Greater Greater Washington

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Map contest winners, part 1: The clean, contemporary design

1,304 people voted in our map contest, and our jury has made their choices. Thanks so much to all 17 people who submitted maps, everyone who voted, and to all of our jury members.

The consensus among readers differed in some interesting ways from the jury's picks, but one map placed highly on both lists. The #1 choice among readers, and the #2 choice for the jury, was Map C, by graphic designer Cameron Booth:


Map C, by Cameron Booth.

This one got 246 first place votes. In the instant-runoff voting, it remained on top through each round and ended up with 471 votes to 410 for the second place map.

The jury liked Booth's map's "generally clean feeling" and the way "shading rivers and parks distinguishes them from rail lines and makes the map appear more contemporary, without drastically changing the old map."

In his submission, Booth wrote,

With the addition of the Silver Line and new peak services, the thick, chunky lines of the old diagram just aren't going to work anymore. This is the chance to create something entirely new and start with a clean slate, not an adaptation of a 30-year-old design.

On this diagram, the route lines have been slimmed down to fit in the new lines without sacrificing the details of the city like the rivers and the National Mall. All labels are now set horizontally for easy reading, with no station names crossing or touching route lines at alla huge improvement in legibility over the haphazard angled labels of the old diagram.

Line names are clearly denoted at each terminus to assist color-blind travelers (who see most of the diagram as shades of muddy brown), and a compre­hensive legend at the bottom of the diagram clearly explains all services shown.

The jury didn't share Booth's view on the horizontal station labels. They said that "keeping all station names horizontal loses ordinal clarity when the lines run east-west," like the names from L'Enfant to Stadium-Armory, where someone might miss the two stations whose labels appear on the opposite side of the line from the others.

They also noted that the symbol used to connect Farragut North and West might make people think there's a real tunnel, rather than an out-of-system transfer.

One of the innovations the jury did appreciate was the parking symbols. They wrote, "Perhaps our least favorite feature of the current map are the car icons that indicate parking; several maps replaced them with clear but less obtrusive 'P' symbols." Booth called the current icon the "boxy Volvo" and was one of those to change it to the well-known blue circle with a white 'P.'

Jurors also split on some of the features. Booth used a separate line with a variation on the color to show the special rush-hour services, like a darker yellow for the Franconia-Greenbelt service. Some liked this, while others did not. One juror said, "Anything that makes it look like there are different, extra lines is just confusing."

The jury also didn't come to consensus on whether to give DC its own color, nor on the way Booth used small gaps in the line to denote stations instead of the more familiar small black-bordered circles. The DC coloration would likely be controversial with Metro Board members, given that the system is supposed to be a mostly equal partnership between DC, Maryland and Virginia.

The debate over the circles points out a fundamental question in these maps: how much to stay with the well-known design elements, or depart more radically. On this, the jury didn't always agree, and their consensus often didn't match that of riders. We'll look at that, and their #1 choice, tomorrow.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

Comments

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Map is great, but even use of "peak" to identify alternative routes is confusing. The "peak" lines have divergent routes that go to very different destinations.

Why not adopt MTA nomenclature and use alphanumeric line names that share a common color for lines that overlap a lot, but which are still separately identifiable lines? For example, change "Orange" and "Peak Orange" to "A" and "B," and and "Yellow" and "Peak Yellow" to "1" and "2" to clarify that they are different lines.

by Ronald on May 24, 2011 12:57 pm • linkreport

I agree with Ronald that the use of the separate peak lines in this map is confusing. Someone not used to Metro could read the map for the very first time and assume that the Orange Line only runs between West Falls Church and Largo Town Center during peak hours.

by Cassidy on May 24, 2011 1:08 pm • linkreport

I especially like fact that the District is shaded. Gives much needed context.

by John on May 24, 2011 1:10 pm • linkreport

Of course the District should not be shaded. Metro is a regional system.

by Matt on May 24, 2011 1:13 pm • linkreport

D.C. should be shaded. Also, it should have a label, on Booth's map, it is not identified.

