Anne Dietmeyer - our teacher in wonderfull Map Design class at SkillShare - sent me a link to LinePosters.com page. They create transportation maps of big cities in really simple and bold graphic style.
These illustrations made me thinking of two things:
1. When I tried to match each illustration to the real city map it wasn't so easy because posters mostly show subway lines. But it means the normal map (e.g. maps.google.com) does not show the essence of a big city very well. Transportation maps show the information about people migrations (i.e. commuting) and people density in much better way.
2. For me more intriguing than lines existing on these posters are huge blank spaces between some of them. Look at each city and try to imagine what terrain obstacle caused each blank space - sea, lake, mountain range, military area?
Below is Barcelona transit map - I guess these two big blank spaces (marked with red) at the top of transit map are mountain ranges (NW to Barcelona). And from SE Barcelona is limited by the sea (marked with blue on transit map):
Compare with actual Barcelona map: [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=pl&ie=UTF8&t=m&ll=41.413896,2.102509&spn=0.247176,0.439453&z=11&output=embed&w=640&h=480]
Now look at San Francisco:
The blank space in the middle of transit system is SF Bay:
You can see that transit map lines go far into the ocean, but authors explain it on their site:
Are the designs accurate/to-scale? All of the designs are artistic representations of that particular city's transit system. This means that while all lines were inspired by the map(s) pertaining to that city, they have been drawn independently and represent a stylized illustration relating to that city. They are meant to be visually appealing rather than geographically accurate which leaves them open to interpretation and make for great conversation starters.
Check other cities at LinePosters page and have fun guessing what's hidden between the lines!