Dead with the 10th Doctor) to her (final?) appearance in The Name of the Doctor, as it’s her data ghost that is stored in the Library after her death that appears in that episode.
Putting my obvious fanboy love of this map aside, it is nice to see the subway map metaphor used intelligently here: the “interchanges” between “routes” (River’s and the Doctor’s separate time streams) actually mean something and help to visually explain a very complex narrative. That it also ends up looking like a big ball of timey-wimey stuff is an added bonus.
Source: Doctor Who Online — click through to see a much bigger (legible) version of the map.
Update: Washington, DC Metro Map Final Draft Version
Yes, I post a lot about the DC Metro Map, but it’s not often we get to see the process of developing a transit map as publicly as this, or in such immense detail. I find it fascinating to see the decisions that are made, the different iterations the map goes through, and what is kept and what gets discarded.
Pretty much the only thing up for discussion on this final draft is the shape of the station indicators when there are three route lines present: “whiskers” or “capsule”. I’ve deftly added a “whisker” indicator into the detail part of the map above for easy comparison.
To my mind, the elongated capsule shape is more successful, and is a logical extension of the normal circle shape used to indicate a station. I’d like to see the capsule extend out a little further into the Blue and Orange lines: it barely grazes them at the moment, and isn’t consistent with the amount of overlap you can see when a circle station overlaps two lines, like at Pentagon City — half the circle is on blue, half is on yellow. Similarly, when the symbol is over three lines, half the circle should be on orange and half on blue, joined by the straight edges of the capsule over the Silver Line.
Speaking of the Silver Line, the decision to move it between the Blue and Orange lines is to be applauded. Previous drafts had it sitting above the Orange Line, which necessitated a very clumsy crossover between the Stadium-Armory and Benning Road stations. Having the crossover at East Falls Church instead is visually simpler and cleaner.
Apparently the route lines are now also “24% thinner” than before: looks like Lance Wyman is very grudgingly giving in to the fact that the playfully thick lines of the original map are no longer suitable for this modern version.
Also, there’s parkland shown along the Anacostia River… that’s a first!
Another step in the right direction, I think. Slowly and surely, this map is getting there…
(Source: Plan It Metro website)
Update: Art Lebedev Moscow Metro Maps Finally In Use
The winning entry from the Moscow Metro map contest earlier this year can finally be seen around Moscow. Looking good!
(Source: Photo taken by Twitter follower, @dars_dm)
Unofficial Map: London Underground Map Recreated Entirely in CSS
Even though I’m mainly a print designer, I’ve done enough web design work to know how fiddly (yet also powerful) Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can be. That’s why I’m totally in awe of this incredibly accurate rendition of the Tube Map, created with nothing but code by John Galatini. Not one image file to be seen! Johnston Sans is recreated with a web font, while the symbols for accessibility, National Rail, ferries, the Emirates Airline, etc. seen on the map are all “drawn” completely with CSS code. John estimates that the project took around 120 hours to complete, and I can believe him!
While the project’s website gives some great technical information on how the map was achieved, I prefer John’s own description on Twitter:
“It’s basically lots of rectangles and squares, lots of border-radius (to create circles) and a shit load of css rotation.”
Our rating: An astounding example of what CSS can do. Five stars!
(Source: CSS Tube website)
Submission - Official Map: Chicago “L” Map, Dan Ryan Branch Closure, 2013
Submitted by Ryan, who says:
Chicago’s updated CTA map. The Red Line is closed for 5 months between Cermak/Chinatown and 95th so there are now shuttle buses shown along with Red rerouting along green. Green also has a new Rush Hour route around the loop. A new transfer is also shown between Red and Blue at Lake and Washington (although this transfer requires a person to leave the station and walk a couple blocks to the other).
What do you think?
Transit Maps says:
Aesthetically, there’s very little difference between this map and the version I reviewed way back in October 2011 (3 stars): everything that was good abut that version still holds true, and its faults remain much the same as well.
However, as a prompt informational update for what promises to be a difficult few months for “L” riders in Chicago’s south, the map works effectively. The affected section of the Red Line is clearly shown, as is the rerouting of the southern leg of the Red Line along the Ashland Branch of the Green Line. Bus shuttle services that replace much of the Dan Ryan branch’s operations are also indicated, although an idea of service frequency for these buses would be nice — do the buses run as frequently as the trains used to, should riders allow extra travel time, that sort of thing.
The real test of this map will be its deployment, I feel. It’s probably unrealistic to expect every “L” map in Chicago to be replaced by this temporary version, so it’s important that this map is put in places where the highest number of affected riders will see it and understand the changes to the system.
