Process: Map Design

Process: Map Design

Matthias Stamm

I volunteered to be the head designer of the maps we would propose for our cable system. Printing maps were my main priority at the beginning of the studio. The maps were then printed and sketches were then drawn onto the maps to potentially be the AirT maps in the future. I kept designing and prototyping and came to a conclusion on a very average and basic map. I soon realized that the maps would not work it would need to be changed. The map that I had in my head was very detailed geographical map of the T lines. Rowan helped me out then printed out one of these maps. On the map I marked out the rough sketch of what stops we would use and the paths they would take, which on the map is marked in orange.

We were then asked to come up with an idea of replacing the green line completely which was tough. Figuring out which stops should be kept in and out were an issue but the path was drawn out in green. Then in blue sharpie, I marked down the almost final draft of the map. An issue came up when this happened. A mile of cabling and machinery would cost several million dollars so the map had to be revised. It was challenging trying to determine exactly where it should go. Should it be a closed loop connecting all of the lines? Would it be better only if it connected the green line together? I then thought about it a little and consulted with my group and we came up with the joint idea of having a loop connect all of the lines together with small segments outside of the main city.

Once the design was chosen, the bare geographical map was loaded into Adobe Illustrator. The group kept consulting on different designs and colors for the map and decided that the final map would have eight stops connecting the green line to the red line and even the blue line. Furthermore, two more maps were thrown through this process. One of the maps was a up close and personal view of the streets of boston and the specific streets and areas the stations for the cable carts would go. The last map that was created showed a rough estimate of where the cable cart towers would go along these routes. Trying to get more into detail, a zoomed in view of where the stations would go was then made. This was done by finding the original T stops in boston using google maps, then finding areas with large enough space to hold one of the stations. Even on top of that, the stations had to be within walking distance of the original T stations so that transferring would not be an issue. Moving onto helping out the PR group, they needed some images of these cable cars in boston. This posed an issue due to the fact that we needed pictures around where the stations would go and needed these to be the same quality as other pictures going to be photoshopped together. After a bit of searching, two photos were found that could be morphed together. This picture involved having cable cars flying overhead of Boston. The process to making this picture began with the first picture being the background and cutting out everything that would be conflicting with the other picture. Once this was done, the other picture was simply added behind this picture making the effect that Boston actually had a cable car system!

The second picture easily took the victory of being the most challenging. This picture was an inside view of a cable car looking out into Boston. It was made similarly to the first picture but needed more precise editing due to it having people on the inside of it. When it was finished being edited, it came out personally as the best picture that was made. By the end of all these being formed it was end of the two week studio.