Also, every other train on the red line terminates at Grosvenor-Strathmore. Only Silver Spring has an indication that some trains terminate mid-line.

by thedofc on May 24, 2011 1:19 pm • linkreport

Wait the Yellow line goes to Greenbelt during peak hours?

by mc on May 24, 2011 1:21 pm • linkreport

@thedofc
Actually, if you look at Grosvenor, there are 4 indications that trains stop there.
1. The station has a bubble instead of just being a gap.
2. The station name is bolded.
3. The Red Line (dark) beyond has a white line in it.
4. The legend identifies trains as running between Silver Spring and Grosvenor.

by Matt Johnson on May 24, 2011 1:21 pm • linkreport

@mc:
It will, starting next summer. Well, technically, it will be the Greenbelt-Franconia service, shown on this map as "yellow".
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9546/

by Matt Johnson on May 24, 2011 1:22 pm • linkreport

someone please explain why we are spending so much money to build a train to Dulles and it will take like 20 stops to get there from Union Station. Why is there no express!??!!?!?!? All great cities have an express train to downtown.

by express on May 24, 2011 1:25 pm • linkreport

Couple things:

One - a minor error - the map wrongly puts Medical Center outside the beltway

Two - Solve the "color the district" issue by coloring all three jurisdictions differently - its helpful to shade them so that riders know that they are different states, but no reason to put DC above MD and VA.

Three - A little geographic accuracy could be added. The red line dips south between Judiciary and Chinatown - showing this, and accurately showing the red line between Union station and NY Ave on a North-Northeast axis, would help put Union Station in the correct place in relation to the capitol.

Fourth - A black outline of the capitol building and white house is helpful. Tourists are the ones who use this map the most - residents such as myself look at the map rarely for directions. So putting that stuff in there is a good idea

Fifth - I agree that the names need to be uniform in direction, and the parking symbol ideally should be by the station name (otherwise, as with MN Ave, it looks like there is a metro parking lot in the middle of capitol hill.

Sixth - I think the different lines for rush hour service are a good way to show the differences. Otherwise, its just confusing to depict rush hour service. But good job to the creator - I liked this map a lot.

by DavidY on May 24, 2011 1:25 pm • linkreport

Maybe this will be in Part 2, but did the jurors have any strong feelings of separate thin map lines indicating the MARC and VRE commuter lines? A few of the maps had these, and while these maps had other shortcomings I'm sure, I think including a line noting the direction and connections with the commuter lines would only enhance the usability of the maps.

by Cassidy on May 24, 2011 1:27 pm • linkreport

I believe there is a typo on the map on the legend at the bottom under 'additional off-peak services' for the red. It says "... that start from Silver Spring go past Grosvenor-Strathmore to Glenmont." I believe this should say ..."go past Grosvenor-Strathmore to Shady Grove."

by Aaron on May 24, 2011 1:32 pm • linkreport

@express: We aren't spending so much money for a train to Dulles. We are spending so much money for a train to Tyson's, Reston, Herndon, Dulles and Eastern Loudoun.

Building an express line to Dulles would cost nearly as much as a dedicated line to the airport, and airport traffic alone would never come close to justifying that cost. If Tyson's Corner didn't lie between the airport and DC, that line would never have been built.

by c5karl on May 24, 2011 1:35 pm • linkreport

Close up, this map looks pretty good, but it loses a lot when it's smaller. For instance, the size presented as the article picture makes it almost useless, and that's an important consideration since it will have to be read often from a few feet away.

I also agree that the way the peak services for blue and yellow are graphically confusing with the yellow and orange withing the blue(?) line (and they look brown until you get up close).

by Steven Yates on May 24, 2011 1:41 pm • linkreport

I think this is the best map of all the choices but I agree, adding line colors to denote "peak" service adds little or no value to the map. Trains come when they come. In this era where real-time arrival information is available in the form of signage in the station as well as on computers and smartphones, attempting to denote such information on the map seems rather antiquated and redundant. I agree with another commenter who said that it could be confusing to riders who believe that the orange line terminates at

I also don't like that this map left off rush-hour trains that terminate at Mt Vernon Square instead of continuing to Ft. Totten. I can see some value in adding a phantom "line" originating at Huntington and ending at Mt. Vernon Square and denoting that as a rush-hour line.

As for the horizontal orientation of the names on the east-west lines, I don't see any problem with it, except alternating the station names above-the-line and below-the-line (as in between Fed Center SW and Morgan Blvd) is a bit confusing.

by Scoot on May 24, 2011 1:47 pm • linkreport

@Express Because other cities have a significantly shorter distance between stations. Metro's average speeds were designed to be comparable to the average speed on an NYC express train. Bidirectional signaling was installed throughout the system (which is actually highly unusual) to ensure that trains could continue to run if one got stuck.

