Soon-to-be-Official Map: Tram Network of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
Submitted by Alexander Zaytsev, who says:
Hey Cameron and Transit Maps readers! I’d like to show you the first transit map that in my portfolio. Here are the tram routes of one of the largest Ukrainian cities — Dnipropetrovsk. This unofficial map is going to be official very soon :) What do you think?
Transit Maps says:
I like it! Clear and easy to follow a route line from one end to the other. The map retains enough information to relate to the city’s street grid, which is more important for trams than it might be for a subway or Metro. The little jogs in the red Line 1 are a good example: I’d hate that kind of fussy detail on a subway map, but here it tells the reader that the line briefly jumps across to another street on its way through the downtown area. The little dogleg that Lines 4 and 12 take is also a nice visualisation of the actual street layout.
Interestingly, while the map shows connections to main line railway stations (denoted by a steam train icon!), it doesn’t indicate the Dnipropetrovsk Metro in any way. While I understand that the Metro isn’t exactly anything to write home about with just six stations and declining ridership, I think that some sort of acknowledgement of it of this map would be useful.
Apart from that, the only thing I’m not too sure about is the thinning of the route lines as they approach the big loop in the centre of the map. While I can understand the desire to save a little bit of space where five lines run concurrently, I don’t think the result is worth the effort. The orange Line 17 looks particularly off-kilter as it approaches the loop from the south, very obviously leaning to the right.
Our rating: A solid, earnest effort that’s clear and easy to use — far better than many maps of similarly-sized tram systems. Three-and-a-half stars!
Historical Map: Thüringerwaldbahn Tram Mural, Tabarz, East Germany, 1989
A photo from 1989 of a newly-painted mural celebrating 60 years of the Thüringerwaldbahn, an interurban tram service running 22km between Gotha and Tabarz.
As the original poster on Flickr notes, the scale of the map is “fanciful”, but it’s really meant more as a (rather lovely) decorative overview than an actual map.
I’d be interested to know if the mural is still there, some 24-odd years later.
Historical Map: Montreal Tramways Company, 1941
Here’s a very handsome map of transit in 1941 Montreal, provided by the Montreal Tramways Company, or La Compagnie des Tramways de Montreal. Despite the name, there’s also a healthy (and growing) number of bus routes on this map, shown in blue.
Cleverly, the map rotates the city away from true north in order to fit everything onto the sheet of paper allocated, and the north pointer used is simply lovely, even including the company’s “MTC” monogram.
The map does a lot with just three colours, clearly differentiating between bus and tram services while highlighting regular services versus supplementary/rush hour ones with a minimum of fuss. The callout boxes for main stations are lovely, with the names contained within an ornate scroll at the top of the box.
My favourite part of the map, however, is how it effortlessly deals with the requirement to present information in both French and English. It even goes so far as to have one information box say “Index of/des Routes” while the other states “Index des/of Routes”, so that no-one feels that the other side got a better deal.
Finally, the roundel that the MTC uses for its logo looks awfully familiar...
Our rating: Quite lovely — clear and stylish. Four stars!
Historical Map: Berlin BGV Map Detail, 1931
Lovely informational clarity in this detail from a beautiful 1931 map of Berlins transit - tram, bus and U-Bahn. Of particular note is how all labelling that is not directly related to the transit routes is rendered in a visually pleasing and subordinate light grey.
(Source: IsarSteve — Around and About in Berlin)
Official Map: Public Transport Network of Debrecen, Hungary
Sent my way via a comment left on the website regarding the woeful map of Szeged, Hungary (Sept. 2013, 0.5 stars), here’s another truly awful transit map from Hungary: this one from its second-largest city, Debrecen.
In short, it’s an absolute disaster.
Route lines branch off in any direction (no constraining angles to 45-degree increments for this bad boy!), while labels are jammed in wherever they can fit, at any old angle. The labelling is so bad, that the map has a large part of the legend at the bottom left devoted to defining abbreviations that are used in an attempt to shorten names to make them fit! At least none of the labels cut through route lines, but the means don’t justify the ends here.
Technically, even the curved parts of the route lines are actually short sections of straight paths that simulate a curve (badly), making me think that this has been put together in CAD software, rather than a design/illustration application.
The strangely subdued colour scheme (a lot of pastel pinks, purples and greys) doesn’t help matters either: there’s very little contrast between a lot of adjacent route lines, which makes following them difficult.
