Submission – Official Map: Bus Network of Nuuk, Greenland
Submitted by sperwing, who says:
Legends are pretty important parts of maps. Especially if you do things differently than other maps. It is certainly a unique decision that every bus stop is only for one direction. Defining that direction only by the side of the label however is just poor design. (no arrows!)
Transit Maps says:
This is definitely one of the most unique transit maps I’ve seen, in that it requires you to use both the timetable for a given line and the map to work out where the bus actually goes.
Every bus stop on the map has a number assigned to it, and the timetable then lists those numbers in the order that each route stops at them. In the example shown above, Route 1 starts at stop number 26, then calls at 23, 24, 18, 1, 47, etc. In effect, it’s like a giant game of connect the dots, except the dots aren’t even always in sequential order. Following the route described in the timetable on the map can be a bit confusing, because you’ll often have to skip over a number of stops before the next listed number. The ones you skipped are either used by the bus on its return journey, or aren’t actually served by that line at all.
It seems as though some routes go clockwise, while others go anti-clockwise, so I can see why the designers haven’t used arrows to indicate directions… unless the arrows were properly integrated into each and every station to indicate which direction they served, things could get very messy indeed.
As it is, the system is small enough – Nuuk only has 15,000 inhabitants, and the bus company only employs 24 people – that the unusual methods employed by this map are tolerable enough. It’s a little annoying that you’d have to flip from page to page (the map is on one side of the sheet, the timetables on the other) in actual use, but I feel you’d get the hang of things fairly quickly.
The map itself looks pretty nifty – a nicely stylised diagrammatic map – although I’m not entirely sure of the meaning of the circles at certain points along the way. They don’t always seem to line up with the bus stops, but instead seem to just indicate intersections where bus routes diverge. Some of the labelling is a bit strange, and the spacing between some of the route lines is a bit variable, but overall I quite like the way it looks.
Our rating: A nice looking map, but with an incredibly esoteric and quirky route finding system that simply wouldn’t work with a more complex network. Interesting to see something so removed from the normal way of doing things (having just said that arrows are the only way to indicate route directionality). Two-and-a-half stars.
Source: Nuup Bussii website
Infographic: Crocheting in the Subways of Hamburg by Lana Bragina
Now this I love!
Every time that Lana travelled on Hamburg’s S-Bahn or U-Bahn, she would pass the time by crocheting this neat little bangle. The fun part is that she would only use thread that was the colour of the line that she was riding on at the time: green thread for the S1, yellow for U3, etc.
The really extra fun part is that she also made this super nifty infographic that explains the whole thing in a very visual way: the dates that each trip was made on, which stations she rode between and how long (in minutes) that trip took, even little “work in progress” photos of the bracelet after each trip. And then the whole thing is tied into a simple little diagramof “Lana’s Subway” as well. That the whole infographic looks like thick skeins of thread draped across the page is just the icing on the cake. Perfect and wonderful.
Unofficial Map: Washington DC Metro Map with Silver Line, 2014
Just because I don’t like leaving things unfinished, here’s a new version of my Washington DC Metro map with the final configuration of the Phase I Silver Line shown. For reference, here’s my previous version from 2011.
Like the official map, I’ve left the Phase II Silver Line stations unnamed, which is probably a wise choice, seeing all the variants that the Phase I stations went through! Flipping the Silver Line to the southern side of the Orange Line before East Falls Church was something else that the official map got right, and I’ve emulated that here as well. Only a few other minor tweaks: a couple of station name changes and a darkening of the Red Line colour to aid colour-blind users a little more. What do you think?
Edit – Morning, August 6, 2014: Thanks to Peter Dovak for a couple of tweaks: NoMa–Gallaudet U is now named correctly, and Phase II of the Silver Line’s completion date has been pushed out (unsurprisingly) to 2018. I’ve swapped in a new image above, and I’ve updated the version over on Flickr.
Evening, August 6, 2014: Further edits based on feedback today, especially from the comments left on this Greater Greater Washington post about the map. Changes include the addition of parkland along the Anacostia River as shown on the official map, lengthened “ticks” for stations so that they’re not so “nubby”, route letters in circles instead of squares so that they can’t be confused with the parking icon, proper designation of Wiehle-Reston East as the current western terminus of the Silver Line, and a few minor fixes and clean ups here and there.
Source: Cameron Booth/Flickr
Submission - Historical Map: Bus and Trolley-bus Routes in Vilnius, Lithuania, 1968
Submitted by creatures-alive.
A striking transit network map from Soviet Vilnius in the late 1960s. The stark, angular route lines are softened a bit by the wide lazy curves of the city’s rivers, but this is still pretty severe, minimalist, almost abstract design. Also of note is the map’s title and legend, set in five different languages — Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, German and English.
Source: Vilniaus Katalogas website
Behold! The bustling metropolis of our brains!
From the TED-Ed lesson How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins
Animation by Sharon Colman Graham
Brain/Tube Map animated GIF? Reblog.
Question: What’s a good way to display one-way routes on a map?
(Question from an anon).
The only correct answer to this is is to use an arrow that points in the direction of travel. However, there’s plenty of different ways to integrate that arrow into your artwork, as the examples above show: next to your route lines, within your route lines, or even as an integral part of your route line. A lot of it depends on the aesthetic vision of the map, or how much space is available. If there are a lot of one-way routes, then it’s best to plan an approach right at the start of the design process, rather than shoe-horning something inappropriate in later.