Out in the suburbs, Metro's trains run faster than many heavy commuter rail systems. (But this is all irrelevant to the discussion we're having)

I like this map (my favorite was the one that included major bus routes), but it could use some tweaks:
1) I like that DC is shaded. Metro's a "Hub & Spoke" system. The original design documents clearly state that it was not intended to efficiently move people between suburbs. Most people use it to get in and out of the city. Anyway, the effect is subtle enough that I can't see too many people having a problem with it. Also, all of the counties are labeled; however, the state lines are not, and there is nothing indicating that the diamond-shaped county is actually Washington, DC.

2) Kill the horizontal labels, and make the text a bit bigger.

3) The Capitol, White House, and Wash. Monument icons on the current map provide much-needed context for tourists. I'd try to find a way to work them back in.

4) The red line is confusing. I think we can tweak it to make it work. The legend on the map is also completely incorrect in this regard. Trains originating at Silver Spring do not travel to Glenmont.

5) Let's use the "subtitle" station naming scheme that many have suggested in other maps and the re-naming post. It really improves clarity.

6) For the "reduced yellow" Mt Vernon Sq - Fort Totten, and "reduced-peak red" Grosvenor-Shady Grove segments, I'd use a dotted line instead of a white stripe down the middle.

by andrew on May 24, 2011 1:47 pm • linkreport

oh cool, the orange/blue/silver line trains come twice as often as the red line! And the yellow line runs twice as often as green!

Line thickness means something, is my point. This map gives the exactly wrong indication of frequency by doubling up thickness for partial service (blue line detour, e.g) rather than halving it. It's a pretty map, sure, but fails utterly to address this important issue.

by reader on May 24, 2011 1:49 pm • linkreport

no matter how the map looks wether or not the person giving opinion is going to use the map some of you will never be happy, those people will alway look for something wrong and never have a thought or idea for anything better

by Jerome on May 24, 2011 1:50 pm • linkreport

I know I'm nitpicking but I hate how that map shows the red line going underneath the blue, orange and silver lines just prior to Metro Center. If a line goes "over" another line in the real world it should be shown that way on the map.

by Craig on May 24, 2011 1:54 pm • linkreport

@Craig:
The Red Line does go under the Blue/Orange Line between Metro Center and Farragut North. So this map is accurate. Not sure why that matters to you. But the map is accurate.

by Matt Johnson on May 24, 2011 1:56 pm • linkreport

I like this one

Small typo: King St is served by VRE, not MARC
Small geographical error: Dulles is on the border of Fairfax ad Loudoun.

I'm not sure what's all going on on the red line with two shades and the other line thing, but I'm sure it makes sense for those who ride the red line.

by Jasper on May 24, 2011 1:59 pm • linkreport

Wow! What an honor to be People's Choice winner. Second from the jury is pretty cool too - I can't wait to see who wins that! Despite the victory, it's obvious that not everyone loves this map - and that's why design is so hard: everything is subjective and people will always have different opinions.

A couple of points:

I will always advocate horizontal station names over diagonal ones: Erik Spiekermann (who designed the Berlin U-Bahn diagram post-reunification) has talked to me at length about this and goes so far as to call a designer who can't put labels on a diagram horizontally "a loser". Typically blunt and to the point, but I share his general point of view. The London Underground diagram has all of its type horizontal, and alternates between names on top and below the east-west routes: no one seems to miss station names on it.

My decision to show the peak-hour routes as full lines was because I believe people like to be able to trace a route from beginning to end. "If I get on here, can I get to her without changing trains?" Especially important for tourists. Showing peak hour extensions as spurs doesn't necessarily allow this: some may think from the map that the extension is a shuttle that only takes them part of the way.

Anyway, I purposefully tried some very different things with this map - because I do believe that it needs to change. A few regrets with hindsight: I should have shown the landmarks, and the Farragut 'virtual' tunnel could perhaps have been denoted better.

by Cameron Booth on May 24, 2011 2:09 pm • linkreport

@Steven Yates "Close up, this map looks pretty good, but it loses a lot when it's smaller. For instance, the size presented as the article picture makes it almost useless, and that's an important consideration since it will have to be read often from a few feet away.

My first thought as well. While nice and crisp, it doesn't scale too well. It also should be viable for printing at a small scale such as for a brochure, so that "Peak orange and Peak yellow" don't end up looking like brown lines.

@Matt Johnson :
"The Red Line does go under the Blue/Orange Line between Metro Center and Farragut North. So this map is accurate. Not sure why that matters to you. But the map is accurate."