Almost apologetically, the text above the legend states: “Attention! Map not to scale.”
Our rating: An absolute eyesore. This style of map is fairly common for bus/tram networks in Europe, and can work when executed well (see Viteks Bariševs’ unofficial map of Riga, Latvia), but this is definitely not working at all. No stars.
(Source: Official DKV site — also an “interactive” Flash-based version of the same map, and an SVG download if you want to open it up in Illustrator for some laughs)
Historical Map: Tramways and Trolley Bus Routes of Shanghai, 1939
At first glance, this appears to be a basic map outlining tram and trolley bus routes within Shanghai’s International Settlement, dated December 1939. It’s only when you read the legend that you start to realise the greater historical context of this map.
The statement that accompanies the dotted route lines in the legend simply states "No service in operation at present due to circumstances beyond the company’s control" — an massive understatement of the volatile situation in Shanghai at that time.
It’s just two years after the brutal Battle of Shanghai, and the Chinese parts of the city outside the International Settlement and French Concession are fully occupied by invading Japanese forces. Fighting between the Japanese and Chinese revolutionaries often spilled over the (supposedly neutral) settlements’ borders, which probably explains the reluctance of the transit company to guarantee service.
In 1941, the Japanese army entered and occupied the International Settlement in the immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor — the long-running Sino-Japanese war was now absorbed into the Pacific front of World War II.
Our rating: Not an amazing map of itself, but the history that it hints at is fascinating and deserves to be better known. 5 stars!
Detail, Transit Map of Milan, Italy
A detail of a city-wide map showing the approximate limits of the historical centre of Milan. I’m guessing that this is located in or near the Duomo Metro station, based on the way that the map is worn away at that point — as I’ve mentioned before, many users will actually point to their starting location on a map as they trace their intended route.
Tge thick green/yellow/red lines are the Metro, blue lines are the tram and brown/maroon lines would be buses. Numbers in circles show route termini; numbers in squares allow you to follow a route from point to point.
The area shown here is actually easily walkable without the use of public transport, unless you’re in a hurry, I guess!
This is an aerial view of surface public transport routes in Budapest, Hungary – the idea came from the work of Taylor Gibson posted on transitmaps.tumblr.com.
Following the general convention in Budapest, bus lines are blue, trams are yellow, trolleys are red, and suburban railways are shown in green. As for the direction of the image, the Danube flows approximately from the north (upper right corner) to the south (lower left corner). Elevation is shown with a vertical distortion factor of 2.0.
There are a few notable elements in the picture. First, there are three tram lines that go up the hills in the upper left corner – the middle one is actually a cog-wheel railway, now classified as a tram by BKK, the operator. Second, the two suburban railway lines going southward are not connected: there is about only 500 meter between the two, and while the connection has been planned for many years, there is no timeframe set for the completion. Third, notice that trolleybuses are only running on the Pest side of the city. While there used to be a line in Buda, it was destroyed in the second world war. New lines in Pest were opened in late forties and early fifities, then more were added in the 70’s and 80’s, mostly replacing old tram lines which ran in the narrow streets of Pest.
The extensive night bus system of the city is not shown in this image.
Nice work! The radial nature of transit here is immediately evident, and the lack of trolleybuses on the “Buda” side of the river is fascinating.
Future Map: Paris Métro, RER and Tram Expansion Plans to 2030
Once hemmed in by old city walls, then by the Boulevard Périphérique, the Paris Métro has rarely ventured outside the city proper into the suburbs. That is about to change with the ambitious “Le Grand Paris” plans shown here. Extensions of the existing Métro Lines 11 and 14 will take them far out into the Île-de-France, while new Lines 15, 16, 17 and 18 will encircle the region with orbital routes. Extensions to the RER E and a comprehensive network of regional trams will complement the system. All this is planned to be completed in just 17 years’ time, by 2030.
Historical Map: Tramways System of Perth, Australia, 1920
An absolutely lovely official government map of Perth’s burgeoning tram network in 1920. The Western Australian state government had taken over the system from private operators just a few years prior to this. The alternating colours along the routes would seem to indicate fare segments, at a penny per segment. Five pence fare to Nedlands!
The map is beautifully drawn, and has two cleverly integrated insets to show the longer routes out to Osborne Park to the north and Victoria Park over the Swan River to the south.
Compare with this map from the 1940s.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)