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Exceptional public transit maps

I love public transit maps. They not just help us to figure out the correct train to reach destinations, but I think that they are the fingerprint of the city. I really love Neil Freeman’s work “Subway systems at the same scale” in 2004.


These graphics have no key and annotation. They are simply made up of lines. All graphics are in black and white. But you can easily get a sense of the development and the public transit landscape of the cities. It is considered as an infographic. It provides a new world perspective for readeers to see a city economic growth and population density.

In fact, subway-styled infographics have been used in many ways. For example, what would you think if the systems of the human body were depicted as a subway map?

The Human Subway Map

“The infographic that traces the routes of eight different systems within the body (Digestive, Respiratory, Arterial, etc.), and highlights the major connection points.”

The Gastrointestinal System Represented as a Subway Map

“The designer took a digestive route with this metro map by visualizing it as a gastrointestinal system. As dark and scary as some metro systems can be, this infographic offers the perfect analogy – especially the blue line.”

For more graphics which have incorporated with metro map concept, you can visit 5 Cool Subway-Styled Infographics.  http://daddu.net/5-cool-subway-styled-infographics/

Also, here is a Youtube link which show the step to build a subway map with Adobe Illustrator. Learn build your first public transit maps! Enjoy!

Margaret Yee Man, NG



2 thoughts on “Exceptional public transit maps

  1. The second one, the human subway map, is entirely stunning. I am amazed at the creativity. But there are two points I want to make. First, would it be too many lines and too many words, and thus too much information? I don’t know if people would take the time to trace each line and see where each one goes and which system they belong to. Also people have to refer to the legends every time. That’s a common problem of having too many lines. Second, would the anatomy pictures hanging on the wall of a doctor’s office be a better place if viewers want to know the structure of human body? Still, I think comparing the eight human systems to subway lines is very impressive.

    Posted by qianruisha | October 2, 2012, 4:18 am
  2. The human subway map is really cool. It makes me think of movies like “Inner Space,” where miniaturized people travel in tiny vehicles through a normal-sized person’s blood vessels. They could use a map like this.

    Posted by Aaron Cooper | October 3, 2012, 4:41 am

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