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#16
Martin Gamache

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I think this would be a great thing to do as often as someone is willing to post a map or a link to a map. Let's not limit it by theme either. Maybe we could have a new section for ongoing map critique....

#17
benbakelaar

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I think this would be a great thing to do as often as someone is willing to post a map or a link to a map. Let's not limit it by theme either.  Maybe we could have a new section for ongoing map critique....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The only thing I would say is personally, I would encourage quality over quantity. In the case that there were multiple posts per day to that topic, or a backlog was created, certain posts would get no responses or only a limited response, rather than having everyone weigh in.

#18
Hans van der Maarel

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I agree with Ben, it's a great idea to do this on a regular basis, but we have to make sure not to come up with too many maps to be criticized at one time.

As for a location, we could use the Map Gallery for this, although that was more or less intended for maps that you made yourself :P

One thing that I'm not too sure about is what would happen when whoever produced that map originally doesn't like the idea of it being dissected by a bunch of nosy cartographers... :blink:
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#19
Martin Gamache

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I think the issue of quality over quantity is important, but we'll all be responsible for that by regulating what we post for critique as and as criticism. I think the moderators should feel free to remove innapropriate maps and point out when people get out of hand with innapropriate comments. But I certainly dont think we'll suddendly be flooded with dozens of potential maps to critique as long as people pay attention to how long other maps have been posted and if they've received any comments or not. If we find there's too many posts the moderators can always pull some and have people re-submit them later. I don't think this needs a set of rules. The map gallery has worked well so far without any limits on how many posts at one time and I don't see how this would be any different. Self regulation is a beautiful thing...when it works :P


I think a place different than the gallery would be good as I think that should be for posting one's own work for critique or comment. But maybe it can work for both as long as the poster makes it clear who's work it is they are posting.

As for your last point Hans I think that if someone publishes a map its out in the public eye and you've made a decision to put it out there, whether people sit around a table or in a classroom with a paper version and criticize it or do it here it's no different, and in fact this forum allows the creator a venue for responding to comments so....

Having said that it would be nice to keep the discussion both civil and professional.


mg

#20
Dennis McClendon

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I gave a couple of presentations in the mid-90s about transit maps, particularly the London Underground "journey planner" and its progeny around the world, so forgive me a little enthusiasm on this subject.

The 1972 Vignelli map for New York's subway system grew out of an earlier effort to standardize the signage across the system. Remember that integration of the original IND/BMT/IRT was not that far in the past. Naturally, it looked to the London map for inspiration, but as this essay Design Observer: Vignelli New York Subway Map points out, the psychogeography of New York is different from that of London. Among other criticisms, the length of Central Park appeared the same as the distance from Bowling Green to Battery Park--but one of the Bowling Green station exits comes up inside Battery Park! The Vignelli map is on the left below:

New York's MTA changed to a more geographic map in 1979. Vignelli defended his design with a revised version, published in Richard Saul Wurman's NYCAccess (center below). On the right below is a look at the whole city, showing how using other angles (75 degrees, I think) in addition to 45-90 degree lines preserve a stylized diagrammatic look.

A fellow named Eddie Jabour presented his subway map concept at the 2004 NACIS conference. Flashmaps New York uses a similar concept.

I'm a little puzzled by the comment above on GIS. Though I'll be the first to criticize how GIS has influenced map design, I've never heard of GIS being used in any way in transit maps.

Attached Files


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#21
drjenkins

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>Personally the printed map used on the trains during the late 90's was the pinnicle of the design

That's nice to hear. I produced the map inhouse from the mid-'90s until September 1997; the maps had a white ground and light streets, parks and water, and strip maps on the back. Our parent agency, MTA, took over at the end of 1997 and introduced the redrawn "The Map" with commuter railroads on the back (and new colors, etc.)...

I produce the five borough bus maps now. Anyone have any comments about them?

http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/

(Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island PDFs)

The actual printed maps are a little nicer than the PDFs because we have more control over how type halos cut, etc...

#22
drjenkins

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Someone still has a .jpg of a section of the 1997 subway map here:

http://www.ps161.com/161submap.html

#23
MapMedia

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Nice work.

I like the generalization of land/water boundaries which allows greater focus on transit line elements. When I take the train, I am focused on where the train goes and the general area around the train.

I would like to know the boundaries of the boroughs (queens, bronx, etc.). Maybe a dashed white line?

I like the tan land surface - it is dark enough to give contrast to the light pastel symbols, and light enough to contrast with the dark transit lines.

This is a good example of a transit focused map, where geography is more general and faded. As opposed to an all purpose navigation map with detailed geography, POIs, transit, roads, etc.

Oh - make the labelling of waterways consistent (Hudson River vs East River) - that seemed out of sync.

Chris

#24
drjenkins

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I mentioned several maps (1997 subway map, five current borough bus maps) - from your comments I take it that you're referring to the PDF of the Manhattan bus map:

>I would like to know the boundaries of the boroughs (queens, bronx, etc.). Maybe a dashed white line?
On the Manhattan bus map the boroughs are actually separated by bodies of water. On the other maps there are black dashed boundaries between the boroughs. I suppose I could put boundaries in the water - there's so little detail shown of the outer boroughs on the Manhattan map, though (just to keep the map from being overwhelming).

>Oh - make the labelling of waterways consistent (Hudson River vs East River) - that seemed out of sync.
They're both in Palatino Italic (Bembo on the printed map, Palatino was substituted for the PDF) - maybe EAST RIVER doesn't look italicized because it's on an angle?

Another thing that might look odd is the big space in the Bronx at upper right and in the water at lower left...on the printed map there are places to visit lists and information about the bus system in those areas that they didn't want on the web maps.

Thanks for your comments!

#25
MapMedia

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This is a fascinating discussion spinning off and around the request for critique (yes - this should be moved to Gallery).

I think that the nature of a critique is to 'put it all out there', while being constructive in nature - helpful, and certainly not necessarily academic in tone or rhetoric. It certainly a 'grab bag' for the reviewee to digest and let us know if its all been a positive and helpful experience.

Whoever mentioned visiting grandparents in NYC, I did the same thing all thru the 70's-80's as my grandparents lived in Queens - 2 blocks from Queens Blvd, so no car, just lots of handy transit/bus schedules and tokens as we zipped around.

Transit maps has its own genre, so to speak.

#26
Dennis McClendon

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Sunday's New York Times had a juicy article about the recent design approaches to the New York Subway map:

Win, Lose, Draw: The Great Subway Map Wars
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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