Simple but effective interactive map from the Washington Post introducing the Silver Line, which opens for revenue service in just over a month!


Mapping the Silver Line

Unofficial Map: Transit Network of Norfolk, Virginia by Jonah Adkins

This is a nice little map from Jonah, whose transit map version of his Noland Trail Map I featured back in July last year. The map certainly does a good job of placing the new light rail line in a regional context, with the Elizabeth River and the Interstate highways defining the surrounding area nicely. Points of interest and county/city borders are nicely shown as well.

However, I disagree a bit with Jonah’s informational hierarchy. I believe that all the Hampton Roads Transit services – be they light rail, commuter bus (yet another MAX acronym!), regular bus or ferry service – should be higher up the hierarchy than the Amtrak and Greyhound services which operate far more on an inter-regional/national level. That is to say, local commuters and residents really don’t use them on a regular basis to get around the area. In particular, having Greyhound buses shown as a thick, dark grey line, while the Hampton Roads buses are a recessive, hard to see, light grey makes little sense. They should also be grouped together in the legend, rather than having the Amtrak/Greyhound services split them up as they currently do.

Minor things: I find the double curve between the MacArthur Square and Civic Plaza stations a little overly-fussy (a single 135-degree angle would work better); it’s Amtrak, not Amtrack; and the legend could have less Random Acts of Capitalization in it… “Daily” is capitalized, for example, but “complex” is not? I personally prefer legend text to be set in sentence case (easier to read, only proper names get capitalized), but if you’re going to write in title case, you need to be consistent about the way you apply it.

It’s still a very attractive map, and certainly one I could envision at bus stops and light rail stations in the area with a little more polish. 


Downtown Norfolk Transit Network (Draft)

For fun last year, I did a transit map version of my Noland Trail map. Since then I’ve really wanted to do a real transit map, but unfortunately I live in one of the most transit-boring regions of the U.S..

The main focus is the new light-rail line (The Tide), and it’s connectivity with the existing bus transportation system. I was excited that light-rail was coming to the region, and bummed when I saw the map. I guess I’m spoiled by all the great work on @transitmaps. Included on this map is the new Amtrack NE Regional train which originates from the downtown area, Greyhound Bus routes, and all of the connecting arterial bus routes.

Bottom line and the point to all my side projects - had fun creating, learning and expanding my skillset, on another (local) map project.

Unofficial Map: The Noland Trail Transit Map, Newport News, Virginia


While I was working the original version of the Noland Trail Map, I had the thought to do an alternative edition of the map for fun. Enter, the Noland Trail Transit Map. Transit map versions of existing non-transit locations have been fairly popular this year, and i challenged myself to make one in ArcMap. Overall, i love the look of the final product, and i’ll throw a plug over to the Transit Maps Tumblr where i spent some time looking for inspiration.

The transit map edition of the Noland Trail map took about 2 nights to complete, and of course, proud to say it was done completely in ArcMap 10.1.

This version is available at both my imagekind shop and my society6 shop

Transit Maps says:

This is certainly a nifty “transit” map that Jonah Adkins, a GIS Professional from Newport News has put together. Having mile markers and bridges as the “stations” on the trail — actual, physical landmarks — is a smart move and helps make the map very usable as well as attractive.

As very minor notes, I’m not overly fond of the right-aligned text for the park information, although I can see why it’s been done that way. There’s also a couple of weird, inconsistent curves on the top left hand side of the map: Museum Drive has a couple of sharp angles in it, as opposed to the gentle curves used elsewhere, and Museum Drive and the Noland Trail itself nest poorly just above the South Entrance “station”. But — these are very minor quibbles indeed!

And you should also really go and look at Jonah’s actual map of the trail, which is abso-freaking-lutely gorgeous, and shows what GIS is capable of in the hands of a skilled practitioner.

University of Virginia University Transit Service (UTS) Map

Submitted by Justin Tran, who says:

This is a redesign I did of the University of Virginia’s University Transit Service (UTS) map. You can see the original here. It won’t be live until permanent repairs are done to a certain bridge on Grounds that has vastly detoured more than half of these routes.


Transit Maps says:

This is pretty nice work here from Justin. It’s definitely been hugely influenced by the London Underground map, but works nicely in this context. I do think that the single-direction bus stop “ticks” are a little clever for their own good and rely on referring to the map’s legend a little too much to understand them fully. Something as integral to a transit map as a bus stop shouldn’t really need any further explanation to be able to understand it. A small arrow indicating which direction of travel the bus stop serves is the usual approach to this problem.

For the most part, the map looks great, although some of the curves could flow a bit better, especially around the hospital on the middle right of the map and on the orange University Loop line around the stadium.

Our rating: A solid effort that wears its influences on its sleeve. Overthinks the problem a bit, affecting usability slightly. Three stars.

3 Stars

P.S. As an aside, the geographically accurate map that Justin links to (PDF) is also pretty darn good.

Amtrak Service to Norfolk, Virginia Begins Tomorrow!

To celebrate, I’ve updated my Amtrak Passenger Rail Map to reflect the new route. Check out a bigger view of the whole map on Flickr!

Prints available: Society6 | Zazzle (sizes up to 60x40 inches!)