Unofficial Map: Transit of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Submitted by Halid Karpović, who says:
Dear Cameron, I heard you also feature the worst transit maps on your blog - and by “worst”, I mean “worst of the worst”. If that’s right, I’d like to hear your opinion of this map by Emir Haračić. It shows the transit network of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and appears in Sarajevo Navigator, quite a popular tourist guide.
Basically, I say that such a beautiful city as Sarajevo and the first electric streetcar on the Balkans really don’t deserve such an ugly map. We’ve got amateurly drawn route lines, “mega-stations” with tons of linked circles (just look at the “Park” station), and text flying all around the canvas.
But wait! If you think that’s already bad, you might want to look at the official - yes, official - map given out by Sarajevo’s transit company. I think you might even consider a negative rating here…
Transit Maps says:
Judging by the official map (which is a next-to-useless abomination and would certainly deserve the lowest possible rating), this one seems to have been born out of desperation for something better. And while I can’t fault that desire, this map really does make navigation of Sarajevo’s transit system much harder than it should be.
If there was ever a map that needed route lines to collapse down or overlay each other when they share the same track or road, it’s this one. As this diagram from Wikipedia shows, the Sarajevo Tramway is basically one route with different service patterns running on it, and could be simplified a lot more that it is shown here. As it is, the central loop part of the map is almost incomprehensible.
My biggest problem with the depiction of the tram routes is the way they “step down” along the route instead of following the same path along their entire length. For an example, follow the “4” from right to left across the map. It goes for a few stops, and then drops down to the next line, because one of the routes underneath it in the “stack” of lines has ended. This makes following a particular route from one end to the other across the map incredibly difficult and could have been easily avoided with some careful planning.
The other really big problem with the map is the typography. All-capitals, condensed sans serif type set at multiple angles is not easy to read: all the letter forms look very similar, and it can be hard to work out which label belongs to which stop in crowded parts of the map. The resolution of the image as found online also does the type no favours: the image is only 1024px wide, so smaller type like the route numbers contained within each line becomes very indistinct.
Finally, there’s a fifth colour on the map (magenta) that’s not explained in the legend. It’s only used for the “31E” bus route, so there’s something different about it that that we’re not being told about…
Our rating: Trying to fill a void created by the lack of an viable official alternative, this map means well, but is gravely hampered by myriad problems. Really can’t give this one more than half a star.