DC Metro Spiral (Names)

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    Take that, geospatial relationships.

    I misread an advertisement on a bus shelter in Trondheim...it was just a bunch of product-related icons sorted on a few spiraling lines, but at first glance I thought it was a transit map... it gave me an idea. I immediately made my way back to my hostel & sketched it out in the only software I had handy at the moment -- Microsoft Paint (1st draft)

    Behold: DC Metro ... in a spiral.

    I've loved the response to this, though one thing that's been really interesting has been the multitude of interpretations -- largely around what constitutes a "map". My two cents: a map is something you can use to get from point A to point B... it doesn't have to be efficient, so long as all the information is there. It doesn't even have to be geographical: it could be a mapped out strategy for any variety of things. But in the geographic sense: this map has all that you need to navigate the system. My opinion is that it's a map... it's just not a useful one.


    This includes Farragut Crossing but passes over a couple more complex details such as the Yellow Line running to Greenbelt, Blue Line using the Yellow Line Bridge, and I made a number of names a touch more concise. This should be the final version barring any major glaring errors, though I might add in those two omissions... no reason I can't other than a preference to get some sleep.

    It was really quite fortunate that all the lines & stations fit together such that this was even feasible. Even more: I could alternate between hot and cold colors to help maintain contrast. It only took me about 30 minutes to determine it was possible & to lay out its general form, though quite a bit longer to try and make it somewhat aesthetic. I kind of wish I could make the spiral a bit more compact, but my Illustrator skills only went so far and How To videos didn't seem to cover that goal.

    Designed in Adobe Illustrator CS5 ... a program with which I know not what I do

    1st draft
    2nd draft
    3rd draft


    2012 03 xx - Featured on Infographic Database

    2011 11 18 - Featured on Stochasticity

    2011 11 18 - Featured on Fuck Yeah Cartography!

    2011 11 16 - Featured on Transit Maps

    2011 11 03 - Used by We Love DC

    2011 07 25 - Used by DC Chillin'

    2011 07 20 - Linked in Bernie Wagenblast's daily Transportation Communications Newsletter

    2011 07 19 - Shared by the Sun Foundation

    2011 07 19 - Featured on Human Transit

    2011 07 19 - Featured on Greater Greater Washington

    2011 07 19 - Used on Prince of Petworth

    2011 07 14 - 2nd draft made the evening links on DCist

    2011 07 14 - 2nd draft retweeted by perkinsms

    2011 07 14 - 2nd draft retweeted by wmataplusside

    milliped, infosnackhq, and 18 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. infosnackhq 44 months ago | reply

      Printed and hung on my office door to freak people out. Thanks!

    2. dmcnitt 44 months ago | reply


    3. thisisbossi 44 months ago | reply

      That's awesome! While on the train back from work today I couldn't help but smile when I spotted an adjacent rider staring at it on her phone.

    4. wfjeff 44 months ago | reply

      The problem with this is that if you lived on the edge of the city and you wanted to commute to the center (like most commuters), it would take forever. If you added some spokes though running crisscrossing it, it would be a really efficient transit model.

    5. Wizardofwashington 38 months ago | reply

      Brilliant work, Bossi. may I share this on Transportgooru.com with proper credits?

    6. thisisbossi 38 months ago | reply

      Absolutely- it'd be appreciated if you could include a link back to the photo, too. Enjoy!

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