As a corollary, there are also times where a route may be running bi-directionally, but certain stops only serve vehicles headed in one direction. Here, you’ll need an arrow that’s contained within (or obviously linked to) the station symbol to make your meaning clear. Remember to explain this in the legend as well!
I’m Cameron and this is the Transit Maps blog, showcasing maps from around the world that help us get from Point A to Point B. From the past, present and future, real or imagined, they’re all here.
With over 1,000 blog entries, it can be a little daunting to find what you want, so I suggest that you visit the Tags page. I try to tag every post as meticulously as possible, so using them is the smart way to find something interesting. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, just randomise!
I also keep an FAQ about the site and questions that I get asked frequently. If you’re interested in making transit maps, then my tutorial tag is a great place to start. You can also ask me transit map-related questions here, or submit maps or links for my review/consideration here.
Transit maps that I have personally created – including my acclaimed “Highways of the USA” series – can be found on my personal design blog.
If you like what you see on the site, then reblogs, likes and retweets are greatly appreciated: reblogs and retweets help to increase the visibility of Transit Maps on the internet, so that more people can come and enjoy what I post. You can follow me on Twitter here.
All the best, and thanks for stopping by!
Submission – Unofficial Map: “Hyper Japan” Directory London Underground Map
Submitted by chiguire, who says:
Found this London Tube map in the Hyper Japan directory magazine. Hyper Japan is some sort of convention about the country [of Japan, held in London – Cam], but I couldn’t stop staring at this map. It’s like a car wreck, it’s horrible but you just can’t stop looking :-P
Transit Maps says:
A great example how you can use all the elements of a successful transit map and still end up with a complete mess. Obviously, the organisers of Hyper Japan didn’t want to pay a licensing fee to TfL for the actual Tube map, so they either made one of their own or paid someone substantially less than the licensing fee to make one for them.
The central part of the map actually looks eerily similar in shape to the real deal, with the (in)famous “thermos flask” shape described by the Circle Line remaining almost intact. However, things go rapidly downhill after that, and much of the system south of the Thames just looks horrible: the DLR and Overground suffering the worst. I’m also pretty certain that the southern part of the Northern Line is at a non-standard angle just so the legend can be squeezed in underneath it.
The square interchange symbols aren’t a patch on the superb interconnected circles of the actual Tube map, and the typography is lacklustre at best. If you need connecting lines between labels and the station they name, then you’re doing it wrong.
Our rating: A poor imitation that really makes you realise how balanced and aesthetically pleasing the Tube map is by comparison, and how difficult it is to make a truly excellent transit map. One-and-a-half stars.
Historical Map: Chapel Hill Transit Bus Map, 1974
Celebrating their 40th year of service today — August 1, 2014. Here’s their original service map showing eight routes: four city buses (solid lines), two UNC Campus buses (long dashed lines) and two Park/Ride express services to the airport lot and the mall lot (short dashes). The use of the different dashes allow the different types of services to be shown effectively with a limited (and cheap to print!) two-colour palette. There’s also some very fashionable — for 1974 — Eurostile typesetting as well.
Source: CHT Director Brian M Litchfield’s Twitter account
Official Map: Transfort Bus Map, Fort Collins, Colorado
Submitted by zmapper, who says:
This is the official bus system map for Fort Collins, Colorado. Of interest is the new north-south MAX BRT route, shown in lime green.
What appears to be a straightforward, vanilla transit map has some substantial flaws. The map doesn’t note that the 30-series and 90-series routes only operate when the state university and public schools are in session, respectively, or that the Green and Gold routes only operate Friday and Saturday nights from 10:30 pm to 2:30 am, when the rest of the system has stopped operating. Additionally, the alignment of Route 12 between Mason and Stamford poses a challenge for the map designer; eastbound, the route turns left on College, loops counter-clockwise on Foothills, Swallow and Mason before resuming an easterly path; westbound, the route turns right on Mason and loops clockwise on Swallow and Stamford before doubling back on itself along Horsetooth. The map makes an attempt to display where Route 12 operates, but doesn’t clearly show how.
Transit Maps says:
You know, this map really doesn’t look too bad at all: nice clean linework, sensible colour choices (especially the nice muted tones for the background compared to the route lines), and simple little icons. I probably would have liked to see more emphasis on the MAX route – I mean, what’s the point of a shiny new BRT service if you can’t show it off to people properly?
I also think that double-headed arrows showing that buses travel in both directions along a route is redundant: bi-directional travel is always inherently implied in a transit map unless a single-headed arrow explicitly depicts one-way traffic.
Where this map really falls down is the lack of a coherent legend. This map is downloadable in this exact form from the Transfort website, with no extra explanatory text at all, and it’s probably not unreasonable to think that it is also posted in bus stops around the city. So why doesn’t it tell me what the heck MAX, FLEX, GREEN, GOLD and HORN actually are? As zmapper points out, the Green and Gold lines only run at night on Fridays and Saturdays, which you might think would be a Really Important Thing to tell people. Instead, the perfunctory legend shows some sort of dotted line to indicate “multiple routes”, but this type of line doesn’t actually occur anywhere on the map.
Yes, the information about all the routes is available on the Web, but not everyone has access to that at all times, and some minor edits to the map could make things so much clearer for all users, especially visitors to Fort Collins.
Our rating: Looks good, but let down by some major information deficiencies. Two stars.
Source: Official Transfort website
P.S. Enough with the transit systems called MAX: this is at least the sixth one I can think of!