Monday, November 06, 2023

Redesigning the World's Transit Maps

The University of Freiburg has redesigned the transit maps of every city in the world. Zoom in on any location on the university's LOOM Global Transit Map and you can view the local transit network mapped using your choice of four different transit map projections.

In every city in the world you can view the local transit map in either a geographical, octilinear, geo-octilinear or orthoradial projection. The animated GIF above shows each of these four projections applied to the New York subway and lightrail network. 

The 'LOOM' in the map's title stands for 'Line-Ordering Optimized Maps'. LOOM is an algorithm developed by the University of Freiburg that takes the geographical data of a transit network and then maps it to minimize 'the total number of line crossings and line separations'. In this mapping LOOM respects the geography of the network so that the map created isn't just a schematic map of the transit network but works geographically as well. 

Because the transit maps generated by the University of Freiburg respect the geography of station locations the resulting transit maps can be used as overlays on interactive maps. The university has developed a set of map tiles which you can use to add these transit maps in your favorite mapping library. The Transit Vector Tile Service offers map tiles for tram, subway-lightrail, rail-commuter and long distance rail in the geographical, octilinear, geo-octilinear and orthoradial layouts. These maps are updated weekly with the latest OpenStreetMap data.

Via: Weekly OSM


Anonymous said...

The reprojection algorithms create unuseable maps.

Case in point: The U4 underground line in Hamburg, Germany (the light blue one in the map). In octilinear and orthoradial modes, some stations are moved to the other side of the river Elbe, which is a very substantial barrier. In any mode except geographical, the interconnection to the S3 commuter rail line at the southeast terminus is lost.

So you can’t use the reprojected maps to reliably find a station in your area and you can’t use them to plan a trip. What’s their point?

Anonymous said...

Why not bus routes? Many places in the US only have this option so that needs to be represented as well.