University of Chicago sophomore Sasha Trubetskoy spent a few weeks designing this amazing subway-style transit map of all the roads in the Roman Empire circa 125 AD. As Kottke notes, Rome constructed 250,000 miles of roads starting in 300 BC—over 50,000 miles of which were paved with stone—linking a total of 113 provinces from Spain to modern day Britain to the northern tip of Africa.
Trubetskoy pulled data from numerous sources, but took liberties where the history is fuzzy. “The biggest creative element was choosing which roads and cities to include, and which to exclude,” he shares. “There is no way I could include every Roman road, these are only the main ones. I tried to include cities with larger populations, or cities that were provincial capitals around the 2nd century.”
You can see the map in a bit more detail on his website, and if you donate a few bucks he’ll send you a hi-res PDF fit for printing. (via Kottke)
New York by playhouse_animation
Designing a public transit map can be a complicated process, taking months if not years to create a concise layout that can be interpreted quickly for commuters on the go. To make things easier to understand the obvious decision is to use symbolic geography in lieu of real maps so that everything fits in a legible manner. Over at the subreddit r/DataIsBeautiful, Reddit user vinnivinnivinni had thew idea to create an animated comparison of a Berlin subway map compared to its real geography. The post went viral and several other users chimed in with their own contributions. Gathered here are some of the best examples, but you can see a few more on Twisted Sifter (gotta love Austin).
Berlin by vinnivinnivinni
Tokyo by -Ninja-
Singapore by wrcyn
Shanghai by KailoB6
São Paulo by sweedishfishoreo
Washington D.C. by stupidgit
Oslo by iamthedestroyer
Montreal by weilian82
Photo by Kosaku Mimura/Nikkei
In the Northeast suburbs of central Osaka stands a curious train station unlike any other. Kayashima Station features a rectangular hole cut into the roof of the elevated platform and, from inside, a giant tree pokes its head out like a stalk of broccoli. It’s almost like a railway version of Laputa.
The large camphor tree is older than most records but officials believe it to be around 700 years old. The story of how this tree and station became, quite literally, intertwined, varies depending on who you ask. It certainly has to do with a great reverence for nature, but also a fair amount of superstition.
Kayashima Station first opened in 1910 and, at the time, the camphor tree stood right next to the station. For the next 60 years the station remained largely unchanged. But an increase in population and overcrowding began to put pressure on the station and plans for an expansion where approved in 1972, which called for the tree to be cut down.
But the camphor tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity. And when locals found out that station officials planned to remove the tree there was a large uproar. Tales began to emerge about the tree being angry, and unfortunate events befalling anyone who attempted to cut it down. Someone who cut a branch off later in the day developed a high fever. A white snake was spotted, wrapped around the tree. Some even saw smoke arise from the tree (it was probably just a swarm of bugs).
And so, the station officials eventually agreed to keep the tree and incorporate it into the new elevated platform’s design. In 1973 construction began and the new station was completed in 1980. The station even surrounded the base of the tree with a small shrine. To this day, the tree still stands thanks to a strong, local community and a little bit of superstition. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
Photo by Studio Ohana.
Photo by Studio Ohana.
Mini Metros is an ongoing series of worldwide public transit maps that have been “shrunken and simplified” into tiny diagrams by D.C.-based designer Peter Dovak. So far he’s completed over 200 light rail and metro systems and made them available in different configurations as posters and mugs on Society6. (via Kottke)
A few Latvian activists from a branch of the bicycle advocacy group Let’s Bike it recently created a visual reminder of the space taken by cars on a typical road. To accomplish this, the group fabricated bamboo skeletons shaped like actual cars and mounted them on their bikes. The activists then cycled around the streets of Riga for several hours to highlight the absurdity of using a large car to move a single person. The stunt was organized as part of European Mobility Week, an ongoing campaign that explores sustainable urban mobility around Europe. (via Designboom, My Modern Met)
Residents of a neighborhood in Baltimore now have the most obvious place to wait for a bus ever designed. The ingenious stop is comprised of three 14′ typographic sculptures that literally spell out the word “BUS” while functioning as benches and a novel leisure space. The bus stop was unveiled last month by artist collective mmmm…, a creative collaboration between Emilio Alarcón, Alberto Alarcón, Ciro Márquez, and Eva Salmerón, who have been designing public spaces in Madrid since 1998. This is their second project in the United States. Via the collective’s website:
BUS is made with wood and steel, materials that are typically used to build urban furniture. The three letters of BUS are big enough to accommodate two to four people each and protect them from rain, sun, wind, and inclement weather. They allow people to assume different postures of sitting or standing while waiting for the bus. The S allows people to lie back while they wait, and the B provides shelter.
The BUS project was developed in conjunction with SPAIN arts & culture, Creative Alliance, and is part of TRANSIT, a creative placemaking initiative between Europe and Baltimore. You can see much more, here. (via Escape Kit)