Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Some Excellent Subway Inspired Maps

Summer's here, the kids are getting out of school and the NHL's ridiculously long playoffs are finally over. Time to start making vacation plans - if you actually have any spare time or money. Cameron Booth has some wonderful schematic subway style maps to help you plan your journey. Here is his U.S. Routes as a Subway Map - click to see a legible image.

This map has been accepted into the NACIS Atlas of Design. A close up view of it shows a different look at the U.S. than we are generally accustomed to,
The important cities are at the highway junctions and ends. Larger cities such as Detroit and San Francisco are pretty unimportant looking whereas Shamokin Dam and Hurley are major crossroads. Buffalo doesn't even rate on this map.

If you prefer higher speed travel and bland scenery here are the U.S. Interstates.
This time some of the important places are Cove Fort, Utah and Florence, South Carolina. Oh and some place called Chicago. Buffalo, New York is on this map but Buffalo, Wyoming is much more important.

If you prefer a ride on the train here's the Amtrak system. Finally some respect for Buffalo!

If you're in Europe there's the E-Road Network...

or the TGV trains.

In addition to being pretty to look at, these maps might actually be helpful for planning your itinerary. Happy vacation season!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Freedom of the Press

Reporters Without Borders produced this map showing the degree of press freedom by country. Click for a full size image.

They picked an excellent color scheme. I can speculate about the politics but I prefer to leave that to others. I will say that I found Mexico and India to be a bit surprising.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lego Underground

To mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, five tube maps were made out of Lego. Four show the evolution of the system from 1927 to the present and one shows a possible 2020 system. The maps are on display at five different stations. The image below is from Digital Arts.
The London Underground Tube Diary has some pictures including the 2020 map at King's Cross station.
 There is also Harry Beck's original schematic map from 1933. It looks like needlepoint.
 Metro's image gallery shows all five maps. Here is the 1927 pre-Beck geographic (non-schematic) version...
...and some kid helping the unveiling at King's Cross.
The maps will be on display over the summer and then will be moved to the London Transport Museum.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bob Dylan's World

A couple of weeks ago Slate honored Bob Dylan's 72nd birthday with an interactive map of every place mentioned in one of his songs.

Many musicians would show a pattern based on where they are from. In Dylan's case the only pattern is the unusually high number of points in northern Minnesota. However, there are also lots of points in New Mexico, where he sometimes pretended to be from. 
From the text on the web page:
Bob Dylan’s music, it’s often said, happens in a world of its own—where the highway is for gamblers and you’re always 1,000 miles from home. It’s a surreal, ethereal realm, lawless but for chance, allusion, and rhyme.
You can pan and zoom as desired or use one of their choices at the bottom- World, U.S., Europe, Asia, NYC or New Orleans.

Friday, June 7, 2013

More on Bike Sharing

I forgot to mention in my last post Oliver O'Brien's excellent bike share maps. These maps show live data about the availability of the stations for a large number of cities worldwide. Many of them are cities I didn't know had a bike share like San Antonio.
At the bottom are figures showing the number of full and empty docks. If you click a station you get a graph of the daily usage activity for each station. There are other options including animations of daily activity for each city. I like the red (full) to blue (empty) default color scheme...
but if you don't like it you can change it to numerous other color schemes such as "fiery." 
Below is Paris at 4:00 PM, confirming the pattern I saw when I was there in March; it's difficult to find a place to return the bike in the central part of the city in the middle of the day. There's a lot of commuting going on and the success of the system is making it difficult to find parking.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bike Sharing Systems

A couple of interesting bike sharing graphics crossed my desk recently. Martin Austwick created videos of the Boston and Minneapolis bike sharing programs based on data released by the local agencies. Here is Boston. Click to get to the video.
The videos show approximate bike locations for each minute of the day. You can see the daily rises and dips in activity. It's remarkable how much activity there is at night (especially in October when it gets dark early.) Around 4AM it gets almost eerily silent and stays that way for a few hours.

For some reason the colors for the Minneapolis video and much more muted and the system is more spread out so it's not as visually arresting. Still, there's an impressive amount of activity throughout the day and night.
David Yanofsky created this graphic comparing the 29 worldwide bike sharing programs, all at the same scale.

This is an interesting  picture of both the programs and the comparative layout of each city. It also serves as a good reminder of how many significant places there are in Asia that we in North America have never even heard of. Even I had to look up Changwon and Zhongshan, both cities of over a million people.