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Harry

NYC subway map creator says versions in stations is inconsistent, ineligible...

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The current map is inconsistent & illegible, but yet that version of a subway map he presents (38 seconds into the clip), is rather confusing... There's too much going on in it....

Doesn't help that every bit of displayed text is of the same opacity, either....

Current map wins by a landslide AFAIC....

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Something that really eats into legibility is Manhattan's depiction, which was rather obviously done (in the first place) strictly for the (M). By making that one borough look larger, it not only screws up how (the few) streets and lines are depicted within Manhattan, but enlarging Manhattan forces every other borough to be compressed, leading to the same crap.

Of course, there's also the assload of closely-spaced text for the many stations, which would only be somewhat alleviated by restoring the pre-June 2010 borough sizes. It doesn't help that quite a few have the same name.

All of that additional text he's proposed only makes the legibility situation worse, and I'd hardly consider how he depicts part-time service an improvement.

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Maybe with the digital kiosks we can get a night/weekend version that shows service changes?

Although, TBH, I’d rather they make the overhead signs digital so it shows what’s actually going to stop there - like AirTrain at JFK does when one side of the platform is out of service.

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On 9/22/2019 at 7:59 PM, B35 via Church said:

The current map is inconsistent & illegible, but yet that version of a subway map he presents (38 seconds into the clip), is rather confusing... There's too much going on in it....

Doesn't help that every bit of displayed text is of the same opacity, either....

Current map wins by a landslide AFAIC....

Yeah, his proposed map is horrible. "U-turn" notifications? Why in hell? 

Vignelli's was, is, and will remain the best map. He hated the Tauranac map when it came out, and god knows what he'd think of the proposed one in the pictures...

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3 hours ago, MHV9218 said:

Yeah, his proposed map is horrible. "U-turn" notifications? Why in hell? 

Vignelli's was, is, and will remain the best map. He hated the Tauranac map when it came out, and god knows what he'd think of the proposed one in the pictures...

Can someone explain why they hate the current map and love the Vignelli?

I’ve looked at the Vignelli, and all the route lines make me have to “trace” - whereas the current one - white dot for transfers and expresses; black for locals, and trunk colors just makes more sense to me.

Vignelli-style derivatives work on BART, WMATA, MARTA and others, but it’s just a lot of unnecessary things on the NYC map.

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10 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Can someone explain why they hate the current map and love the Vignelli?

I’ve looked at the Vignelli, and all the route lines make me have to “trace” - whereas the current one - white dot for transfers and expresses; black for locals, and trunk colors just makes more sense to me.

Vignelli-style derivatives work on BART, WMATA, MARTA and others, but it’s just a lot of unnecessary things on the NYC map.

The diagram looks nice. That's it, really. The refresh that formed the basis for the Weekender was certainly an improvement over the original, but the version used before the (brownM)/(V) merge was the most useful for practical purposes.

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Well that version of the subway map on the screens throughout the piece is absolute crap (not that his proposed map is that much better) and it so modified from the actual system map to the point that they're basically two different maps (and the changes they made are definitely not improvements) so he has a point.

They bastardized his design so much that I'd be pissed off too if I were him.

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1 hour ago, Deucey said:

Can someone explain why they hate the current map and love the Vignelli?

I’ve looked at the Vignelli, and all the route lines make me have to “trace” - whereas the current one - white dot for transfers and expresses; black for locals, and trunk colors just makes more sense to me.

Vignelli-style derivatives work on BART, WMATA, MARTA and others, but it’s just a lot of unnecessary things on the NYC map.

To hear designers tell it, the problem with the map is that

- the amount of irregular distortion makes the font size extremely small

- even while Manhattan is still being distorted, certain areas like downtown are still pretty hard to read.

My personal preference is the KickMap, which is an app, because it shows one line per service (like Vignelli) but the colors on each service are different tones of the trunk color, making it easier to distinguish.

JBFjKeX1fg6saajr7qtzNnoUo1_1280.jpg

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It looks like all he's done is add hollowed oblong bullets to the same line drawings. The maps he produced in the 90's were like that, but used much thinner line drawings (but were still very clear to see).

 What I think would be best would be an individual line version of the current map, like the one I did awhile ago. Then, part time lines could be colored lighter like they do on the Vignelli Weekender.

This is what they should use on those new kiosks, and update them real time with service changes.

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The maps on the display screens do look pretty terrible, which is too bad because I actually like the current (paper) map in spite of its distortion. But because the service hours change on so many of the lines, it’s not easy to convey that information in as few words as possible. The Kick map probably comes the closest to doing so, but even then, you still have to have multiple bullets to convey the different periods of time any given route that doesn’t stop at a station at all times. 

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The problem with the screen map is that it's pixellated, and this comes from the source image resolution not being fine enough. Other images on those screens are clearer, so they could make it look better as is. I still think the separate line drawings, and shading for part time would make it better.

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On 9/25/2019 at 12:25 AM, bobtehpanda said:

To hear designers tell it, the problem with the map is that

- the amount of irregular distortion makes the font size extremely small

- even while Manhattan is still being distorted, certain areas like downtown are still pretty hard to read.

My personal preference is the KickMap, which is an app, because it shows one line per service (like Vignelli) but the colors on each service are different tones of the trunk color, making it easier to distinguish.

JBFjKeX1fg6saajr7qtzNnoUo1_1280.jpg

I like this one - it’s pretty much the same map style every other transit agency uses, but it takes as much time to read as the current map - if not longer since you’re tracing route lines instead of following a color and reading what train stops at a particular station.

 

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4 minutes ago, Deucey said:

I like this one - it’s pretty much the same map style every other transit agency uses, but it takes as much time to read as the current map - if not longer since you’re tracing route lines instead of following a color and reading what train stops at a particular station.

It's not super clear from the low-res pic, but each stop bullet also has the letters in the stop bullets if you prefer that.

The nice thing about this is each individual color is slightly different, even the trunk hues, so "following the color" becomes much easier if you know what the color of the service is already. All the yellow-ish lines on this map go with each other, for example.

While the service letters at each stop is nice (either in the bullet in my preferred map or under the station name in the current official map), the main problem is that at the size they're physically printed at, your face basically needs to be inches away from the map to actually read those, which sucks if you're on a train, there's a person sitting in front of it, and there's a chance you'll miss your stop as it's coming up.

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