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admin 15.02.2016

The MTA's got a new interactive map, though it's so basic you can't believe they didn't have it already.
Hardcore New Yorkers tend to shake their heads at tourists confusedly poring over the NYC Subway Map.
But the map has been around so long and changed so little from its basic navigation that the problems tend to hide in plain sight. Now, to be clear, you couldn’t simply lift these ideas and implement them on the Subway Map as it now stands. With the current Subway Map, you have something struggling to serve two purposes, and therefore not doing a particularly good job at either.


There is, however, a fascinating little suggestion at improvements buried on the MTA’s website. But there are significant problems that remain: For one, multiple trains travel down single-colored tracks on this map. This is partly out of necessity: This map in particular is a guide to service interruptions, so the trains had to be broken apart to show that one might not be running at a given stop, even while another on the same line is running fine.
Meanwhile, the pedestrian links between lines are shown using simple black lines, at right angles. Thus, one of the amazing things you often see is people using the Subway Map as a surface map of New York.


What if we had a map more like the Weekender, with a slightly abstracted geography and only major thoroughfares overlaid onto it? Or what if the geography was revealed more forcefully on the opposite side of the page that the Subway Map was printed on, thereby breaking the hybrid functionality of the current map into two separate parts?
That’s a decent solution to a hard problem, but the open circles too-often coincide with transfers to other trains.



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