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Designing public transport maps

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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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I've been working on a map of the bus routes within a city. This has been going on as a little 'hobby' project for almost 2 years now and I've only recently picked it up again.

The thing I want to achieve is a very stylized map, much like the London Underground Map, with little room for topographic accuracy. I've done this by using the grid in Adobe Illustrator and just manually digitizing new lines, using a topographically correct map as a reference. The end result is rather pleasing (although I've just realised I don't have any room to put the bus stops in...), if I may say so myself. Posted Image

Any comments on this? Are there smarter ways to work on something like this? I'm convinced that no matter what approach you take, it's always going to take a lot of trial and error to come to the best result.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#2
Rob

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hey hans,

check this out for the tokyo system:

http://www.zone81.co...ns/tokyo_subway

Underground at:

http://www.tfl.gov.u...cs/colormap.pdf

both tokyo and the underground use round point symbols inset over the transit paths.

One thing to remember about these maps is that scale is completely variable and shifting over different parts of the design. That works well for subways because they only have to connect the nodes of the network & b/c people don't really know where the tracks actually go. With surface transportation, it's a little different b/c you can see where you are going. With that in mind, I'd suggest you use your "cartographic lisence" and move things around until you find the space you need, while keeping the overall path of the network as honest as you fell necessary.

I've never designed any cart like that, but it looks like a fun task.

good luck,

rob

#3
Dennis McClendon

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A number of German and Swiss small city systems have stylized system maps like this. It's a little easier for European systems with limited number of bus stops.

One suggestion: I would curve the corners. I think it makes a more pleasant look AND it helps the reader follow the routes.

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Dennis McClendon
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Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Thanks Dennis, I'll give that a try.

In terms of style, I've kept one careful eye on the London Underground map, and other maps derived from that.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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