Detail of a Province of Milan Transit Map, Italy
Looks like a visually interesting and abstract map, but I haven’t been able to track down a full version on the Internet. Looks like it might show bus service (green and thin black lines) and regional rail (thick grey line at the bottom of the picture). Does anyone know where I can find the whole map?
Historical Map: Alilaguna Gold Line, Venice, 2006
We’ve featured Venice’s public transportation ferry map previously (February 2012, 2.5 stars), but here’s an interesting photo of a map by Alilaguna, a privately-run ferry and water taxi service.
This map, dating back to 2006, shows only the Alilaguna Linea Oro (Gold Line), running from the airport to St. Mark’s Square. Interestingly, this express route no longer exists, leaving passengers to lake the slower, local Linea Blu to the heart of Venice instead.
The map has some interesting Vignelli-esque aesthetics, with the lagoon islands reduced to simplified, blocky shapes (as well as beige water!). The execution works well for Venice itself; less so towards the edges of the map. There’s too much fussy detail over on the left side of the map near Malcontenta, and the way the mainland is strangely truncated makes Mestre and the airport look like they’re also located on islands. Global warming, perhaps?
Production-wise, it’s obvious that this map has been created by simply deleting the other Alilaguna lines from a master map, which leads to the three “station” markers shown being extremely long for no apparent reason. The indeterminate angle the route line takes from the airport down towards Murano is also a little odd-looking, given the strong 45-degree design aesthetic of the map.
Our rating: Nice concept, huge potential to be visually striking — but a shame about the uneven execution. Two-and-a-half-stars.
Using the Floor Map as a Guide
We’ve feautured a transit map on the ceiling of a train before, so why not one on the floor as well?
This map shows the suburban and regional train network surrounding Milan in Italy: Milan’s Metro system can be seen in between our two touristy friends. Reading the departures board in the background, I’d hazard a guess that this map is at the Garibaldi FS station. Awkward to use when the station is really busy, though…
Nice shot of an in-car strip map from Milan.
Official Map: Metropolitana di Napoli - 2 of 2
As promised, here’s the second map of Naples’ Metro system. Unlike the previous example, this one shows all of the rail transit options available in the city, which presents a much more complete picture.
Like the previous map, this map also presents something that I’ve never seen before on a transit map: a “Rainbow Line” (arcobaleno in Italian), where each station on the line is assigned its own colour. However, this map and station signage don’t seem to agree on what those colours are.
What we like: A much cleaner and more modern-looking map, definitely much easier on the eye.
What we don’t like: Lower-case station and line name labels - yuck! The centred station names at the northern end of Line 1 look a bit strange. The map is going to have to be reconfigured when the extension of Line 1 from Universita to Garibaldi/Stazione Centrale opens: there’s currently no room at all for that part of the line to fit in. The slight angle of the Mergellina funicular line seems a little at odds with the rest of the map.
Our rating: Much better, although by no means perfect. Shows the benefit to the end user of presenting all rail transit as a unified map, regardless of operator. 3 stars.
(Source: Official Metronapoli website)
Official Map: Metropolitana di Napoli - 1 of 2
Following on from the last post, here’s a map of Naples’ Metro system. Strangely, there are two completely different maps of the system available on the official MetroNapoli website: probably because different transit agencies control different lines. MetroNapoli runs only Lines 1 and 6 and Naples’ extensive funicular system, which is what is shown on this map. I’ll cover the other map, which does show all services in Naples as a unified map in my next post.
Have we been there? Yes, in 2003. Almost predictably, there was a massive public transportation strike the very first day I was there. Fortunately, it was resolved the next day, so I could catch the Circumvesuviana train (not shown on this map) out to Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of which are incredible archaeological sites.
What we like: Comprehensive and nicely laid out legend, including something I’ve never seen on a transit map before - the location of the IHA hostel! To be fair, I have heard that the hostel in Naples is pretty darn pimping… although it’s currently impossible to get to it from Napoli Centrale station using the transport shown on this map.
I like the idea of the notches out of the route lines to indicate stations - it’s a distinctive visual device, but I’m just not sure it’s executed particularly well in this instance.
What we don’t like: Randomly angled route lines throughout: the extension of Line 1 ends up looking like some sort of crazy race track!
Strange colour choices - the salmon used for the funiculars is especially odd, while the grey used for the names of planned stations is almost unreadable in some places.
Labeling is a bit ugly and intrusive: the giant labels for the names of the funicular lines being the worst offender. Not too sure about the very severe, angular font used, either.
Our rating: Strange, random and chaotic: a fairly accurate depiction of the city itself, in my experience. 1 star.
(Source: Official MetroNapoli website)
Napoli Metro Line 2 Diagram
There’s something just so very Naples about this map.
If the name of your station is in light grey, the trains from this platform are not going there. Simple but effective wayfinding signage from Rome’s Metro.
(Source: Matt Taylor Hobbs/Flickr)
Official Map: Milan Metro and Suburban Rail Service
Milan’s Metropolitana subway system is Italy’s largest, and is supported by a comprehensive network of suburban and regional trains. It’s also linked by an amazing tram system, but no indication of those services, or connections to it, are presented on this map.
Have we been there? Yes, although I didn’t use the Metro, preferring to walk around Milan’s dense historic core.
What we like: Use of blue for the thinner suburban rail lines gives them their own distinct look while still being subordinate to the more important Metro lines. Comprehensive set of informational icons, although this does lead to some “icon overload” at Centrale and Cadorna stations. Important information is in Italian and English. Good accessibility information.
What we don’t like: A total absence of curved corners on routes gives a very severe, almost formal look to the map, as does the all-caps typeface used (which, despite being a bespoke typeface created for this map, ends up looking very similar to Franklin or News Gothic). The tinted colours behind the terminus station names, while effective at differentiating those stations from normal stations, looks a little old-fashioned.
Our rating: While this map looks quite sterile, it presents information quite clearly. I also feel that this look is totally intentional, as the streets of Milan’s historic medieval core are twisty and narrow. The contrast between those streets and the more direct routing of the modern subway is effectively highlighted in this map. Three-and-a-half stars.
(Source: Official ATM website)
Official Map: Vaporetto Routes of Venice, Italy
Requested by foxydwoww
Venice is one of those places that has to be experienced to fully appreciate it. Forever and inextricably tied to the ocean, Venice’s transit system has always been vaporetti and traghetti rather than buses and trains. You walk, or you get on a boat - there is no other way to get around. As shown in my photo above (taken on a misty morning at the Ferrovia wharf), there’s a certain sense of mystery and timelessness to Venice, but I feel this map fails to live up to that expectation.
Have we been there? Yes back in 2003. Cruising the Grand Canal on the No. 1 is awesome, as is heading out to Murano and Burano on the lagoon.
What we like: A comprehensive guide to waterborne transit services in Venice. Uses San Marco as its major landmark, as well as cleverly showing the bridges (also important landmarks and attractions) that cross the Grand Canal.
What we don’t like: Surprisingly hard to read - there’s a lot of routes, and following them around the twisty canals to the individual wharves is not easy. It’s sometimes also hard to make out which side of the canal a stop is on.Doesn’t show the locations where the traghetti - large passenger gondolas - cross the Grand Canal: an important passenger link (but admittedly mainly used only by locals).
Despite the nice design that the map is wrapped in (I love the “HelloVenezia” logo), the map itself is very bland, with a dull grey background and standard Helvetica text.
Our rating: A hugely wasted opportunity to make something as unique as the city of Venice itself. No sense of place or history. Two-and-a-half-stars.
(Source: Hello Venezia website)