Single Journey Ticket Issuing Machine, Hong Kong
I’m loving how the Hong Kong MTR map (April 2012, 4 stars) has been integrated into the ticket-purchasing process. It’s as easy as selecting the station you’re travelling to on the screen, inserting money, and getting your ticket: Ticketing and route information all in one!
Submission - Aerial Transit Map of Salt Lake City, Utah
Submitted by Aaron Sebright, who says:
After seeing the aerial maps of the New York City Subway system and Portland’s Rail system, I decided to try it out on my home city of Salt Lake City! Granted that at the end of the year, it will have three light rail lines, one street car line and one commuter rail line it is even simpler than Portland’s at this scale. (Not pictured in this photo is the Sugarhouse Streetcar line). But seeing as when I move to SLC two years ago, the green line in the lower left corner and the purple line (Frontrunner commuter rail) from downtown to the right side of the picture didn’t even exist yet, this system is making a lot of progress in a very short time.
Transit Maps says:
Not a lot to add to this, except to agree about the rapid progress that SLC has made with its rail transit. Now, if only they’d fix their darn maps…
Photo credit: Ron Reiring/Flickr (Creative Commons attribution license)
Unofficial Map: Circular Sydney Suburban Railways by Maxwell Roberts
I have to admit: I’m still not entirely convinced by either the usability or the aesthetics the new “circular transit maps” design trend. However, I think I’ll make an exception for this diagram of my hometown of Sydney, Australia, which is… just beautiful.
Designed by the man at the vanguard of this design movement, Maxwell Roberts, this map actually has a lot of visible advantages over the current official Sydney rail map (Sept. 2012, 3.5 stars), not the least of which is consistent, evenly spaced station labels (all of which are set horizontally).
Wisely, Roberts has confined his map to Greater Sydney alone (i.e., the standard suburban services only, rather than including interurban services to far-distant places like Newcastle, Nowra and Goulburn), something I actually advocate for the official map as well. This is what gives the map far more room to breathe than the official one.
The “hub” of the map is obvious: the aptly-named “City Circle” that loops through Sydney’s CBD, and everything radiates out from there. The visual highlight for me is the treatment of the Cumberland Line, which is one of the few lines that doesn’t route through the city itself — running instead from Blacktown to Campbelltown in Sydney’s far western suburbs. It’s shown as one lovely, giant, sweeping arc for most of its route, which suits its orbital role in the system perfectly.
However, the radial treatment does mean that some destinations are in a slightly unexpected place: Bondi Junction appears far further north than it should be, while in reality Epping and Carlingford stations are just a few kilometres apart, not the vast distance they appear to be here.
The treatment of the inner west light rail line (curiously called the “Lilyfield Tram” here) is also a little problematic, as it appears to extend almost all the way to Meadowbank. In reality, Lilyfield is pretty much due north of Stanmore, much closer to the city’s core. However, station labelling requirements pretty much demand that the route line extends this far on the map, and it’s no worse than the official map in its execution. Some mode differentiation between this route and the main line trains would have been nice, as well as a note that the two systems currently use different fare systems with limited transfers between them.
Minor quibble: “Saint James”, “Saint Marys”, “Saint Peters” and “Saint Leonards” should be written as “St. James”, “St. Marys”, “St. Peters”, “St. Leonards”. No signage in the Sydney system spells out the “Saint”.
Finally, the map is missing the informational icons that are present on the official map — disabled access, parking, etc. — which makes for a much cleaner look, but at the expense of important information.
Our rating: Probably the most aesthetically pleasing circular map I’ve seen yet, quite lovely in its execution. Missing a lot of information that’s present on the official map, so it’s hard to do an “apples-to-apples” comparison. Let’s call it a draw. Three-and-a-half-stars.
Source: Crikey.com.au — The Urbanist
P.S. - For more information on Mr. Roberts’ circular maps, visit his website by clicking here.
From The Field - More Denver Distortion
Another weirdly squashed map of Denver’s light rail system: this time compressed horizontally. Would it have killed them to make the sign a little wider?
Taken at the 18th & California station.
Submission - Unofficial Map: Portland, Oregon Rail Network by Taylor Gibson
When Taylor sent through his aerial photo map of Portland the other day, he also submitted this very interesting isometric map of the city’s rail network (MAX, WES and streetcar). Tyler is a self-proclaimed “total newbie at making transit maps”, but this is definitely a pretty solid effort.
Highly reminiscent of this isometric map of Stuttgart (Oct 2011, 5 stars), the 30-degree-angled route lines allow station labels to be set horizontally without clashing with each other, even in the congested downtown area. The only real problem area is the almost unavoidable mess created by the four separate “Pioneer Square” stations right in the middle of the map. I’ve noticed that these have been consolidated into one “mega-station” on TriMet’s new in-car maps, and that’s definitely a cleaner, more sensible approach to the problem in my eyes.
I also see a little influence from my own map of Portland’s rail system: both in the layout of the legend, and the fact that Taylor has decided to show the new MAX line to Milwaulkie as an extension of the Yellow Line, rather than the commonly expected “Orange Line”.
I do have a few minor criticisms: text in general is a little small and hard to read, although I can see how larger text would cause layout problems (perhaps a condensed typeface could solve this), and there are a couple of confusing label clashes: the parking symbol for Gateway TC is right on top of the station marker for Parkrose/Sumner TC, for example. It’s also a little sad to see the streetcar relegated to thin unlabelled lines, but the space limitations of the map almost demand this treatment.
