I am from the working too hard and the world travelers, from “Everything happens for a reason” and “Enjoy the time you have now”.
Here is my analysis of a map that shows the route system of the London Underground, London’s main subway system.
Here are two maps that show the routes of a subway system. The map on the left shows the London’s Underground system and the map on the right shows the New York Subway system. While the two maps are from two different countries, they have the same purpose; the maps show how to get a person around their respective city. By knowing the purpose of the two maps, it allows me open my eyes to the fact that both London and New York are not so different after all. Both cities have people who use mass transportation to get to and from a certain area in the city. Although the maps show how to get to and from a certain location, both do not show what the actual experience is like going through the system. Through personal experience, I can say that both underground systems are exciting and terrifying at the same time. The undergrounds are somewhat easy to navigate, but when you are in the system, there are so many people around you that you have to just trust your instincts and go for a route while hoping you pick the right train.
One thing that is different about the maps is the readability of the route system. For me, London’s Underground system is easier to read because the layout looks cleaner and the colored key is easier to understand. The background of the London map is faded so that when you are looking at the routes, you can clearly see the lines and the cities they associate with. New York on the other hand, is a little more difficult to understand because the key is a little hard to follow on the map. There is no clear color key so you have to hope that the color you pick goes with the route you want. Also, the map of New York has everything bolded; the colored lines are all thick and the black font tries to stand out more. With both the words and the lines so bolded, it is hard to concentrate on what to look at because it is so overpowering. The London Underground has some bolded lines and the words are lighter but easier to read. Either way, both maps are used to help a passenger get to where they need to go. The underground system has been going on for many years and hopefully mass transit continues to move forward.
Image found: http://www.artsman.com/Products/theatre.html
This map shows the floor plan of audience seating in a theater. At first glance, one would think the purpose of the map would be to show a person buying tickets wear they could potentially sit. Upon further inspection, the map is actually not for audience members but for the people working on the actual show. Details such as the sound booth and follow spot booth show that the map is being used for most likely the stage manager who is planning the layout of all the technical aspects of the show.
This map uses colors for one specific purpose, to differentiate the sections of the audience. After reading the chapter on color in How to Lie with Maps, I began to critique the use of colors in the layout. Since the colors were most likely picked at random, the person designing the map was not paying attention to what the map could do if a person was looking at it for the first time. Fortunately, the creator of the map used mostly “cool” colors such as blues and purple to contrast the different seating areas. Since the colors work well together, a person looking at the map will not have difficulty reading the map compared to if the colors were unpleasantly different.
This map is a layout of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. There are a few aspects on the map that are important to the subject of the memorial. The map shows all the different areas of the memorial such as the museum and the areas outside the museum. The map shows the full area and covers every part of the memorial. Lastly, the illustrations on the map correspond to what it represents in real life. For example, the reflecting pool is shaped in a rectangle like the one on the map. There is one aspect of the memorial that is not shown on the map. The Memorial is very significant to Oklahoma culture and it is hard to portray meanings and emotions on a map. The map of the memorial does have some generalizations though. The content of the map selections show only the important parts of the memorial, such as where everything is located, and takes out any irrelevant details that could confuse the person looking at the map. Also, the map uses classification through the illustrations to help the reader recognize where everything really is by making the map look similar to what the memorial actually looks like.
One of my favorite places to visit is London, England so I found a tourist map of the area around St. James’s Park. After reading about advertising and coloring in the book How to Lie with Maps, I realized that I could relate the reading to the map of the park. In the book, it states that maps with the goal of advertising a single-place focus also stimulates demand. The map shows the park itself, but also shows areas around the park where tourists can find a place to eat or use the restroom. The coloring of the map is also surprisingly well done and not misleading. The lake, grass, and buildings are appropriately colored so that it is easy to understand what is what and the coloring is not distracting. What I found interesting about the map was that it was simple/easy to understand, but had its own English flair. Notice the palace guard near the top left corner. 🙂