Greater Greater Washington

Posts about Maps

Transit


Here's how to get romantic with the Metro map

A Metro fan recently decided to get creative with a gift for his wife, creating a map with station names that are anagrams of the real things.


Image by Nathan Charlton. Click for the full map.

An anagram is a word you get from rearranging the letters of another word. For example, the word "solve" is an anagram for the word "loves."

On mapmaker Nathan Charlton's creation, the "No Rage Line" runs where the Orange Line once did and the Green Line is now the "Genre Line." At actual stops, Dupont Circle has been replaced by "Lurid Concept" and U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo is now "Arcane Lizard Vows Actual Mimic Reform."

"It took a month or so of my spare time," Charlton told the Washington, DC subreddit. "It was a labor of love, for both my fiance and DC itself."

Charlton has also made an anagram map of the City Trains/ Sydney Rail system in Australia.

Last month, we posted about a song a band of transit professionals made about the systems from around the country that they love. Do you know of other ways people have gotten artistic with transit?

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Parking


Here are the answers to this week's mystery map post

Earlier this week, we posted a map of something in DC and asked if you could identify what it was showing. The map shows parking lots and parking garages within a quarter of a mile of Metro stops in the District. Did you get it right?


Map made by the author using data from the District government's open data portal.

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Here is a map of... something in DC. Can you guess what?

Here is another map of... something in DC. Last time we showed a map of buildings most likely to be inundated by a hurricane surge, and everyone who guessed got it right. Do you know what this one is showing? This week's clues are the zoom-in maps themselves.


All maps made by the author using data from the District government's open data portal.

A closer look:

We'll hide the comments and update the post and tweet the answer on Friday.

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Here is a map of... something in DC. Can you Guess what?

This is our fourth post of a map of... something in DC. Our last map was a challenge for most of our readers. Last time, the map showed the number of times each station had appeared in the other Greater Greater Washington game, WhichWMATA. Can you guess what this one is showing? If you need clues, there are five after the jump!


All maps made by the author using data from the District government's open data portal.

Here are five clues for what this map is showing:

  1. The map accounts for five possible scenarios.
  2. A recent weather forecast originally warned a major, named weather system that could affect our region. This map shows what might happen if the forecasts are right.
  3. More specifically, many meteorologists anticipate the forecasted storm to have an impact the likes of which this region had not seen since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
  4. Because of DC's location below the fall line, it isn't always the rain we should be worried about with these particular storms.
  5. A series of levies and other infrastructure should some areas from being colored in if there is a storm.
A closer look at three sections of the map:

Answer update: The map shows the buildings most likely to be inundated by a hurricane storm surge event. Buildings shaded light blue would likely flood during a Category 1 hurricane while buildings shaded in dark blue would likely flood during a Category 5 hurricane. Flooding is cumulative, so, a Category 3 hurricane would also flood buildings impacted by Category 1 and 2 hurricanes.

Fortunately, Hurricane Joaquin did not make landfall. You may have seen the installation of removable flood barriers around town, particularly around the Georgetown waterfront, in preparation for a potential flood event.


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Transit


See every Metro train and bus on one live map

This map shows the real-time location for every WMATA bus and train in the Washington region. It's a cool way to see how much transit is out there, and where it's running right this second.


Every WMATA bus and train. Image from TRAVIC.

The map is called TRAVIC and was produced by the University of Freiburg. The Washington map was made using using open data from WMATA.

While that map only shows WMATA transit, the same website includes maps for dozens of cities all over the world. You can compare what transit is like in diverse places, from Albuquerque to Paris.


Left: Albuquerque. Right: Paris. Images from TRAVIC.

I'll be staring at this a long time.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

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Here's another DC mystery map! Can you guess what it's showing?

This is our third post of a map of… something in DC. Last time we showed the locations of historic districts in the District. This week we venture over the District Line on Metro. Can you guess what this one is showing? If you need clues, there are two after the jump!


Map by the author.

Here are two clues for what this map is showing:

  1. Study the legend. Study it well.
  2. The information displayed has its own Twitter handle and hashtag.
Update: Since many commenters have had some trouble figuring this one out (it's not our only hard quiz!) we've added a few more hints:
  1. These data points reflect something that happens weekly.
  2. There are no more than five new data points per week.
  3. There are a total of 335 data points on the map.
Answer update: The map shows the number of times each Metro station has appeared in the game, WhichWMATA, through September 2015. Gallery Place has been featured 11 times, followed by L'Efant Plaza, Rosslyn, and Weihle Avenue, which have each featured nine times, respectively. Four other stations have been featured seven times each.

