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The New York Times profiles author Philip Ashforth Coppola and his Silver Connections book series in this article, One Man’s Opus to New York’s Subway Art, Decades in the Making. An annual Sunday holiday season tradition returns: original IND subway cars from the 1930s will run in service on part of the E and F lines between Queens Plaza and 2nd Avenue every Sunday from November 30 through December 28. The developer has released a new version of NXSYS, Signalling and Interlocking Simulator for the Apple Mac OSX operating system. Commuters and tourists may sometimes feel like they are getting nowhere on the London Underground, but a new reimagining of the iconic Tube map has suggested going round in circles is no bad thing. Dr Max Roberts has issued a redesign of the map based on concentric circles, partly inspired by the orbital London Overground. The London Underground map expert, who has also published a curvy version of the Tube map, said the official map was becoming too cluttered. He explained that his map used tangents and spokes to reflect the fact that not all Tube lines conform to an orbital or radial pattern. The iconic topological Tube map has stayed relatively unchanged since being designed by engineering draftsman Harry Beck in 1931, who based the map upon an electrical circuit.

Any changes to the map have proved controversial, and when Transport for London tried to remove the river Thames from the map several years ago, mayor of London Boris Johnson intervened to reinsert it. Roberts, who has designed nearly a dozen unofficial MTA maps, incorporated into his most recent creation many of Vignelli’s signature elements, including geometrically shaped boroughs, tightly kerned Helvetic font, and side-by-side straight lines. The biggest gripe with Vignelli’s 1972 map was that station locations and line trajectories were not aligned with reality. Philip has been painstakingly sketching the tile artwork and other station decoration of New York's subway since 1978. But what many riders may not know is that in 1972, a man named Massimo Vignelli was commissioned by the city to create a very different version of this map, immediately sparking controversy for its geometric simplicity and geographical inaccuracy.
But, Roberts feels his version more accurately represents the subway routes and surrounding landscape. At the very least, we’ll never stare at that subway map the same again on our commute to work! I was unaware of this until now, but Philip used my photo of 18th Street on the original IRT to do the corresponding sketches, as he had never been in this abandoned station.

In 1979, Vignelli’s map was replaced with a more organic, curving version like we see underground today. He also veered from Vignelli’s 45-degree angles, citing that in New York the paths are typically steeper or shallower, and incorporated 30- and 60-degree angles. Full HTML documentation of the new Macintosh features as well as a thorough upgrading of the extensive Version 1 helpfile are included. In addition, five retired buses manufactured from the 1950s through 1970s will run weekdays on the 42nd Street crosstown route.

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