Fantasy Map: Biergärten in München
Oktoberfest started yesterday in Munich, so I thought it would be appropriate to share this fun little map from 2008 of Munich’s beer gardens laid out in the familiar style of that city’s S- and U-Bahn map.
However, beware! Although this map looks quite similar to the official one, the “lines” shown here don’t seem to correlate to the actual routes in real life - I would not recommend using this map on your Munich pub crawl, especially after a few Maßkrüge of fine German beer!
Here’s the map for Munich’s S-Bahn network… interestingly placed on the outside of a train. Like the line drawing of Munich’s distinctive skyline.
U2 - U5 - U8
Lovely set of wayfinding strip maps from Berlin. The current station, Alexanderplatz, is subtly highlighted with a grey box behind its name. I really like the way that station names are all to the right of each line, with connections shown to the left - an excellent and consistent division of information to make wayfinding easier.
Map of Line 5
In a tram in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Track Diagram, Berliner U-Bahn Museum
Not a transit diagram for public use, but a track layout of the system for operational planning. The original post on Flickr dates it between 1929-1934, based on visible names.
(Source: Forest Pines/Flickr)
Official Map: Nürnberg/Fürth, Germany
Here’s an interesting map from Nürnberg (Nuremberg) in Germany that uses 30-degree angles instead of the usual 45.There doesn’t seem to be major thematic reason as to why things have been done this way: I suspect that it’s purely to make the routes fit into the allotted space.
Have we been there? Yes, in 2003.
What we like: Competently done, with a visually pleasing layout and good information hierarchy - the U-Bahn and tram get the important route colours, followed by the distinctive green S-Bahn routes, and subsidiary grey Regional trains.
What we don’t like: The grey text that sits behind the map denoting the two cities is huge, overpowering and distracting. If the text has to be that large, it could be tinted back much lighter. I’m not entirely sure why its needed, as the two Hauptbahnhofs could both labelled with the relevant names.
A few poorly drawn curves, especially where the S1 and R1 lines turn north. The triple arrowhead in the southeast where the S2, S3 and R5 lines leave the map would work much better if the central arrow was extended a little further so as not to touch the other arrows. The bus interchange icons are a little visually strong, while the Park and Ride icons recede too much into the background. The U21 and tram route 6 seem unnecessarily close in colour.
Our rating: Good without being outstanding in any way. Three stars.
(Source: Official VAG website)
Historical Maps: Berlin S- and U-Bahn Maps, 1910-1936
Wow. Just wow. These amazing transit maps of early 20th Century Berlin are just a few samples of the maps that can be found at the BerlinerVerkehr website - an absolute treasure trove that transit geeks like me can easily lose hours to.
All of these maps are of interest, but there’s a few things that really stand out:
Historical Maps: West and East Berlin, 1984
Further to my previous posts, here’s a couple more maps from East and West Berlin, this time from 1984. Both are much better-designed than the examples shown earlier, and West Berlin has taken on the “U-number” line names that we know so well today. No further comments as the basic principles still hold true for each map - presented for comparison and completeness only.
Historical Map: East Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn, date unknown
As a direct contrast to my previous post, here’s the East Berlin perspective of transit in that divided city.
West Berlin has almost been entirely excised from the map: a small, empty, featureless area totally encircled by extensive East German rail lines as well as the Berlin Wall: here referred to as the “state border”. A powerful statement of East German superiority if there ever was one.
Have we been there? Yes.
What we like: As before, the historical and political snapshot of a map like this is astounding.
What we don’t like: Not actually hugely useful as a route map - all the S-Bahn tracks are the same shade of neon green, making it impossible to tell where trains begin and end their journey. Eye-jarring colours: I think there’s actually two different neon greens, but it’s very difficult to tell!
Our rating: Mapping as propaganda. An amazing piece of history. Four-and-a-half stars.
(Source: Frank Jacobs’ awesome Strange Maps blog - check it out for more mappy goodness!)
Historical Map: West Berlin U-Bahn Map, 1977
Berlin’s troubled post-World War II history led to a fascinating dual history for transit in that city, divided into East and West sectors. This West Berlin U-Bahn map from 1977 - at the height of the Cold War - shows that division in a stark, but also curiously understated fashion. The infamous Berlin Wall that completely divided the city is prosaically referred to as a Sektorengrenze, or “sector boundary”.
All U-Bahn lines are still shown, but the East Berlin-exclusive lines are rendered as thin black lines with the legend, “Railway stations which can be reached only with the trains of the East BGV”.
At the same time, stations on the 6 and 8 lines passing through the East Sector are crossed out. Here, the legend reads, “Railway stations where trains do not stop”. These are the infamous Geisterbahnhofe, or “ghost stations”, patrolled by East German border guards to prevent unauthorised crossings into West Berlin. The one station in East Berlin that remained open was Friedrichstrasse, an official checkpoint between the two sectors.
Interestingly, the S-Bahn is not represented at all on the map: it was entirely controlled by East Germany at this time, even when it ran through West Berlin. As a result, West Berliners were encouraged to boycott the S-Bahn to prevent funding the Soviet-controlled state (even though West Berlin also paid a massive annual fee to East Germany to allow U-Bahn trains to travel through the East sector).
Have we been there? Yes, in 2004, long after the collapse of the Wall. Pretty much the only part I saw was a single segment near Potzdamer Platz.
What we like: Fascinating historical and political snapshot.
What we don’t like: Not going to win any awards for its outstanding design. Its primitive design and thin paper (you can clearly see what’s printed on the other side) probably reflect the austerity of the times.
Our rating: Fascinating! Four stars.