Well, that's kind of irrelevant to a rider. The original had the lines at transfer stations shown above or below, indicating upper or lower platform, but that's missing here.

by Bob See on May 24, 2011 2:45 pm • linkreport

I don't much mind that the landmarks are missing; it's a transit map, not a tourist guide. The current icons are cartoon-ish and provide inaccurate information. I don't know how many confused tourists I've seen get off at Metro Center trying to locate the White House: "But it's right there on the map!"

London doesn't have icons of Big Ben or Buckingham Palace on its transit map. Paris doesn't have the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. New York doesn't have the Empire State Building or the Met. They all seem to get by just fine.

by Adam L on May 24, 2011 2:47 pm • linkreport

I like the map. Easy to read and easy on the eyes.

I have one problem: although I'm glad to see the various Silver Line phases - in process and proposed, there is nothing that shows the planned Purple Line route.

Is that because the Purple Line route hasn't yet been finalized? Does anoyone know when the powers that be will "get up off it" and do the damn thing?

by ceefer66 on May 24, 2011 3:51 pm • linkreport

@ceefer66:
The mapmakers were not asked to include the Purple Line. That's because it has not even gotten out of the planning process yet, and is far from a sure thing.

Unfortunately, it takes a long time for projects to go through the federal review process, and MTA is in that process now. The next step will be to apply for federal funding, after the completion of the design work.

The earliest estimate for opening is 2020.

by Matt Johnson on May 24, 2011 3:56 pm • linkreport

London doesn't have icons of Big Ben or Buckingham Palace on its transit map. Paris doesn't have the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. New York doesn't have the Empire State Building or the Met. They all seem to get by just fine.

Well, some maps have the destination in the station name (like Tour Eiffel) and the New York MTA map, while including some destinations in its station names, is imperfect on many levels and is far from a model of excellence among map designs. That it doesn't include icons denoting popular destinations does not necessarily mean other maps should follow suit.

I don't have a problem with icons, as long as they are well-placed. The icons on the current official Metro map are horribly placed. Perhaps appending the destination to the station name could help for a select few stations. Metro already does have pamphlets denoting tourist attractions at each station. Eventually, the ubiquity of smartphones and other navigation aides will make such wayfinding necessity obsolete.

by Scoot on May 24, 2011 3:57 pm • linkreport

I liked this originally, but it wasn't my favorite. I am a LOT more supportive now that I've seen the legend and read the panel's criticisms. Some thoughts:

1. Originally, I had no idea why Mr. Booth was using 3 different schemes to show alternate services, but the legends solves that mystery nicely.
2. DC should absolutely get a pale, subtle shade like this. It doesn't mean DC is better or anything. It's to let people who aren't from the area know why there's that diamond-shaped thing on the map that doesn't get a label, even though all the MD and VA counties are labelled. This should not be controversial.
3. I don't like the geographic depiction of the eastern Red line. I suspect that was forced by Mr. Booth's decision to display the entirety of the Green Line station names instead of using the subtitle method.

by tom veil on May 24, 2011 4:07 pm • linkreport

For those who think that the design doesn't work at small sizes, remember that the brief was to design this at the same size as the posters inside the trains - something like 29" x 26", off the top of my head. Obviously, things would be reworked for smaller-sized usages.

by Cameron Booth on May 24, 2011 4:26 pm • linkreport

I do get the decision not to include the Purple Line since that is far from a sure thing. But isn't the first phase of the Anacostia Streetcar line under construction? That should be shown on here.

As to the design itself: Overall, I like it. It has a clean look, and I think the white bands to represent the stations looks crisper than the current circles and bulls-eye symbols. I also like the P symbols for parking and the labels at the ends of the lines to make things clearer for color-blind people.

Couple of minor comments:
1) I like showing the Beltway but I would revise the label to read "Capital Beltway (I-495)" for out-of-towners who's only knowledge of DC roads comes from AAA maps.

2) The VRE logo is too small

3) I'd get rid of the brown line for Shady Grove - Silver Spring. Instead, I'd just show a note pointing to the Forest Glen, Wheaton, and Glenmont stations (using a bracket symbol) with a note saying something like "Some Red Line trains stop at Silver Spring and do not service these stations".

