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Vignelli’s map design was considered by design professionals to be “perfect”, but it did not meet the needs of the commuting masses. What are some other examples of things that have been heralded as “perfect” that were actually not as good as the “worse” thing they were replacing?
Comment from : Cheddar

Jorge Pille
So, a good example of "know your audience." Research is important.
Comment from : Jorge Pille

Gordon Richardson
RIP designer Michael Hertz: www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51648746
Comment from : Gordon Richardson

Anthony Ng
Ahh the resilient and flexible Americans
Comment from : Anthony Ng

Wouter Paap
This is very interesting. According to psychiatrist Carl Jung, people can be divided into four types: intuitive, perception, logic and emotional. Western society has been based on logic since the era of the Enlightenment around 1750. I think that it was precisely because of this emphasis on logic in society that there was great surprise by the developers that this map did not appeal to users. As an 'emotional' type, I can only smile at this astonishment and I fully understand how good it feels to see the geographical lines and the curves of the metro lines on the maps.
Comment from : Wouter Paap

New york deserved 9/11
Comment from : black_cat

There's nothing wrong with the map. It's just that it was launched in the wrong time.
Comment from : ruzzell907

Andy A
I live in staten island, and that part where you said that staten island is gone completely, made me sad, jk lolll
Comment from : Andy A

Steve Dunning
And the conclusion was...?
Comment from : Steve Dunning

Orbite flow
Because they could care less.
Comment from : Orbite flow

Hiran Almarales
geographical maps are much better. and if satellite image could be included in the map's layer, even better. simple diagrams style maps may be easy for the eye but depending on the city and the way it was designed. Simple diagram styled maps can be quite inaccurate and prevent the user from reaching his/her destination which is the opposite purpose of a map.
Comment from : Hiran Almarales

Who else thought it looked like mini metro
Comment from : AussiCanAnimate

MPY Films
I thought what New York is using was a nice map, but I saw how cluttered and confusing it was compared to London’s when I visited the latter summer last year.
Comment from : MPY Films

Never thought there'd be a time where I'd agree with NY ers...but yeah, I'm getting lost in London subways. It's already such a foreign concept to me, taking away the familiarity of the above ground neighborhoods just, defeats the purpose for me of actually getting somewhere. Distorting distance & stops from their geography makes my head spin~~
Comment from : Red_Light_

Elaine Burnett
Geographic map is best.
Comment from : Elaine Burnett

James McCrea
It just copied the basic format of London’s Tube map
Comment from : James McCrea

Javier Alvarez
Now than everyone has a map on their pocket and are used to read it, this obscure abstractions not make sense anymore.
Comment from : Javier Alvarez

Wietse ten Dam
The old new york map looks just like a mini metro game
Comment from : Wietse ten Dam

2:35 it's Harry not Henry Beck
Comment from : Huw

Mike the Spike
New Yorkers simply can't think in the abstract, that's all.
Comment from : Mike the Spike

Kai Gaming
My favorite Public transport map is the Munich one because it has ALL infos on it you have Busses, Trams,Subway,trains on one Map and its printed on real map
Comment from : Kai Gaming

brett knoss
The thing now, is that people have smart phones, so they should to able to access both the graph and the map, to see what information they need. Along with the knowledge to read both.
Comment from : brett knoss

That’s So Fetch!
London is my favourite
Comment from : That’s So Fetch!

Now with smartphone and look at any map you want in minutes.
Comment from : OOO OOO

Frankie Cottrell
Can we just move to Loondon just seems easier than weigh all this map stuff
Comment from : Frankie Cottrell

Frankie Cottrell
Random New York people: It’s simple, clean, and aesthetically pleasing.”

Me: Laughs into London Underground map.

Comment from : Frankie Cottrell

Another Guy
3:35 wtf tokyo??!!
Comment from : Another Guy

Eddie Rodriguez
I remember when it first came out.
Comment from : Eddie Rodriguez

Arturs Dobrecovs
"Henry Beck"?? The 1933 London Underground diagram was designed by Harry Beck, not Henry
Comment from : Arturs Dobrecovs

Fabian Jäger
3:06 Vienna :)
Comment from : Fabian Jäger

What’s weird is that London is geographically a much more complicated city (no grid system or numbered streets) yet we’ve happily been using the Beck map since the 1930’s.
Comment from : MrMakeDo

A subway diagram with no relationship with the geography above is much less useful and even detrimental to anyone who isn’t a local. It is hard to plan your trip when you don’t know which stop is actually closest to your destination or which route is the most efficient and easiest to navigate in reality and not just on the map.
Comment from : WaterNai

Robert Lind
The map was shit, you had no idea where your stop really was
Comment from : Robert Lind

Drew Freeman
The Boston map is the best... but I looked at it everyday for twenty years.
Comment from : Drew Freeman

Henry Beck? Interesting!
Hamburg has exactly the same subway map. Very clear and well done.

