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Thread: Subway Maps

  1. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Win, Lose, Draw: The Great Subway Map Wars

    “Londoners are actually unclear about how close one stop is to the next,” he said. “But a lot of Manhattanites could tell you authoritatively how long it would take to walk from Fifth and 28th to Seventh and 44th. So the geographic discrepancies in the Vignelli map, which are no more than those you find in lots of subway maps around the world — they’re just glaring.”
    It would be interesting as to how Mr Beiruit came to his conclusion because I bet most Londoners and even non-Londoners such as myself could contradict that statement.

    The Vignelli map does work, its just that it looks a bit too gharish - a change of colours away from the almost disco-look and it would easily be more expressive of the New York rail system. Use the current colours, but a Beck-inspired design and it would look far more cleaner and clearer than it is now.

  2. #17
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    I can see Stuy Town


    out of curiosity, what do you consider unclear about the current NYC map?

  3. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Fahzee View Post
    out of curiosity, what do you consider unclear about the current NYC map?
    Seems pretty clear to me.

  4. #19


    It's clear, but I don't like how it fudges land masses/distances in places where there is no service. For instance, the way how the Upper West and East Sides are compressed down to less than the width of Central Park, whereas the UES is more like twice the width. Overall it's quite fine, but when it comes to maps, I want things to be exact.

  5. #20


    ^ That's right, it's partly a public relations document. But what isn't, these days?

  6. #21

    Default Google Transit Expands to New York

    September 23, 2008, 10:48 am

    Google Transit Expands to New York

    By Sewell Chan

    A host of public officials and the founders of Google assembled at Grand Central Terminal this morning to announce the start of New York’s version of Google Transit, an online feature that they said would transform the experience of navigating New York City’s transit system, the nation’s busiest.

    “It is a very complicated transit system, and it just got less complicated today with the advent of Google Maps for transit,” Gov. David A. Paterson said, noting that the subway system opened with 9.1 miles of lines in 1904, and that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority now serves a territory of 5,000 square miles.

    The array of public officials present reflected Google’s economic might, particularly at a time when Wall Street’s meltdown has left the city and state economy reeling. Not only did the governor and leaders of the M.T.A. attend the Grand Central news conference, but so did Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, representing the Bloomberg administration, and officials of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and of New Jersey Transit.

    “It just gives me great personal pleasure to be able to help even in a tiny way this fantastic public transportation system,” Sergey Brin, one of Google’s founders, said at the news conference. The company’s other founder, Larry Page, said he even hoped the tool would “help congestion, help the economy over all.”

    Google has already presented online maps for several transit systems around the world, and several New York companies have provided similar services, like, but the new Google tool has unprecedented support from public officials. (The M.T.A. even posted a link to Google Transit on its Web site, along with a Google training video. And the M.T.A. allowed Google to install 10 demonstration kiosks where users can try out the new tool, until 5 p.m. today.)

    The tool — which encompasses the M.T.A.’s subways, buses and two commuter railroads, along with the PATH and New Jersey Transit commuter lines — appears far more sophisticated than existing online trip planners like Trips123, a site that was built with public financing.

    It also seems to offer a key distinction from other, prior services: Users do not need to specifically for transit information. Instead, they are shown transit routes, stations and stops even if are merely searching for, say, a bagel store.

    H. Dale Hemmerdinger, chairman of the M.T.A., said that Google Transit Maps will “reflect online what is clear on the ground: the M.T.A. is critical to the region’s mobility, economy and environment.”

    Elliot G. Sander, chief executive and executive director of the M.T.A., said the partnership with Google “builds upon” other customer-oriented initiatives, including real-time text alerts informing riders of “planned and unplanned service disruptions” and cellphone service in the subways.

    Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for search products and user experience, said that Google and the M.T.A. had some unexpected similarities.

    Both organizations are committed to “getting people where they need to be as efficiently as possible,” she said, even noting that Google has a free shuttle system that transports more than 1,000 employees on about 30 routes within 50 miles of its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    John Hanke, the founder of Google Earth, said the New York project started with a small group of employees who wanted to “promote the use of public transit as an alternative to people driving cars.” Google employees are allowed to spend 20 percent of their time on self-directed projects, and these employees used that time to pursue their passion for public transit, he said.