4) The map should include one of those 2D barcodes where you can snap a photo of it with a smart phone and it will take you to the WMATA website.

by Marc on May 24, 2011 4:29 pm • linkreport

Not only is the purple line an unsure thing, neither it nor the DC streetcar lines will be part of the Metrorail system, as I understand it. Why would you expect a map of the Metrorail system to include either?

by Herschel on May 24, 2011 4:52 pm • linkreport

I have an idea, take a book from NYC:

Red line from Glenmont to Silver Spring, call it the "R"
Red line from Silver Spring to Grosvenor, call it the "RR"
Green line, call it the "G"
Blue line, call it the "B"
Yellow line from Fran-Spring to Greenbelt, call it the "YG"
Yellow line from Ft. Totten to Huntington, call it the "Y"
Orange line from West Falls to Largo, call it the "ORR"
Orange line from Vienna to New Carrollton, call it the "OR"

Use letter codes but still keep the color as well.

However in order to do this metro is gonna need to reconfigure its software.

by Ishmael on May 24, 2011 5:35 pm • linkreport

@Herschel - plenty of transit system maps show transit lines operated by others. The NYC subway system map shows the PATH lines in and out of Jersey City, and the Philly subway system map shows the PATCO lines in and out of NJ. Both PATH and PATCO are operated by separate agencies.

I don't think the average transit user cares much that different agencies operate different lines. They just want to know how to get from point A to point B.

The NYC map also shows LIRR and Metro-North stations. At the risk of cluttering things up considerably I do think that the new DC map should show the VRE and MARC lines.

by Marc on May 24, 2011 6:37 pm • linkreport

@Marc

I like the idea of adding QR Codes. It is something WMATA could also incorporate into the bus stops as well. A great way to convey additional information - especially with the proliferation of smartphones.

by Rob on May 24, 2011 6:52 pm • linkreport

@Marc: I agree in principle that the consumer of a transit map is unlikely to care what agency runs what line, but this is the WMATA map of the Metro system, not a comprehensive transit map of the Washington area. And what you say about the NYC subway map is actually not true. That map is here: http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm and shows neither Path nor LIRR nor Metro North (the latter two of which are, indeed, operated by the same agency as the subway). Whether or not the NYC subway map shows what you say it does, it is hardly a model worth emulating. It's terrible.

by Herschel on May 24, 2011 8:00 pm • linkreport

My first impression is that the map is too complicated. It's somewhat because WMATA made the rush train system complex, so maybe the map just accurately reflects the complexity. However, someone familiar with the system doesn't really need a map, and someone new to the system is going to be overwhelmed with the addition of the peak lines. Complexity is not something that is typically a problem for me, but the added complexity of this map is wasteful. If we're going to have peak lines on the metro and the map, they should be new colors. Orange vs Orange peak going to a different direction is the type of thing an ass does to mess with people.

My other impression is that due to the way the stops are drawn, it overemphasizes L'Enfant and Fort Totten over other stations, which would be incorrect assumption for someone visiting the city.

by eb on May 24, 2011 9:45 pm • linkreport

Under "Additional Off-peak Services" for the Red Line there appears to be a mistake. The trains starting at Silver Spring continue past Grosvenor-Strathmore to Shady Grove, not Glenmont.

I would like to simplify the use of the peak/off-peak secondary lines for red, orange, yellow and green. I actually liked the dashed lines as shown on many of the other maps.

I also liked the "smaller subtitles" when noting the long station names. Thank you for renaming "Tysons I&II to Tysons Blvd"

by Transport. on May 24, 2011 11:06 pm • linkreport

@Jasper:

The metrorail station, terminal building and gates at Dulles Airport are in Loudon County. Roughly 70 percent to the Dulles Airport property is within Loudon County. Three of the runways and about 10 percent of the fouth are in Loudon County.

by Sand Box John on May 25, 2011 12:21 am • linkreport

Loudoun.

by Herschel on May 25, 2011 12:29 am • linkreport

@Herschel - we're both right. Oddly enough, the html version of the MTA map does not show PATH or LIRR/Metro-North lines, but the .pdf version of the map does. I think, but am not positive, that the .pdf version of the map is the one that is used in brochures, inside the stations, and on the trains.

I do agree the NYC map is not the greatest, but to be fair their system is infinitely more complex than DC's.

As for the argument that the DC streetcar (and, for the matter, the potential Crystal City streetcar and Purple Line lines) are not WMATA lines - true, but I like the way the SEPTA Philly map has it. They show the PATCO line in a different line style than the other services, and in the map key they show the PATCO line with the note "not a SEPTA service".

by Marc on May 25, 2011 9:40 am • linkreport

Congrats to Cameron.