Comment from : kiliipower

Tony Montana
It is only deficult or hard if you have an IQ of an American
Comment from : Tony Montana

Troy Van
To plot a route from station to station, look at the subway map. To get a sense of distance and geography, look at Google Maps with the transit layer turned on.
Comment from : Troy Van

Francis Power
I have to say that having recently become a resident of New York City and someone who culturally grew up with the iconic diagram of the London underground I find the New York map we use today truly horrible. Firstly you need a magnifying glass to read it and secondly there is so much unnecessary 'noise' going on that it is practically unreadable even with a magnifying glass. I would love to see a reissue of Vignelli's diagram, even if it were just an option on a transport app. Along perhaps with a similar diagram explaining the waterborne public transport options, which are excellent and I suspect in a lot of cases underused because people don't know about/how to use them. But actually what would help the less familiar and visitors to New York even more on the subway would be better signage on the platforms and on the trains to tell us what station we were arriving at. In some cases you practically have to be clairvoyant to know!
Comment from : Francis Power

3:32 Pause

Metro 2033 intensifies

Comment from : Kevcaninez

Pierre R.
Oh gosh what a stupid debate. Just use both systems. In Frankfurt Germany there are many Stations with severeal maps. Simplyfied versions for People who know where to go and just look for the best route. And detailed maps where the routes of even buslines are exactly on top of a map for people who have to search for a good destination station in the first place.
Comment from : Pierre R.

Artem Cobalt
using google maps for navigation would solve all the problems. it does show where to go, where to transfer to a different line and what station to leave at
Comment from : Artem Cobalt

robert moore
Needs to explain where you are and where you are going. Well where I am going is above ground. Having things distorted doesn't help. Only means I need a map to translate the transit map.
Comment from : robert moore

Daniel Garbutt
It was Paul Garbutt who took the initial Beck map and developed it into what is used today. The Thames was shifted by Garbutt and the less angular and more curved corners introduced. This was done to accommodate new lines also.
Comment from : Daniel Garbutt

Ina Fitable
cause americaaa! aka the people willing to let spacecraft crash to insist on worse measurement systems
Comment from : Ina Fitable

kevinthe hamster
That’s the map from the opening of “The Warriors”.
No above ground geography also doesn’t serve tourist too well.

Comment from : kevinthe hamster

Anna B
So New Yorkers are stupid they can't read a map
Comment from : Anna B

Le Plum
London underground was the first, original map of this design. All others are rip-offs, copies, p[ale shades.
Comment from : Le Plum

David Santos
I think maybe they should keep both. A map making it easy to understand a station and its surroundings, as well as showing real distances between stations, and a diagram making it easy to understand the relationship between stations, lines, points of transfer, etc. You could use the map to determine which station you need to go to considering your destination, and then you could use the diagram to learn how to navigate the subway system in order to get to that station.
Comment from : David Santos

"riders only need to know where they are and where they are going" what a silly assumption. this is why it belongs in a modern art museum and not in the subway. Pragmatism > aesthetics
Comment from : nannite

Insert Tokyo metro map
Comment from : yun

Boomers kept getting anxious over the 45 degree angles
Comment from : TomoBata

Blade Vamp
It is a good map, but...without above grown being visible...how do you know where you are in relation to it? Without another map?
Comment from : Blade Vamp

[laughs in Harry Beck]
Comment from : hotelmario510

Sydney uses similar
Comment from : TheSunkenCommander

John Moseley
Does it have anything to do with the fact that NYC street names are mostly just numbers – and subways stops are named after them? Here in London, we have tube stop names that are much more evocative of places: Piccadilly Circus, St. James' Park etc. You know pretty much exactly what you're going to get, so no need for geographical accuracy.
Comment from : John Moseley

A. Westenholz
Actually I think I'd like to have both types of map if not familiar with either NY or its subway system. The one that's more geographically accurate will allow me to choose the right stop and lines, while the other will make it easier to navigate the subway system itself. Sort of one each side of a folding card, perhaps?
Comment from : A. Westenholz

Uhohhotdog Gaming
Why not both?
Comment from : Uhohhotdog Gaming

David Burrow
It's not design, but practicality that matters for a transit map. For tourists especially, but also for locals, it's important to have at least some idea of how the train stations relate to streets and landmarks above ground. That is especially important in cities (like New York) where many different stations share the same name (e.g.: 23rd Street). People don't just look at subway maps when they're underground. They use them to plan trips to get to where they want to go, and having above ground context makes that planning much easier.
Comment from : David Burrow

