Transit Map World Cup: Elite Eight, the Rest

This thing will be updated with each match as they happen.

Elite Eight Red Line: New York v. Boston

See okay here’s what I mean when I say that nothing coming out of the left end of the bracket is anything special. The New York map sucks. It so, so very obviously sucks. The important information is hidden and the unimportant information is amplified. And what makes it even more galling is that the good people of The Big Filthy Apple had a map that was demonstrably fit for purpose and they junked it for this thing.

You people demolished Penn Station. And you killed Jesus.

Now, Boston. I want so very badly to like the Boston map, largely because it’s not geographic and the design language actually fits the network it’s mapping. Problem is, the way the thing outlines individual Green and Silver Line services can be…rather confusing. (The Silver Line moreso since SL3 opened.) That said, in the main, I still have a pretty good idea of where each line actually goes, which is more than I can say for its Gothamite counterpart.

However, if you think either of these can seriously go toe-to-toe against London, Paris, or Moscow, you’re nuts. And, now that I have a better idea of how people who aren’t me are voting in this thing, I’m in the inenviable position of wishing New York would have won because the Name Recognition alone gives it a better chance in the final. That’s messed up. Winner: Boston.

A Good Alternate Map

Thesis: the Vignelli Weekender map.
Antithesis: Max Roberts’ famous New York circles map.
Synthesis: Max Roberts’ other famous New York circles map, done Vignelli-style. And is much more successful for it, because it separates out each individual service. This is important. A lot of NYC amateur maps smoosh all the services together into one line in Manhattan, or only separate them out into express and local, and given the complexity of the network even that makes it too much work for the average user to figure out where everything goes. Be like Max, people. Keep everything separate.

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About theoditsek

I like going places.
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