(Source: Transit Chicago (CTA) website)
Official Map: H.C. Chambers & Son Bury St. Edmunds - Colchester Routes, England
An attractive and stylish route map on the side of a handsome red double-decker bus. While the service from Bury to Colchester via Bures carries a single route number (753), you actually have to change buses in Sudbury, hence the “double dot” shown there. The timetable on the bus company’s website warns that because of congestion, connections between the two buses at Sudbury may not always be timely.
The second line shown from Sudbury to Colchester via Nayland is actually a separate route, the 84. Handy information if you miss your connection to the Colchester leg of the 753, I guess…
While this bus looks fantastic, the same can’t be said for the H.C. Chambers & Son website, which is completely craptacular.
Historical Map: Abandoned Bus Station, Pripyat, Ukraine
A harrowing image from the Ukrainian city of Pripyat, built in the 1970s to house workers for the ill-fated Chernobyl nuclear plant. Pripyat lies just a few scant kilometres from the plant, and was permanently evacuated within two days of the disaster in 1986.
Within the ruins of the city’s bus station is this surprisingly intact map of services offered within the local region. Pripyat is the fourth station from the top along the right edge of the map, just above the horizontal line that runs through the map. The town of Chernobyl (which is further from the plant than Pripyat) is the next stop to the south along the red route line.
(Source: Matt. Create. (Roads Less Traveled)/Flickr)
Clockwise/Counter-Clockwise: the Berlin Ringbahn Map
That’s enough from Boston for a while… let’s head to Berlin to look at this odd little map. It shows the S41 and S42 S-Bahn lines, which travel clockwise and counter-clockwise, respectively, along the Ringbahn, a 37km (23 mile) loop around Berlin.
While the map is packed with information — interchanges with other S- and U-Bahn services, stations with transfers to Deutsche Bahn trains, and estimated travel times between major stations — it just feels a little messy and unfinished to me, and definitely at odds with the precise and minimalist design style one normally associates with German transit maps.
Unofficial Map: MBTA Map Contest Entry by Michael Kvrivishvili
Here’s another entry for the MBTA’s map contest, sent to me by Michael Kvrivishvili, a graphic and interactive designer from Moscow.
Michael has chosen to show all of the services on his map that the MBTA does on their map — subway, BRT, commuter rail, key bus routes and ferries. He pulls it off pretty well, too, although the convoluted network of bus routes is always going to look a little busy.
Like Kerim, Michael’s map features a perfect diamond representing the downtown interchange stations, and he also manages to fit in all the Green Line stations.If it wasn’t for the little flip in the Red Line to Braintree, he’d also have a perfectly straight diagonal line across the map! Despite these similarities, the two maps are really quite different.
Much like the current Washington DC map, Michael has added badges to the end of each line that denotes that line’s name — ”OL” for Orange Line, and so on — an excellent aid for color-blind users of the system. He also adds the full name of the line in very small text within each line, which seems redundant and is also far too small to be of any real use.
For the most part, Michael’s handling of the commuter rail lines is well done: they’re obviously lower in the information hierarchy than the main subway lines, but still look attractive. Again, the ends of the commuter rail lines feature some lovely and unusual arrowheads — I love this sort of attention to detail. The one place the map is not as clear as it could be is at Readville station. The Fairmount Line terminates at this station, while trains on the Franklin Line stop, but trains on the Stoughton/Providence Line pass through without stopping. On Michael’s map. the Franklin Line looks like a continuation of the Fairmount Line (which isn’t named on the map), and there’s no visual indication that Stoughton/Providence trains don’t stop here.
There’s more usability problems with the Silver Line at Logan Airport. Michael shows all the stops, but he doesn’t show how the route loops around. From the information shown on the map, a reader might expect that once the bus reaches the end of the line at Terminal E, it reverses back along the line, stopping at the other terminals again along the way. A similar problem is evident with the end of the SL2 line at Design Center (also a loop in real life).
Interestingly, Michael has chosen to show non-accessible stations on the map, rather than accessible ones. This actually works quite well at cleaning up the central part of the map, where there are more accessible stations than non-accessible ones.
A few other thoughts: the legend at the bottom of the map is beautifully laid out; the subway to bus/commuter rail symbol is subtle but effective; and the bus routes are generally pretty well done. Also, the Silver Line makes a big capital “B” in the middle of the map!
Our rating: Really quite good. The few shortcomings are probably due to Michael’s unfamiliarity with the system and look like they could be easily fixed. Three-and-a-half stars.
(Source: Email from Michael, also on Flickr)