U.S. Routes as a Subway Map

U.S. Routes as a Subway Map

Paula Scher, NYC Transit, 108 in x 60.5 in, acrylic on canvas, 2007.

Paula Scher, NYC Transit, 108 in x 60.5 in, acrylic on canvas, 2007.

Diagram maps forgo all spatial integrity and instead represent the connectivity of a specific environment. Diagram metro maps tend to space elements at equal distances, so while they manipulate geographic distance, the routes are more readable to the average user. In the case of a metro map the lines representing rails will adhere to design rules in order to be uniform (e.g. they might only make 90/45 degrees turns). Landmarks are often added to help with orientation.

Diagram maps forgo all spatial integrity and instead represent the connectivity of a specific environment. Diagram metro maps tend to space elements at equal distances, so while they manipulate geographic distance, the routes are more readable to the average user. In the case of a metro map the lines representing rails will adhere to design rules in order to be uniform (e.g. they might only make 90/45 degrees turns). Landmarks are often added to help with orientation.

Busway routes diagram

Busway routes diagram

Topological route map

Topological route map

Evolution of the NYC subway map

Evolution of the NYC subway map

NYC subway map designed by Massimo Vignelli, 1972 (Brooklyn on the cover! Woo!)

NYC subway map designed by Massimo Vignelli, 1972 (Brooklyn on the cover! Woo!)

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