Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

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Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu May 17, 2018 2:39 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... finds.html

Way too deep for me...

...
The scientists also believe that artificial intelligence software could be used to rectify many of the map-related mistakes plaguing commuters.

Researchers used New York City as a case study because it has switched between different color-coding systems and is known to have several 'navigational hazards'.

'The New York City subway has one of the most complex service patterns in the world, and is currently undergoing re-evaluation and development of its information delivery,' the study noted.

They recruited almost 300 participants and randomly paired them with a type of color-coded map.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby Backshophoss » Thu May 17, 2018 9:32 pm

Another case of "overthinking the plumbing" again. :P
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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby Allan » Fri May 18, 2018 1:35 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5738201/New-Yorks-subway-map-complicated-navigational-hazards-confuse-commuters-study-finds.html

Way too deep for me...

...
The scientists also believe that artificial intelligence software could be used to rectify many of the map-related mistakes plaguing commuters.

Researchers used New York City as a case study because it has switched between different color-coding systems and is known to have several 'navigational hazards'.

'The New York City subway has one of the most complex service patterns in the world, and is currently undergoing re-evaluation and development of its information delivery,' the study noted.

They recruited almost 300 participants and randomly paired them with a type of color-coded map.
...



Typical British thinking.

Ever try to work your way thru a London Underground map? At least the NYC map has some sense of geography (even if some of it is a bit skewed).
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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby GojiMet86 » Fri May 18, 2018 7:17 pm

I have a problem with the description of the subway having the most complex patterns.

I know that each line on the London Underground has various terminals that tended to be used, and there are many combinations of a single line, especially if there are multiple branches.
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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri May 18, 2018 11:57 pm

Everyone:

I never found the NYC Subway maps to be confusing at all even with the variety of changes and
map types since the 1960s describing the recent era.

I found the London Underground map to be somewhat more complicated noting the line names
and multiple colors that are used to designate each route.

What I would like to see - and never have - is a geographically correct map - track of otherwise -
of the London Underground to show how elaborate or complicated their system is in comparison
to NYC Transit's routes.

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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby andrewjw » Sat May 19, 2018 12:29 am

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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby jonnhrr » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:09 pm

I think some of this is due to geography. with New York you have lines starting in the Bronx or Queens then all funneling into the narrow island of Manhattan then back out again into Brooklyn. The lines all split and combine in different combinations into the various tunnels / bridges under/over the water. In London you only have the Thames to deal with and lines don't share tunnels which makes it simpler.

With London you have a basic "spider" with the Circle imposed over the center. Makes the layout of a map somewhat simpler especially if you don't follow the geography.

Although lately the London map has gotten more complex lately with the Overground, Elizabeth Line/Crossrail, trams, DLR, etc. It is starting to get as complex as NYC.

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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby ConstanceR46 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:00 pm

I don't trust Daily Fail with anything.

With that said, a lot of it stems imo from most cities not having the sheer amount and density of metro that NY has; most other cities have 1 line per track and all-local, NYC has the exact opposite.
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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:01 pm

Having lived through all the previous permutations of schematic New York subway maps (starting around 1960?), I think the present one, in place for some years now, is absolutely the best yet, with a different color for each trunk in Manhattan, carried forward into the other boroughs, resulting in four colors on the IND E and F routes in Queens. In my opinion this makes it easy to follow any route to its destinations and trace any connecting routes. What would really be confusing is a map like the one linked by Jeff Smith in the original post. Great for railfans, but we all know what they're like. :wink:
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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby Kamen Rider » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:49 am

the problem with a purely schematic map is that it doesn't allow travelers to truly consider their options.

For example; Let's say you've just spent the day watching tennis at Wimbledon. the matches are over and you're on your way out. the tube map makes it look like the District line and the Overground are your only real option, but in reality, the South Wimbledon station on the Northern Line is less than a mile further down the road from the main Wimbledon station.



The moment Vignelli walked it and showed them a map with stations in the wrong places, he should have been shown the door.
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Re: Why New York's subway map is SO confusing

Postby doepack » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:33 am

I wonder what those researchers would have done with a circa 1950's map of the rail network of Chicago and NW Indiana...
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