Here’s a map of the Amsterdam Metro, released when all of us transit map people were seized with an urge to draw the Amsterdam Metro. I genuinely dislike mapping the Amsterdam Metro. Here’s why:
- Thanks to only ever being half-finished because of a stupid decision to tie Metro construction to an urban renewal project that would have bulldozed half the city, the Amsterdam Metro is structured oddly, with one half of the network set at a diagonal to the other half. This means it looks like two networks poorly stitched together.
- The mainline rail network around Amsterdam looks like a partially collapsed square, and any attempt to give the map some structure necessarily involves propping up the square’s eastern half with plywood and staples. This is a lot of fun when 75% of the Metro network runs parallel to the railroad.
- It genuinely feels like Lines 50, 51, 53, and 54 should meet at a nice neat plus-intersection around Van der Madeweg and Duivendrecht stations, but they don’t, and that means the unwary mapmaker has to throw in a few kinks and jogs to make sure everything lines up the way they do in real life.
- The main restriction I imposed on myself was to try and be as accurate as possible to the way I perceived the Metro network spatially. This primarily meant 90-degree angles on the western half of Line 50, no curves at all between Nieuwmarkt and Spaklerweg, and a Line 52 that ran straight up and down (guess which line opened after my visit). This, too, wreaked organizational havoc, because that meant I couldn’t indulge my natural inclination to make the Line 51/53/54 trunk follow the railway all the way to Centraal.
The point is the Amsterdam Metro is a very simple network that is a literal pain to draw a good map of. This was the best I could do, take it for what it’s worth.