Unofficial Map: Portland MAX Light Rail — Super Mario 3 Style

Here’s the latest “Mario Map” from the incredibly prolific Dave Delisle (seriously, how much cool stuff can one guy pump out?). This one is of my home town of Portland, Oregon, and Dave actually enlisted my help in checking the accuracy of the route layouts and the spelling of the station names. Considering the ridiculous length of some of the station names in the system and the limitations of the 8-bit art style, Dave’s done a great job at fitting everything together in a very plausible and attractive manner.

Of course, in true Portlandia style, Dave has literally “put a bird on it” — there’s also a non-birdified version over on his website if you don’t get the joke. Also of note is Dave’s playful take on the TriMet logo, and the fact that our princess seems to be stuck out at Expo Center, the poor thing.

(Source: Dave’s website — posters are for sale!)

UPDATE: Portland MAX In-Car Map

Just as I post about the in-car maps on Portland, Oregon’s MAX trains, I notice that TriMet has just released a new version (pardon the bad cell phone photo; I was getting off the train as I snapped it!).

The new map has two important changes from the previous one: JELD-WEN Field is correctly named (instead of the old PGE Park - showing exactly why commercial names on transit maps are a Bad Idea), and the South PSU stations are shown as opening later this year.

Although the map initially looks quite similar, there have been a lot of little tweaks and amendments. The route lines now have a thin gap between them, whereas they butted up to each other before. Stations are now denoted by a small white circle contained wholly within the route line, which works better than the big black-edged dots that made every station look like a transit station; although now perhaps there’s not enough emphasis on important stations.

I really miss the line that joins the Rose Quarter TC and Interstate/Rose Quarter stations - that one-block walking transfer is a hugely important part of the MAX system, and needs to be shown.

Not a big fan of the way that the Green Line has to cross over the Red and Blue to head south after Gateway, but the only other alternative is to cross the Green Line under the Red and Blue as the lines leave downtown (as I did on my Unified Rail Map of Portland), which may not be so practical on a map like this.

Overall, I think this map is a step in the right direction from the previous one, but it’s still not fantastic.

  1. Camera: iPhone 4
  2. Aperture: f/2.8
  3. Exposure: 1/120th
  4. Focal Length: 3mm

In-Car Light Rail Map, Portland, Oregon

I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of these in-car maps from my town of Portland. While they serve a purpose and fit in a very awkward vertical space, they’re neither elegant or match the design of the full light rail map. I particularly dislike the station symbol, which makes every stop - regardless of importance - look like an interchange station.

(Source: localmn/Flickr)