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Geographical/Time Transit Map

T Map Challenge | Projects

  •    In this studio we were challenged to recreate the Boston T map. At the beginning, of the studio, we spent a lot of time looking at different maps and creating our own. After a while of studying different maps and the Boston T map I decided I wanted to make a map the was geographically accurate that included the cities and other water and land marks. Sam also wanted an accurate map that included time. Both these ideas would help a person that did not really know the Boston area or the T system very well.

  • Sam:                   

       This studio was called “New Perspectives T Map Challenge”. I worked in a group with Christiana Panicucci, our idea was to create an accurate map of the MBTA. I had an idea to add a way to predict how much time it would take to travel from point a to point b. Christiana’s idea was to create a highly accurate geographical map. One of the first things I started with was cutting the redline out of a pdf of the MBTA map. While Christiana worked on mapping the entire subway I worked on the background, this involved tracing all the boundaries of the cities and towns adjacent to Boston using Adobe Illustrator. Every town that contained some part of the subway system had to be traced, along with boundaries I also traced the ocean and some of the parks close to the subway system.

        The next part I worked on was the smaller map of downtown Boston. I started by enlarging the downtown map of Boston, the new map had more space to add station stops and text. We then decided to add a walking map of downtown Boston behind the subway map, I removed everything from a street map of boston except for the streets and street names then added it to the smaller map. The entire map needed a key and scale so the user can easily find where they want to go on the map. The scale is a simple three mile marker while the key was created by copying a piece of the larger map and labeling each part of the line. The only thing left to do was to color the land and ocean accordingly. Personally I think the map turned out very nice and could be useful in some situations.


       I mainly worked on labeling all the T lines. This was a very tedious job that required a lot of patients. I started out with only the red line because we thought there would be a crunch for time. However, we were given more time, so I finished labeling the rest of the lines. Labeling each stop was tricky. Because our map was geographically accurate, all the stops were close together making it hard to fit all the names in. In an earlier draft, of the map, I had all the stops labeled, but the names were in all different directions making it hard to read and confusing. To fix this I had to shrink the type size and I picked two angles to use. This made it much more visually pleasing. Then I had to indicate time markers. At first we used small circles for one minute and big circles for five minutes. Unfortunately, the circles were getting confused with stops, so we changed them to dashes instead. Then I changed the five minute maker to an oval so that is would stand out. The only part of the map that does not follow these rules is the green line. The stops are too close together to fit all their names, so I included only the stops that were 5 minutes away from each other. The other stops that do not have names are still on the map, but they are not labeled and are a solid green.

       Lastly, I created our map label. It is a clock made out of our train lines and a geographically accurate piece of Boston. Our logo is meant to display our map in a creative way. It is showing that what our map stands for. It is, also, meant for visual pleasure. It took a long time to think of a logo that captured the idea and feel of our map, but when I thought of it I knew it was perfect. I am very proud of our map, and I believe it can be used by anyone.