For years the MTA subway map of New York has been a city icon – and much debated in the graphic world as it tried to achieve an almost-impossible set of needs: accuracy, elegancy, clarity, trying to combine a huge amount of information on what happens below ground with some utility as an above-ground navigation tool.
This new online one, suitable for the way we actually get information, seems to do the job. So, transit nerds, set aside some time to explore.
Today, the MTA is unveiling its new digital map, the first one that uses the agency’s own data streams to update in real time. It supersedes the blizzard of paper service-change announcements that are taped all over your subway station’s entrance. It’s so thoroughly up-to-the-moment that you can watch individual trains move around the system on your phone.
Pinch your fingers on the screen, and you can zoom out to see your whole line or borough, as the lines resolve into single strands. Drag your fingers apart, and you’ll zoom in to see multiple routes in each tunnel springing out, widening into parallel bands — making visible individual service changes, closures and openings, and reroutings. Click on a station, and you can find out whether the elevators and escalators are working.
New York City.
New York City!
Population: 8.5 million. Reach of the longest metro line: 31 kms.
Population 2.6 million. Reach of Langley SkyTrain line: 45 kms.
First subway in London 1863.
First subway in NYC 1904.
First subway (Skytrain) in Vancouver 1985.
So SkyTrain is expanding its reach way way way way way too quickly then.
It’s actually MUCH more dramatic a difference than that. 🙂 Vancouver’s *metro* population is 2.6 million. New York City’s MSA was 20.3 million in 2010, and its CSA was 24 million in 2020. And both numbers are considerably higher now. And New York City’s *city population* is over 13 times that of Vancouver. 🙂
I would assume it’s not actually real-time as it would help a bomber blow up a train or two.
Presumably, there’s some sort of delay in the reporting/display.
Trains are normally so frequent, bombers don’t need to use this map. But some people can’t help making things harder for themselves.