    Mr. Hanke said that Google had already introduced the tool for transit systems in cities like Austin, Portland, and Los Angeles, but that the truer test of the feature was whether it could also serve the world’s largest transit systems, like London, Paris, Tokyo and New York. (Google Transit covers Tokyo, but not yet London or Paris.)

    Tom Sly, a Google business development manager who demonstrated the new tool using a mobile devices, showed how the transit feature worked with Google’s street view tool. Google Transit plans itineraries, using transit schedules supplied by the M.T.A. to provide estimates for how long a given subway or bus ride would take.

    Christopher P. Boylan, the M.T.A.’s vice president for external affairs, said that the authority had made its extensive data on route schedules available to Google - but that it was available to other software developers as well.

    “Google has taken our raw data, so we haven’t interpreted it specifically for them,” Mr. Boylan said. “That data is available to other map entities also.”

    Ms. Mayer, one of Google’s top executives, said that a lot of people come to me to show their 20percent time projects,” and offer a demo.

    Ms. Mayer said the initiative was the brainchild of two California-based employees, Avichal Garg and Chris Harrelson, who approached her with the idea in June 2006. Portland, Ore., which had its schedule and routing information readily available, was the first city available on Google Transit, starting in November 2006.

    At one point, when the volume of the New York data became apparent, “Avichal said, ‘We’re not ready yet for all the data they’re going to send us,’” and Ms. Mayer urged him to press on, even though “obviously New York is far more comprehensive and vast” than other cities with transit systems. “Take the data,” she told him.

    Mr. Hanke added, “A lot of our work ended up being done in our Zurich office,” saying, “We’re the first major online mapping company to embrace public transportation.” He said that Google employees in Europe and Japan helped push along the initiative.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  7. #22
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    On the Vaunted City Subway Map, Mistakes and Phantom Blocks


    The story unfurls along the West Side of the city’s hallowed underground cartography, more than 30 years after a zealous band of mapmakers first converged to reimagine New York’s sprawling jigsaw of subway lines.

    Their task was formidable: devise a modern guide to replace the old map, designed by Massimo Vignelli in 1972 with an artist’s touch but a less-than-faithful adherence to the city’s true geography.

    Success was claimed. Credit was fought over. Feelings were hurt.

    And now it can be told: Mistakes were made.

    On the West Side of Manhattan, beginning near Lincoln Center and extending toward the campus of Columbia University, Broadway is seemingly misplaced. It is west of Amsterdam Avenue at West 66th Street when it should be east. It drifts toward West End Avenue near 72nd Street, where it should intersect with Amsterdam. It overtakes West End Avenue north of the avenue’s actual endpoint near West 107th Street, creating several blocks of fictitious Upper West Side real estate.

    These unintended inaccuracies exist in current versions of the map — and have in some cases been exacerbated.

    “That’s a mea culpa,” said John Tauranac, 72, who presided over the committee charged with redesigning the Vignelli map in 1979, and discovered the errors only a few weeks ago.

    He stared down at his loafers, with the map spread out across his coffee table.

    “I’m more than embarrassed,” he said softly.

    Many New Yorkers have undoubtedly noticed that the subway map has its geographic faults, from peccadilloes like a wayward street to more obvious inaccuracies like the supersize island of Manhattan.

    But Mr. Tauranac’s sheepish discovery of the errors has at once rekindled and complicated a long-simmering debate over who deserves credit for the watershed 1979 guide. Michael Hertz, whose firm is credited with designing the initial template for the map, has long chafed at Mr. Tauranac’s calling himself the “design chief” on a project that has garnered numerous accolades, including a commendation from the United States Department of Transportation and the National Endowment of the Arts.

    “We’ve had parallel careers,” Mr. Hertz said in a telephone interview. “I design subway maps, and he claims to design subway maps.”

    After years of publicizing his role in print, in lectures and on his Web site, Mr. Tauranac has a new strategy that is his most inventive yet, Mr. Hertz said. By taking the blame for the blunders, he said, Mr. Tauranac implicitly assumed credit for the rest. “That’s his shtick,” Mr. Hertz said.

    But he appeared in no hurry to take responsibility for the mistakes himself.

