Submission - Historical Map, Boston Elevated Railway System, 1932
Submitted by emotingviamemes, who says:
This is an old Boston Elevated Railway Company map from a user guide I purchased at the wonderful Ward Maps store in Cambridge, MA. It’s a lovely relic of its time! The rest of the guide gives transit directions to landmarks and points of interest. I’m not exactly sure why the modern day Blue and Red Lines are the same color on here, unless some color had faded with age.
Transit Maps says:
Yep, it’s a beauty alright!
I’ve given up trying to comprehensively date Boston maps (one of my readers always comes up with more accurate dating than me!), so I’m just putting it in the rough range of 1928 to 1938, mainly based on the existence of the Atlantic Avenue Elevated line.
Note: Steven Beaucher from Ward Maps has identified this as the 1932 map for me (see, I told you someone else would know!).
Regarding the route colours as shown, I’d just say that it was done in an effort to minimise the number of colours used in the print job. The “yellow” and “red” lines on this map run concurrently with each other between Haymarket and North Station and thus need some visual differentiation to make them easy to follow, while the two “blue” routes only cross other routes and don’t interact with each other, so they can safely use the same colour. Assignation of route colours back in those early days of transit map design was quite random: even early pre-Beck London Underground maps could never really decide which line got which colour. And remember that Boston’s modern route colours were only defined in the late 1960s when the famous “spider map” was introduced.
Historical Map: East Berlin U- and S-Bahn Map, 1988
Another amazing historical map from that most fascinating of transit map cities, Berlin. This one shows the U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks of East Berlin in July 1988, just over a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall. West Berlin is entirely omitted, with the S-Bahn ending at Friedrichstrasse with no indication of what lies further west of that point: not even a sektorengrenze.
The numbers at each station indicate the travel time from the nominal “centre” of each system – Ostkreuz for the S-Bahn and Alexanderplatz for the U-Bahn. A green square at a U-Bahn station indicates an interchange to main line trains.
The map itself is pretty basic and ugly, especially when compared to this map, made just five years previously. Route lines and labels head off in just about every possible direction and the whole thing has a very “thrown together” look. However, it’s a great historical document – one of the last East Berlin transit maps.
Source: Robin McMorran/Flickr
Illustration: Walking the Paris Métro by Hwan Lee
This is just beautiful.
Artist Hwan Lee has walked (yes, walked!) to 261 Métro stations in Paris, sketching their many and varied entrances, from the spectacular Hector Guimard-designed Art Nouveau édicules at Abbesses and Porte Dauphine to the more prosaic entrances of the modern Ligne 14. The lively sketches of each entrance are arranged nicely onto a stylised Métro map, with Lee’s walking path denoted by a trail of feet all over the city. Delightful!
Source: Hwan’s Behance profile
Historical Map: San Francisco BART & Buses Map, September 1977
Front cover for a 1977 map of BART and connecting bus services with some great late-1970s typography: tightly spaced Helvetica*, yum! That BART icon is also pretty amazing and is just asking to be digitally recreated. However, there’s something screwy about that map, as much of BART appears to be located in or underneath the San Francisco Bay. Global warming, perhaps?
Hardly: some quick Photoshop analysis reveals that the underlying map has simply been erroneously rotated 180 degrees and flipped horizontally: that’s the San Mateo Bridge at the “top” of the Bay. Whoops!
Source: Luke O’Rourke/Flickr
Historical Map: Rapid Transit Plan by the City of Seattle, 1920
Here’s an interesting map that shows a plan for rapid transit that city engineers envisioned for Seattle way back in 1920, almost 100 years ago!
The map shows a subway running beneath Third Avenue from Virginia to Yesler, coming to the surface near the railroad stations – essentially the route followed by the present-day Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Trains going up to Capitol Hill would follow a line up Pine Street that would be alternately underground and elevated, ending at 15th Avenue East. An elevated line would serve Pigeon Point in West Seattle, while surface rapid transit would connect with the existing streetcar service at stations in Fremont, lower Queen Anne, and the University District.
Source: Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr
Adorable Hand-Drawn Seoul Metro Map
Unofficial Map: “MetroMan” Beijing Subway Map by Lyt
Submitted by Xuan, who says:
Hey Cameron, I am wondering if you’d be interested in reviewing this unofficial subway map of my hometown - Beijing. The author is Lyt, aka lighthunter. I think his version is 100,000 times better than the official map. I think he deserves an ovation.
Although China now has the longest subway mileage in the world, most Chinese transit maps are hideous. That’s why I figure this map could be a really good addition to your blog.
Transit Maps says:
It saddens me to report that this map has been hiding way down at the bottom of my inbox for quite some time now. Quite simply put, this is gorgeous work and should have been posted a long time ago. It’s really everything you want a diagrammatic map to be: compact, simple, easy to understand, and beautiful to look at.
Future lines are shown, but pushed way down in the information hierarchy by making them all a light grey. Beijing’s multiple ring roads are also present, but only very faintly: a visual aid if you need it, barely noticeable if you don’t.
I particularly like the interesting station markers for non-interchange stations – instead of a tick or circle, a thin notch is taken out of the route line that also points towards the station’s label. Nicely done!
Our rating: By far the best Beijing Subway map that I’ve seen. Available on the iTunes as part of the "Metroman China Subway" app. Four-and-a-half stars!
Hard Rock Cafe - New York Subway Map Guitar Pin
As much as I hate to admit it, this is actually pretty darn awesome. With its 45-degree angles, it’s definitely channelling the Vignelli diagram far more than the squiggly official map.