I think it's a great map. As a mapmaker myself, I know it's a tough task to try and display all the information you need AND make it look good - and I think this map succeeds at both, and is an improvement on the current system map.

Yeah, there are a few nitpicky details that could have been better, but there are plenty of those in the existing Metro map too. WMATA should go with the look of this map and correct the few minor things that bother them.

Good job!

by Scott B on May 25, 2011 10:12 am • linkreport

And I'll probably be taking a lot of this feedback to make a "final" map, just for some closure. Watch this space...

by Cameron Booth on May 25, 2011 11:37 am • linkreport

This map is sooo much better than the second 'winner'.

by Jasper on May 26, 2011 10:03 am • linkreport

@Cameron, a few thoughts since you're looking to make a "final" map:

- I like that your map is more geographically accurate than the current one (though like @DavidY, think the red line near Union Station should be more accurate)
- I like the horizontal station naming. I think it works for especially well for the tube and Paris Metro maps because they have little nubs coming off the stations next to the name...something like that might better here especially at transfer stations such as Metro Center and Gallery Place
- I like the parking, commuter rail, bus, and airport symbols...in that they don't require deciphering the meaning through a legend. They're meaning is more or less obvious.
- I prefer the use of station subtitles (though I worry that it will lead to a proliferation of longer station names)
- I prefer the dotted line system for peak service
- I guess landmarks like the WH and Capitol could be added

overall, my favorite map of the bunch. Great job!

by 7r3y3r on May 26, 2011 2:14 pm • linkreport

This was one my favorite designs. I've always been bugged by the cartoonish circles with thick black lines for the station symbology on the original design which clutters the map next to black text labels. The names of the stops are more important and this map's redesign of the station symbols being white allows the reader to easily read the station text name and at the same time -- I know there's a station there! -- very nice.

I prefer to see the Beltway for reference and like the more map-standard "P" symbol for stations with parking as opposed to the larger, more dominant looking car symbols.

There is also a use of hierarchy in the fonts for the station labeling and the map reference features! I would change Potomac River to be a water-type font symbol (this is nitpicking).

I would also adjust the labeling to be better aligned in the same fashion as the Orange line to New Carollton for the Blue line to Largo.

Nice work!

by CK on May 29, 2011 1:26 pm • linkreport

Honest question from a former short-time DC resident who lives in NYC. Why does the map even need to depict jurisdictional boundaries? Is it essential to riders that they know where the Maryland border is? Do people consult the Metro map to know where Fairfax ends and Loudoun begins?

by Rick on Jun 1, 2011 7:44 pm • linkreport

I like it. I think it's a great map and I like your design approach to break with the past.

The Green/Yellow/Peak Yellow corridor through downtown can be a bit confusing. Also, wasn't Yellow supposed to terminate at Greenbelt beginning sometime 2012?

In the legend boxes at the bottom, I suggest that it is redundant to say, under "Additional Peak Services" for example, "Mornings: 6am to 9.30am". How about just "6am to 9:30am" ?

And in that realm, you've referenced time as both "9.30am" and "9:30am" - just a typo, I'm sure.

Nice touch on the two shades of red (or red and brick red or brown). Might be harder for a color-blind person to read.

VRE is missing from King St and there's no MARC (did someone else already point that out? -- sorry if so).

I like the subtitle idea. Can we put "Ronald Reagan" in subtitles?

Station names at 45 degree angles on the E-W segments.

All in all, well-done. I'd print one out and carry it around.

by Jack Love on Jun 2, 2011 12:15 pm • linkreport

@Rick ("Is it essential to riders that they know where the Maryland border is?")

Can't really say with respect to local practice in the NYC area, but I do feel that folks are spatially aware of where MD begins and the District ends. It provides some much-needed context.

by Jack Love on Jun 2, 2011 12:20 pm • linkreport

@Rick:

The NYC transit map shows Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, etc. in much the same way.

I think it's good for tourist and a map can provide better context for many types of users by depicting both natural features, such as a river, and cultural references, such as the Mall, political boundaries, etc. The "base map" provides context in this manner but at the same time does not take away from the subject or key theme of the map.

That's why this map is great, IMHO -- it works well for web mapping use as well as for printing.

by MapGirl on Jun 6, 2011 12:36 am • linkreport

If the map is going to call out buses from the Greenbelt & Rosslyn stations to the airports, it should include the ICC bus from Shady Grove to BWI (Route 201).

by R S on Jun 6, 2011 3:37 pm • linkreport

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