    “He’s overseeing the project,” Mr. Hertz said, adding that he himself perhaps deserved some blame, but “not as much” as Mr. Tauranac. “I was not an expert on the geography of the city,” he said.

    Presented with Mr. Tauranac’s findings, Adam Lisberg, chief spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the agency would consider amending future editions of the subway map, provided the changes did not distort its clarity.

    But Mr. Lisberg took care to cast the Broadway quirks, particularly those near Lincoln Center, not as errors but as the byproduct of “design decisions” on a map that is not intended to be precise. He said he was not aware of any rider complaints about the West Side geography ever having been recorded.

    “This is not a street map,” Mr. Lisberg said. “This is a subway map.”

    Nonetheless, those responsible for the oversights were disheartened. Nobu Siraisi, an artistic director for the map in 1979, said that he, like Mr. Tauranac, had never noticed the faulty geography. Indeed, he was reluctant to believe that anyone on the team had made a mistake.

    “No, no, no,” said Mr. Siraisi, 77, his voice growing pained, after being told of the errors. He checked for himself, then returned to the telephone.

    “There is no justification,” he said.

    One gaffe, at least, was amended more than 30 years ago. On a set of proof sheets printed during the design process, Mr. Hertz said, Manhattan had been spelled with only one “t.” No copies ever reached customers’ hands, he said, adding that he believed Mr. Siraisi was the culprit for the misspelling.

    The most egregious error, perhaps, is the treatment of West End Avenue near West 110th Street, mere blocks from Mr. Tauranac’s apartment. Though the avenue is subsumed by Broadway near West 107th Street, the 1979 map incorrectly showed the two merging three blocks north, at the station entrance for the No. 1 train. On the current map, West End Avenue has inexplicably been extended to around West 116th Street, forging roughly nine blocks of phantom terrain.

    Pedestrians on Broadway in this area can stumble upon an Ivy League university or gaze through the windows of Tom’s Restaurant, of “Seinfeld” fame. They can find a copy of “Pride and Prejudice” for $2 at a stand on West 112th Street, and, four blocks south, a taco for 50 cents more. They can even sip mojitos at Havana Central at the West End, near West 114th Street.
    But they will never find West End Avenue between Broadway and Riverside Drive.

    Mr. Tauranac, who has for years assailed Mr. Vignelli for such inaccuracies as having Bowling Green north of Rector Street, said the revelations had forced him to re-evaluate his harsh judgments of Mr. Vignelli, 81. “It really has dulled my attack, that’s for sure,” Mr. Tauranac said.

    Moments later, he retrieved from his office the May 2008 copy of Men’s Vogue, featuring an updated Vignelli map “every bit as terrible a map as he designed in 1972,” to Mr. Tauranac’s eye.
    “I’m happy to see that he’s mellowing,” Mr. Vignelli said.

  8. #23
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    A Redesign of the Subway Map, From One of Its Designers


    John Tauranac A new map of the New York City subway system designed by John Tauranac,
    who designed the map currently in use, shows lines that do not yet exist, like the Second Avenue Line.
    The new map is not, however, an official transit system map.

    John Tauranac’s description of his new subway map mentions symbols like a little orange disc for outdoor stations, and a “no U-turn” icon that might be helpful if you overshoot a station and wonder whether you will have to pay another fare when you switch to a train heading back the opposite way.

    Mr. Tauranac also notes that his map has a new typeface: Myriad, Apple’s corporate font since 2002, instead of Helvetica.

    Only then does Mr. Tauranac mention that the new map shows subways that you cannot take. Not yet, anyway.

    It shows the planned extension of the No. 7 line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, which is not expected to be ready for passenger service until next June. It also includes the Second Avenue subway; its first phase is not scheduled to be completed until December 2016.

    The yet-to-be-completed lines appear in fainter colors than the existing lines, but Mr. Tauranac said that showing the Second Avenue subway, in particular, was meant to be an eye-opener.

    “The assumption is it will go down Second Avenue,” he said. But the map shows that it will have only three stops on Second Avenue, at 96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street. Then it will turn along East 63rd Street and run along the tracks that carry N and R trains.

