Tuesday, May 23, 2017

a geographically accurate New York City subway map

Sorry it's light and hard to see, but I'm not at my laptop to give it a shot of photoshop to boost the colors, contrast, and tints. What you can see though, if you click on it for full size, is that it's realistic

unlike the geometically abstract lines and curves method of Vignelli's 70's style we are used to


here's another example, this is London's Underground

above a very recent print out only released due to a customer sending in a Freedom Of Information request, vs below, the standard geometry abstract showing relative positions on each train route made in 1931.

Created in 1933, Harry Beck's Tube map is a classic of map design and has been copied around the world.

 Its main innovation was to show the network's stations not in their geographic locations, but in position relative to one another. The map was introduced in 1933.

Reasoning that travellers only wanted to know how to get from one station to another, he drew the Tube lines as running either vertically, horizontally or at 45 degree diagonals. Beck also enlarged the crowded central area of the map in order to make it easier to read.

However, this method has severe drawbacks, as in his 1995 travel book, Notes From A Small Island, Bill Bryson describes how a stranger to London would get from Bank to Mansion House using the Tube map. He said he would take the Central Line to Liverpool Street, and then change to the Circle Line for another five stops to Mansion House. He would then emerge to find himself just 200 yards down the street where he had started from.

While the 1933 Beck map is indisputably easy to understand, it can create confusion for people not used to its distortive effect. Previous research has suggested that as much as 30 per cent of the network's passengers take a longer route between two stations.

 Critics say that because the map cannot be relied upon to provide accurate distances between stations, travellers are needlessly tempted to spend time and money travelling between two destinations by Tube rather than by walking.

Professor Guo trained worked as a consultant for Transport for London in 2006. He has since written a number of academic papers on London's transport system. He is likely to have chosen to study London's network as its world-famous map is one of the most geographically distorted in the world.


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