BART Map Mosaic, Near MacArthur Station
An altogether lovely little piece of public art on an otherwise unremarkable trash can. Interestingly, this simple little map still attempts to show the part-time service on the Richmond/Millbrae line south of Daly City.
(Source: Jef Poskanzer/Flickr)
London Underground Abstract: Barbican
I’m totally loving this series of work by Nick Saltmarsh on Flickr. By zooming right in on details of the Tube Map, he makes us take another look at something that’s so familiar and ubiquitous.
Check out the full set here. Some are more successful than others, but all are interesting… and some make awesome abstract art pieces.
Hand Drawn-Map of Japanese Rail System by Wyton Chu
Okay, this is nothing short of amazing.
Drawing a complex transit system map is hard enough, even with computers and the precise drawing/drafting tools they offer. To draw something like this by hand and have it look so clean and accurate beggars belief. Love love love.
Click through to view a whole set of images of this remarkable piece on Flickr.
Video: Making of a London Underground String Map
Feeling creative? Why not make a string art replica of your favourite subway system as shown in this awesome video? The pro tip is definitely the taping down of the actual map before putting in the nails for guaranteed fidelity to the real thing.
(Source: fsm vpggru/Vimeo)
Illustration: New York City Subway Map
I’ve definitely witnessed people looking at the real map as if it resembled this — or worse.
Official Map: ART Bus System, Asheville, North Carolina
Submitted by Matthew Frazier, who says:
This is the new system map for ART, or Asheville Redefines Transit (a rather interesting name for a transit agency), from Asheville, North Carolina. I think this is a nice format for bus maps, balancing the stronger need for geographical accuracy with the simplicity of traditional rail maps.
(Though I do find it amusing that the “South” route S2 ends further north than it begins.)
Transit Maps says:
I think this map is the perfect counterpoint to the abysmal Des Moines DART map I featured earlier in week. It shows that it is possible for a smaller city to produce a visually attractive and useful transit map if they try hard enough. For the record, the populations of the greater Des Moines and Asheville regions are very similar: around 500,000 to 430,000 respectively, so we’re comparing apples to apples here.
In Asheville’s case, they went to the professionals for help rather than trying to do it alone with limited resources. This map was designed by Carticulate Maps, who always put a lot of creative thought into their transit maps — a good match for a system whose acronym is “ART”.
So what do they do right?
Excellent color choices for their route lines: there’s lots of contrast between adjacent routes with little chance of confusion. And while the layout of the map is geographically based, irrelevant information (noise) has been stripped out. We don’t need to see every street in the city, but enough remain for quick and easy orientation. The streets that are on the map are clearly labelled and lots of actual bus stops are indicated along routes, which is so much more useful than just a blank route line.
A comprehensive and easily understood legend that fully explains the map. Route designations that make sense to the average commuter help a lot here as well: “N” routes serve the northetn part of the city, “S” routes go south, and so on.
Intelligent use of insets to show the ends of outlying 170 and S3 routes keeps the map nice and compact, and the downtown inset is nicely implemented as well.
My problems with this map are fairly minor: There’s a fair bit of randomly angled type which makes quick scanning of the labels a little hard, and I’ve never been a huge fan of Gill Sans for map labelling: it has a very small x-height which makes the type appear very small.
Our rating: Top notch: imaginative and useful cartography. Four stars.
P.S. For an example of a great diagrammatic bus system map produced by a small US city, check out this Spokane, WA map. (Feb. 2012, 4 stars)
London’s iconic tube map is transformed into a pit-stop journey through classic styles of storytelling, with the individual tube lines turned into genres and sub genres of literature. The depths of the Northern Line are made over into the aptly named Horror Line. The Bakerloo Line coursing past Sherlock Holmes’s Baker Street becomes, of course, the Crime & Mystery Line. And the pink trajectory of the Hammersmith & City is converted to the Romance Line. Each Storyline features a range of illustrations bringing to life both classics and mavericks from that theme, with a genre-defining work lurking at each journey’s end. Stations falling on intersecting Storylines get a sub-genre cross over. Many many days and weeks were spent researching and crafting this piece.
Normally, I’m not a huge fan of the whole “let’s use a well known transit map and replace the station names with something else” thing, but I’m going to make an exception for this stunning poster by artist Anna Burles. This is beautifully done, and — for once — the interchanges between the genre/route lines have actually been thought about properly.
Paris Metro / French Knot
Nicely executed embroidery and framing - a fun idea for something to do with those metro maps you picked up while backpacking around Europe!
This is so gorgeous. Says a lot about the subway’s importance and place in New York’s collective psyche that it’s featured so prominently in the design, cutting vibrant coloured slashes across the landscape. Click through to Jenni’s site to see more of this stunning work.