I wanted to hold off on posting this for a bit but the laptop’s going in for a lengthy repair job…again…so my hand has been forced.
Anyway, Konovalov just finished his Paris Metro map. (If that link doesn’t work, it’s also here.) It’s what happens when you take Russian transit map design principles and marry them to the RATP house style, and it’s gorgeous. More specifically:
- The map shows more landmarks and parks than the official map, like Notre Dame, the Pompidou Centre, the Bastille, Sacre-Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, and so forth. This may indicate who the map is for (tourists) more than anything else, but it will help them orient themselves a bit more above ground.
- The particular interchange symbols used allows for a bit more routing flexibility, which is especially helpful where the T3a intersects with Lines 7 and 8, so one line doesn’t have to run parallel with the other.
- The fare zones are delineated along the RER/Transilien only, which is a more accurate representation of the Ile-de-France fare structure than what I’d come up with.
- The northern edge of the map is delineated with the grand sweeping arc of the T1, which means we don’t have to see all of the T8 and a substantial chunk of the T5 for no good reason.
- Speaking of grand sweeping arcs, Line 15 is portrayed beautifully. (As are under construction lines more generally, pulling them about as far back in the information hierarchy as possible without removing them entirely.)
- And, perhaps most importantly for my purposes here, it features extensions to Lines 4, 10, and 12 that I missed. Also, the station spacing is very even.
I mention this because, inspired by Konovalov’s masterpiece, I updated my own map so it included all those extensions, and uh…
Here are the northern and southern extensions to Line 12. While they were easy to put in, they still bothered me because one of the things I really like about the old map was making sure Line 12 had fewer than five curves. Now it has eight. The line’s prominent dark green color only makes it worse.
This, meanwhile, is the Line 10 extension from Gare d’Austerlitz to Ivry, which I think illustrates a continuing challenge I’ve been having with this particular map. From Gare d’Austerlitz to Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand the stations are spaced very far apart, while from Bibliotheque to Ivry – Gambetta the stations are spaced very close together (and, in fact, that whole corner is really cramped). The Line 10 extension also screwed up the previously even spacing for the T3a stations between Porte de Choisy and Avenue de France, which I found frustrating.
That’s one of the challenges with mapping the Paris Metro specifically, in fact. You can either have nice straight(ish) route lines but a pronounced lack of harmony and space (mine) or you can have even spacing between lines and stations but the lines themselves are really curvy (RATP). Konovalov, it seems, was looking for more or less a happy medium between the two, accentuated with relatively wide curves and the Line 2/6 circle, and he largely succeeded.
(As for my map, I may do a complete redesign eventually, but not right now. There are a few others I want to get to first.)