    Mr. Tauranac has had a hand in many subway maps of one kind or another since 1979, but was not the Anaximander of the subways. Anaximander, as every map lover surely knows, is the pre-Socratic philosopher who is thought by some scholars to have devised the first map of the world. (He thought that the earth was shaped like a cylinder, but that the inhabited part was flat.)

    So there were subway maps before Mr. Tauranac led the Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee that produced a redesigned map of the subways in 1979, the map that remains the basis for the agency’s current map.

    But the authority had nothing to do with his new map. Mr. Tauranac and the authority parted ways in the mid-1980s; he says he was “declared redundant.”

    A spokesman for the authority said it would start showing the longer No. 7 line and the Second Avenue subway on its maps “when they open.” The route and station locations are already shown on the agency’s Web site.

    Mr. Tauranac said he was still trying to redress “problems” that are now 40 years old, dating to the official map that preceded the 1979 map. That earlier map, the one that many found to be aesthetically pleasing, was somewhat lacking in precision.

    “There was no attempt to show geographic perspective on that map,” Mr. Tauranac said. “Broadway at 50th Street was shown west of Eighth Avenue.”

    “Bowling Green was north of Rector Street,” he added. “If you get out of the subway thinking Bowling Green is north of Rector Street, how are you going to find Rector Street?”

    Mr. Tauranac published a “quasi-geographic” map in the 1990s, but it has been out of print for years, he said. Time for some modernizing, and not just about which trains stop at which stations.

    In a world in which the “@” symbol has become ubiquitous, perhaps it is not surprising that Mr. Tauranac has found a new use for it. He added a locator for the 72nd Street station on the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 lines: “Broadway @ Amsterdam Avenue.” A similar locator places the 66th Street station on the No. 1 line: “Broadway @ Columbus Avenue.”

    For the 72nd Street station, he said he wanted to make clear the kinds of details that bleary-eyed morning commuters probably do not notice: Uptown cars and buses, on the east side of the station, are actually on Amsterdam Avenue (the downtown traffic is on Broadway).

    As for the West 66th Street station, he said, one entrance to the No. 1 line is on Columbus Avenue.

    One problem he did not try to fix was at Columbus Circle.

    “If you are standing on the corner of 59th Street and Eighth Avenue,” Mr. Tauranac said, “or the corner of Central Park West and Central Park South, you’re not going to find a street sign that says 59th Street.”

    But he did deal grapple the West Fourth Street station, which has no entrance or exit on West Fourth Street.

    “I said West Third to Eighth” below the station’s name, he said. Or in the space-constrained language of his map, “W 3-8 Sts.”

  9. #24


    IDK if this is kosher but I produce a series of subway map posters and damn if there ain't some people here who would dig it.

    They can be found at my site

  10. #25
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Subway Maps Of Yore Show Evolution Of Font, Color, Priorities

    September 3, 2013, by Hana R. Alberts

    Subway maps are a passion of many, and an obsession of few many, too. Modern-day cartographers are into redesigning and re-envisioning New York's underground transit to the nth degree—for example, superimposing the system on an aerial map or modifying the design as we know it to include rings. Even the mastermind behind 1979's version has gone back to meticulously revise his work—despite the fact that he no longer works for the MTA and it's a pure pleasure project. But instead of the constant do-overs we see today, let's take a look back at some of the iterations of the past. Gizmodo compiles a handful of maps and, interestingly, brochure covers, which reveal not only how our system has changed, but how our strategies and predilections for mapping have, too. Don't forget, you can click on every image to see a bigger version.

    1924: Only one line runs north-south in Manhattan, and BMT didn't run any trains above 59th Street, or to the Bronx. Meanwhile, because of the warped scale, Brooklyn and Queens look incredibly well-serviced.

    1939: It was the World's Fair, and mapmakers wanted to ensure visitors knew how to get to all of NYC's attractions by public transport. The whole thing looks literally sketchy—cartoonish, almost, and even a little child-like.

    1958: This trichromatic iteration, zig-zagged with black, green, and red coloring, begins to look a bit more familiar.

    1967: As the century rolls on, we're getting a little more abstract—and adding more colors. Also note the double-lettered RR and EE lines.

    1972: The hated but iconic design by Massimo Vignelli, which was replaced just seven years later.

    15 Subway Maps That Trace NYC's Transit History [Gizmodo]

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