Official Map: Prague Metro In-Car Strip Map

Following on from the Lisbon commuter rail strip map feautured recently, here’s another excellent example, this time from Prague. Design-wise, it fits in well with the standard Metro/tram map, but is remarkable for its incredibly effective use of space. The three route lines fit beautifully into the space, and the interchanges between the lines in the centre of the map are simply gorgeous. The inclusion of icons for popular landmarks/attractions is welcome and useful (as well as consistent with the standard map), as is the simplified geographical layout of the system to the right of the strip.

Our rating: A model for all in-car strip maps. Legible, easy to follow, useful. Four stars.

4 Stars!

(Source: ralpherga/Flickr)

Official Map: Prague Metro 2013 Flood Map

As you may already know, Prague is currently bracing itself for its heaviest flooding in recent memory. In preparation, the city has shut down large portions of its subterranean Metro system and has added temporary tram and bus services to compensate. This map, obviously produced in a hurry, outlines those service changes with a minimum of fuss. It also shows which tram lines have been cancelled until further notice. With events like this, informing the public of service changes as quickly and effectively as possible is paramount, as recent events like Hurricane Sandy show. 

(Source: Official DPP website)


Detail of a Line A strip map in Prague.

(Source: daveglanz/Flickr)

Official Map: Prague Integrated Transport

Here’s the last entry in our short series on current transit maps in Prague, an integrated map. In my opinion, this map hits the sweet spot as far as information and presentation are concerned: it shows Metro and tram service better than the simple Metro Orientation map, but without the mind-numbing level of detail of the full service map.

What we like: Retains the cute major landmark icons from the simpler map. The addition of route numbers to the tram lines makes a huge difference in usability - routes can now be traced from beginning to end. While individual stops aren’t shown, this is not a huge issue as tram service normally has tightly-spaced, regularly placed stops. Much better English on this map!

What we don’t like: Strangely muted colours on the Metro lines compared to the other maps, which looks worst on the Red Line (red never tints down very well). The heavy red/brown border is quite overpowering, especially compared to the soothing beige of the other two maps.

Our rating: Just right. Information is easily parsed without having to pore over a detailed full system map. Four stars.

4 Stars!

(Source: Official DPP website)

Official Map: Full Service Metro and Tram Map, Prague

The second map in our short series of current transit maps in Prague. Whereas yesterday’s map was perhaps a little light in information, this one goes in completely the other direction and shows absolutely everything. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but this is definitely a map for detailed analysis of transit in Prague, rather than a quick reference guide.

What we like: Comprehensive and detailed overview of rail transit in Prague. Good mode differentiation between Metro and trams by use of stroke thickness.

What we don’t like: The multicoloured names at the interchange stations on the Metro! For example, the Red and Yellow lines meet at Florenc station, so the “Flo” is red, and the “enc” is yellow… it looks hideous.

Not sure about the use of a dashed stroke in the centre of tram routes to denote frequent “backbone” service - a dashed line normally indicates less, not more. On that note, the 50 percent dashed stroke for rush hour services on the 4 and 16 tram lines isn’t particularly visible.

The map’s legend is a bit disjointed, being placed in four different places around the map to fit between gaps in the route lines.

Some absolutely terrible English translation… “In this parts of lines is tram line 4 operated only at workdays morning rush hours…” Say what?

Our rating: Comprehensive, if a little visually cluttered. Suffers a bit from information overload. Stay tuned tomorrow for the Goldilocks “just right!” map. Two-and-a-half stars.

2.5 Stars

(Source: Official DPP website)

Official Map: Prague Metro Orientation Map

This is the first of three posts regarding current transit maps in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. All are part of a unified set of maps (all of which use the interesting framing device of stylised buildings and trams, which I can’t decide if I think is playfully irreverent or just plain stupid) and provide interesting lessons on how much information is “just right” for a transit map to be really useful.

This map is a simplified overview or orientation map of the Metro, and seems to serve a similar purpose to the Key Bus Routes of London Map that we’ve already featured - to provide a quick guide to public transport for visitors to the city. However, it’s slightly less successful than that map, as we’ll see below.

Have we been there? Yes, in 2004. After one initial trip on the Metro from the railway station to the hostel, I used trams exclusively.

What we like: Breezy and simple, bright and bold with a unique look. The little icons for major landmarks are quite charming. The Metro lines stand out really nicely, and interchanges are handled well.

What we don’t like: By comparison with the Metro lines, the tram lines come off very badly indeed. Without route numbers or anything other than final destinations shown, they’re really not very useful in this version of the map other than an indication that tram service exists. After that, you’re on your own…

Our rating: A nice looking map with its own very distinct look - this map belongs to Prague. I’m still not sure about the cartoon-like framing device, but it is carried across all elements of the corporate identity (other maps, website, etc,), so at least they’re consistent! Tram service information is a little light. Three-and-a-half stars.

3.5 Stars

(Source: Official DPP website)