Unofficial Map: Boston Subway Time-Scale Map

Peter Dunn from Stonebrown Design sent this map to me this morning for my thoughts, and it’s definitely worth looking at. You may recall that Peter is also responsible for this neat “subway map” of the Appalachian Trail, previously featured on Transit Maps.

Visually, this map reminds me of this unofficial map of Amsterdam’s Metro - mainly because of the unusual radial design and the treatment of bodies of water. However, this map arguably puts that radial design to better use: to represent time from the central “hub” of Boston, allowing a quick and easy visual comparison of journey times.

Have we been there? Yes. However, Lechmere to Government Center took considerably longer than eight minutes when I was using the Green Line.

What we like: The treatment of the four downtown stations - Park, Government Center, State and Downtown Crossing - is beautifully done: it fits the “hub” theme well and looks good doing it.

Map emulates the look of the real Boston map nicely, even though the format is quite different.

Love the statement in the legend: "All times are approximate; your results may vary. Especially on the Green Line."

What we don’t like: As the map moves further away from the central hub, the time contours start deforming in order to fit things in. This is a pity, because the map works best (and looks better) where the contour lines form proper concentric rings. Compare how the station labels on the Red Line out to Alewife curve neatly with the time contours, while the station labels on the “B” branch of the Green Line don’t really match up with the contours at all.

The contours themselves could perhaps use a few more of their own labels for minutes: you have to scan a long way round from the southern Orange Line to find one!

Our rating: Leaving aside accuracy of the data used to create this map (some of these times do seem a little on the optimistic side, but if that’s what the timetable says…), this is still a very impressive piece of work, and an interesting alternative view of a familiar rapid transit system. I feel the map could look even nicer if the time contours formed concentric rings all the way out - time is a constant, after all! Three-and-a-half stars.

3.5 Stars

(Source: Stonebrown Design)

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  1. jennrocksocks reblogged this from shocyeverd
  2. tylermachado reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    Way cool map of Boston’s T by travel time. I hate the Green Line.
  3. shocyeverd reblogged this from transitmaps
  4. dadaunpo reblogged this from transitmaps
  5. dinnerkettle reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    I love this.
  6. criticizm reblogged this from transitmaps
  7. jacobwakeup reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    pretty cool, flawed as...seem. Now that I’ve found it, I’m basically going through every...
  8. titularhumour reblogged this from transitmaps
  9. philopoemen reblogged this from sofiaviolet and added:
    This just doesn’t look right. I don’t care what kind of time or space or any kind of scaling they used. There are far...
  10. kylegreggy reblogged this from walkoffbalk
  11. merlinist reblogged this from transitmaps
  12. sofiaviolet reblogged this from transitmaps
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  14. jensibaez reblogged this from yzzerdd
  15. appelsiinimehu reblogged this from transitmaps
  16. yzzerdd reblogged this from lethetruthfreeyou
  17. thehoodgypsy reblogged this from lethetruthfreeyou
  18. callmeredmage reblogged this from zero-x-zero
  19. zero-x-zero reblogged this from jagneta
  20. cindaay reblogged this from ttfe
  21. jagneta reblogged this from transitmaps
  22. insomnia-mornings reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    idea behind this, but jesus christ...trains EVER kept
  23. commonsenseonaroll reblogged this from thrash-bandicoot and added:
    This is pretty cool. If only those times on the Green Line could account for the fact that it is the Green Line we’d be...
  24. emotingviamemes reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    transtimaps posts, just FYI....really beautiful.
  25. instavuelta reblogged this from transitmaps
  26. phytopathology reblogged this from transitmaps
  27. this-sharknado-loves-you reblogged this from transitmaps and added:
    I love Boston and I loved living there for a couple months while I did an internship, and I love subways/the T in...
  28. walkoffbalk reblogged this from transitmaps