Submission - Aerial Photo of New York City with Rail Lines Superimposed
Fantastic work from Transit Maps reader Arnorian showing the New York Subway, PATH and NJ Transit Lines on top of an aerial photograph of central New York City. When you view a transit system like New York’s through the limitations of a small printed or on-line map (be it the official map, the Vignelli diagram or even the hybrid Kick Map), it’s easy to forget just how big and complex it is. A representation like this shows that complexity and scale to full effect, and also looks quite breathtakingly gorgeous.
Bigger image in this Skyscrapercity forum thread.
Update: I’ve replaced the image with a newer version that has been amended to take into account some comments that readers have made. I’d also like to properly attribute the photographer who took the photo that the map is overlaid on: Dennis Dimick — go and check out his Flickr stream!
Unofficial Map: New York Regional Rail by Jake Berman, 2010
Directly related to the last post, here’s another map of greater New York’s regional rail. Designed by Jake Berman in 2010, this map takes a completely different approach to Carter’s work.
It uses colour-coding to differentiate between agencies, rather than routes, and shows services as main lines and branches, rather than showing each and every route along their entire length. This makes for a simpler-looking, more compact map, although it means that the map doesn’t even attempt to show any service patterns.
What we like: The treatment of the major hub stations on this map is lovely - the grey background simply and effectively sets them apart. Inclusion of the AirTrain lines at JFK and Newark is nicely handled, while the use of striking magenta type to call out transfers to other services is fantastic.
What we don’t like: One minor nitpick is that the western NJ Transit lines look a little cramped in comparison to other parts of the map. Also, the names of branch lines are quite small and hard to read because they’re contained within the route lines themselves.
Our rating: A completely different way of tackling the same problem as the previous map, but equally valid and attractive. I do slightly prefer being able to trace a route from one end to the other on a map, but this is still a comprehensive guide to regional rail in and around New York. Four stars.
(Source: subwaymaps/Jake Berman)
Historical Map: PATH Map, New York and New Jersey, 1979
After all the diagrammatic maps we’ve featured so far, it’s nice to showcase something completely different - check out this awesome painted birds-eye view of PATH services between New Jersey and Manhattan from 1979. It also shows other rail services in New Jersey snaking off into the far distance, and even Lady Liberty standing guard over New York and the cutest little Staten Island ferry you ever did see.
Have we been there? Yes, but I haven’t caught a PATH train.
What we like: Just about everything! Attractive, historical, useful… this one’s got it all in spades.
What we don’t like: Not a lot!
Our rating: Fantastic! Its strangely distorted perspective reminds me of the famous 1976 New Yorker cover of the view of America from downtown Manhattan. Five stars!
Historical Map: Hudson River Tubes, 1909
Basically an advertisement for the newly-opened Hudson River Tubes - still in use by PATH trains today, over 100 years later - with the H&M lines proudly and boldly displayed in red. Planning for the future is also on display, making the service look somewhat bigger than it really was. From my limited research, it seems that the extensions shown in Manhattan were never actually built.
The Hudson Terminal Buildings (shown in the photo inset at top left) were replaced by the World Trade Center complex as part of the deal struck to allow the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take over the operations of the H&M RR.
(Source: Penn State Maps Library/Flickr)