The official WMATA transit map (designed for clarity & legibility) vs. the actual geographical layout of the DC Metro
Metro_Compared (by Don Whiteside)
Back in 2010, WMATA produced a 15-minute bus map that showed bus routes with frequent service throughout the day. That map was just for planning purposes, but it’s such a useful idea that I took the next step, and turned it into a more user-friendly diagram.
Do you think you can design a better Metro map? We’re having a contest to see what a new Metro map could look like.
The traditional map has kept its basic form since 1976. Now, there are several reasons for a change. The Silver Line to Tysons Corner will open in 2014. But before that, the “Yellow and Orange Line service increase” will also force a map revision for 2012.
WMATA has retained the original map designer, Lance Wyman, to redesign the map. It’s unclear how close he’ll keep the new map to the original. But you don’t have to replicate the original. In fact, we encourage you to be as creative as you wish in designing a map
Here’s a quick preview of a project I worked on last week: visualizations of Metrorail data. I wanted to augment the Metrorail map with three data sets I found to be both interesting and relevant to the Metro user: average passenger boarding at each station, crime at each station, and the amount of time it takes to get from one stop to the next. All of this data is publicly available information on the WMATA web site that is uniquely valuable to a Metro user.