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Transit


The Metro map could have looked like this

Does this map look like the Metro map we know today? It's a direct ancestor.


Design by Massimo Vignelli via MetroMapArt.

Peter Lloyd, who writes the blog Metro Map Art, included this in a book he wrote about designer Massimo Vignelli. Vignelli notably created the 1972 version of the New York Subway map, which simplified the shapes of the lines into only verticals, horizontals, and diagonals.

Today's Metro map uses those same orientations, while New York moved away from it toward a more curved, partially more geographically accurate version. But Vignelli also worked with Metro architect Harry Weese, designing the iconic pylons outside stations, the original signs inside, and more, including the above map.

But Vignelli was not the designer who created the final map. That was Lance Wyman, a designer with a much less severe aesthetic. Lloyd visited an exhibit about Wyman's design in Monterrey, Mexico. The exhibit contains early sketches for the Metro map which strongly resemble the Vignelli map but also the modern one.

Photo by Reka Komoli via MetroMapArt.

As you can see, the colors changed, and so did the names for the ends of lines (that, of course, not being the designers' doing). Nutley Road is now Vienna, Ardmore is New Carrollton. Greenbelt Road became just Greenbelt when planners moved the station closer to the Beltway. Initial plans to split the now-Yellow line to Franconia and Springfield (then Backlick Road) became one unified Franconia-Springfield station.

Another hallmark of Wyman's work is the use of icons in wayfinding. As Lloyd explains, Wyman initially proposed having icons for each station, and in fact that's a reason the map has large circles and fat lines.


Design by Lance Wyman via MetroMapArt.

According to Lloyd, Vignelli led an effort to reject the icon concept.

Metro's service evolves as well

The map also has changed as the system grew beyond the initial plans. In 2011, Metro hired Wyman to redesign the map to fit in the Silver Line. The latest issue of Washingtonian looks at changes in the region over the years, including Metro; Angie Hilsman created this animated GIF of Metro service growth based on maps I drew:

These maps show the service patterns, not the actual maps in stations; as the system was constructed, the maps instead showed the then-planned lines with broken lines and empty circles for as-yet-unbuilt tracks and stations. You can see the full set of these images in this slideshow:

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Here's another DC mystery map! Can you guess what it's showing?

We've now run two posts with maps of... something in DC. The last one showed the location of community gardens. Can you guess what this one is showing? If you need clues, there are two after the jump!


All maps made by the author, with data from the District government's open data portal.

The maps in this post show the location and boundaries of a certain something in the District. Here are two clues:

  1. The District officially recognizes 56 of these in the city. Some locations are also listed in federal registries, but not all.
  2. Georgetown was one of the first neighborhoods in the country to get one of these.
Here is a closer look at two possibly helpful sections:

We'll hide the comments so the early birds don't spoil it for the rest of you. We'll add the answer as an update to this post on Friday, and also tweet the answer @ggwash.

Answer update: The map shows the location and boundaries of each historic district in the city. The District officially recognizes 32 residential and commercial neighborhood districts, 15 government and institutional districts and nine park and parkway districts. For a complete list of historic districts in DC, visit the Office of Planning's website.


Note: Due to readability, not all historic districts are labeled.

75 commenters got guessed correctly, the first five being Alex B., Joseph Henchman, Ian M., Richie, and Michael Perkins. Thanks for playing!

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Here's a map of... something in DC. Can you guess what?

Last month, we posted about a map of Georgetown that was unclear about what, exactly, it was mapping. We eventually got to the bottom of it, but the experience gave us the idea to create a mystery map of our own. Can you guess what this one is showing?


All maps made with data from the District government's open data portal with additions by the author using satellite imagery.

The maps in this post show the locations and sizes of a certain something in the District. Here are two clues for what it is:

  1. A national environmental non-profit recently named Washington, DC the number one city in the US based on how many of these it has.
  2. First Lady Michelle Obama is a huge supporter of these and started something similar at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

A zoom into Ward 3 for a closer look.


A zoom into Ward 6 for a closer look.

Answer update: The map shows the location of community gardens in DC! The size of each circle represents the number of individual garden plots (the larger the circle, the more garden plots).

The Trust for Public Land ranked DC as the number one city in America for community gardens and counted over 2,500 individual garden plots in their 2015 City Parks Fact Sheet. Michelle Obama has been a champion of community gardens, urban farming, and local food, even starting a garden on the South Lawn of the White House.

85 commenters got guessed correctly, the first five being eli, Patrick Mc, ARM, Corey H., and Scoot!

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