Still, for a “newbie”, this is pretty darn awesome. Great work, Taylor!
Submission - Aerial Photo Transit Map of Portland, Oregon
Submitted to the Transit Maps Facebook page by Taylor Gibson. While nowhere near as complex as the New York system featured previously, it’s still an interesting look at a successful rail transit system.
For those unfamiliar with Portland, the thicker lines (Yellow, Green, Blue and Red — shown here as pink for visual clarity, I think) are the MAX light rail, while the thinner aqua and lime green lines are the Portland Streetcar, which has recently expanded to the eastern side of the Willamette River (the top half of this photo).
Eventually, the aqua “Loop” streetcar line will cross back over to the western side of the Willamette at the extreme right of this photo via the new transit-only bridge that is currently being constructed. The bridge will also carry buses, pedestrians, cyclists and the new Orange MAX line.
(Photo Source: DubbaG/Wikipedia — Creative Commons License)
Historical Map: Bank-Monument Tube Stations Cutaway (1990s?)
Not a traditional transit map per se, but a stunningly beautiful technical illustration of the interlinking tubes and tunnels that form the connected Bank-Monument tube station complex in London. Built as separate stations, but linked by escalators in the 1930s (the depiction of which proved a permanent puzzle for H.C. Beck on his Tube Map), the complex is the ninth-busiest London Underground station,
What I love here is that we’re looking at over 100 years of infrastructure development: the original Monument station (first called “Eastcheap” and then “The Monument”) opened in 1884; the “City” end of the Waterloo and City Line in 1898; Bank station (named after the Bank of London) opened in 1900. Over 100 years after the first part of the complex was opened, the deep station for the DLR was completed in 1991.
Compare to a similar cutaway of the Hudson River Tubes from 1909.
(Source: Original source unknown, image from skyscrapercity.com forum post)
Future Map: “ProjectConnect” Central Texas High-Capacity Transit Vision
I’ve featured a couple of dodecalinear maps recently (both for Amsterdam — here and here), but this future transit map for Austin and San Antonio has got ‘em covered. It’s a hexadecalinear map. That is, there are sixteen possible directions for a route line to head from any given point.
Interestingly however, the angles between the route lines aren’t evenly arranged. Instead of 0 - 22.5 - 45 - 67.5 - 90 degree arrangement, this map uses 0 - 26.5 - 45 - 63.5 - 90. Ultimately, it doesn’t make a huge visual difference, and the resulting grid is adhered to accurately. If anything, it helps to limit the width of the map because of the long diagonal line from Austin to San Antonio.
Normally, I’d say that a 16-directional transit map is total overkill, seeing as most maps only have eight directions to move in and manage perfectly well, but this actually looks very striking and effective while probably also more closely conforming to the actual geography of the area. The legend is also excellent, clearly delineating currently operating, planned and under construction routes for all the transit modes.
I’m not so keen on the completely unnecessary angled labels for many of the stations: there’s plenty of room for horizontal labelling on this map (it’s okay for the street names to follow the direction of the road). The project logo is also pretty blandly generic and doesn’t really fit in with the stylish look of the map itself (Neutraface at work again!)
Our rating: Attractive and full of promise for the future — hugely important in trying to affect a change of mind-set regarding transportation options in a auto-reliant area like Texas (where — like large parts of the U.S. — the most popular new vehicle is a Ford F-150). Four stars!
(Source: Project Connect website)
Submission: Global Subway Spectrum
Submitted by Nick Rougeux, who says:
I’ve been following your blog for a little while now and have really enjoyed your posts on transit maps — both familiar and completely new to me. I’ve recently become interested in different ways of looking at maps from a data standpoint. I’ve attached a screenshot of a project I just released that I thought you or your readers may enjoy. It’s not a map or diagram but it’s a data visualization based on the colors used in all the official rapid transit diagrams from around the world and where they are on a global spectrum of colors.
Transit Maps says:
Quite simply, this is phenomenal work. Seeing how route colours are used by transit maps around the world is absolutely fascinating, and the number of ways that Nick presents the data is astounding. As a designer, I can see that this could be an invaluable tool for creating a colour palette for maps, although I wish that the charts included the RGB or Hex values for each colour for easy reference. I could easily lose track of time exploring this!
(Source: Nick’s Global Subway Spectrum website)
Official Map: Everything Old is New Again for the Madrid Metro
Over the weekend, Madrid rolled out a new map for its comprehensive Metro and light rail system. After six long and controversial years, the previous map (March 2012, 2.5 stars) — with everything reduced to severe 90-degree angles and very little spatial relationship to the real world — has been consigned to the dustbin.
In its place, a new map that looks strangely familiar. The design of the map has returned in-house and Metro’s designers have obviously looked to the more traditional maps of the past for inspiration: the layout in the central part of Madrid is almost identical to the 1981 map, even taking into account new route lines.
The map also features the Metro’s new controversy: the renaming of Sol station as “Vodafone Sol”, with the telephone company’s logo and distinctive red featured prominently on the map at that location (right in the middle!). Apparently, the cost of producing new maps and brochures is funded by this measure, so we can’t really complain too much, I guess…
Personally, I like this map much better than the previous one, although it’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The treatment of terminus stations is clumsy and inconsistent, and the banded fare zones are too hard on the eye — much as they are on the current London Underground map. One thing I do miss from the previous map is the indication of how long (in minutes) transfers between platforms at the bigger interchange stations could take.
Our rating: A (welcome) blast from the past! Three-and-a-half stars.
(Source: Metro de Madrid website)