Yahiii there was a short clip from Viennas Subway System! :D
Comment from : WieAlex

sunny sunshine
I dont really like vignellis map because i can see the different lines but not the stops
Like i cant read them
Because even tho it's like a diagram it's still cluttered af

Comment from : sunny sunshine

Scuba Diva
Vignelli's map made a cameo appearance in the 1979 film The Warriors when one guy is trying to read the map on a train and another dismisses it, saying, "Don't bother; nobody can read that anyway."
Comment from : Scuba Diva

Tele Opinions
With all the technology that's available today you can find what's above ground very easily, so in retrospect Vignelli was ahead of its time (in NYC). But, if at the time it didn't serve the community well, then it is not good. I think just a few tweaks to the original graphic will render it very functional today.
Comment from : Tele Opinions

Riverness Mariposa
A better question is why the MTA insists on using an intercom system inside the subway car that almost no one can understand or listen to properly.
Comment from : Riverness Mariposa

Archisman Kar
Everyone goes from one neighbourhood to another, and no one goes from a station to another station.... So geographically near or complete accurate maps are only logical choice...
Comment from : Archisman Kar

Priscilla Emerald
So in summary, New Yorkers are stupid.
Comment from : Priscilla Emerald

CHON ceo
For a laugh look at the Prague metro map :)
Comment from : CHON ceo

Christopher Mara
Growing up in NC in the 70's we hated that map. It lacked a sense of the city. When Nobuyoki Siraisi redesigned the map we instantly fell in love with it. It was a map of the subway and the city. Brillant.
Comment from : Christopher Mara

Andy E
Of course only New Yorkers would take a designer masterpiece and shit all over it in favor of an inferior design. Totally not surprised. Good thing most other modern cities like London and Tokyo have good design sense and have kept the more logical layout.
Comment from : Andy E

I prefer Geographically accurate maps. Much easy to relation with other maps or for cities with more than just the subway.
Comment from : thepureheartofdark

Comment from : SandboxArrow

I use the map more as a "how to get from above-ground point a to point b, using the subway" vignelli's map is useless because I can't see where any station is in relation to where I'm actually trying to go.
Comment from : Blade1301

Nicholas Pipitone
The reason why new yorkers hated the distortion is very intuitive. Consider DC, which has an extremely distorted map that looks nothing like how it is above ground. This is okay, because it's an absolute fact that no matter where you are in DC, you can only realistically walk to a single stop. The rest are just unwalkably far away. And, when it comes to your destination, you need to stop at exactly one correct stop. If you get off at the wrong stop, you again need to take a taxi or get back in the subway because you're unwalkably far away. Also, the density is so low, that you're never okay just popping out of a random stop. If you come out of a random stop there's literally nothing to do so you have to just walk right back in. So distorting the map is fine, every single person who's using the subway is at some point A and needs to get to some point B, and no other option is acceptable. This experience has absolutely nothing to do with how riding the subway in NY feels. There are thousands of places to be that you get to know when living in the city, and when you jump in, you're totally fine going to any of them if you just want to chill. You can also safely stop basically anywhere and know you're only a subway away to anywhere else in the entire city, and where you stop has plenty of things to do, no matter where it is. The stops are so frequent that it's very easy to want to catch a train in Times Square, but which one you catch just doesn't matter. You'll accidentally stumble upon an MTA stop a dozen times while you walk up and down broadway. Just get in any of them. There is no Point A to Point B when riding a subway in NYC. It's region A to region B. Want to hang out in Tribeca? Sure let's take a ride. The geography is incredibly important, you need to be able to see exactly where in the city you're trying to go to. Taking out the regions is awful, again NYC commonly involves just riding to a region. How do you ride to tribeca if that region is completely unlabelled and nothing is geographically accurate? It just doesn't work. And, if you know you're trying to get to a specific location in say midtown, well then being able to see the streets and avenues is absolutely critical to being able to make a decision as to what stop to get off at. In DC or other cities, there's absolutely no decision making when it comes to what stop to get off at. You have to know before you even get on. In DC, you say "Okay come to Union Station". In NY, you say "Meet me at battery park", or "Meet me on 4th and 42nd". You need to look at the map to know how to get to battery park or a specific street/avenue, so it absolutely needs to be on the map. Union Station is the name of a station, you have no choice, just go there. Above ground doesn't matter in these other cities. But Never in NY does someone explain to you exactly which train to take and what stop to get off. It just doesn't really happen, you make that decision after looking at the map. It's more than a subway map. It's a real map combined with a subway map, you need both.
Comment from : Nicholas Pipitone

I Created An Account For This
I like maps and diagrams.
Comment from : I Created An Account For This

Demi Moore’s cousin? Sister?
Comment from : kayakchrispy

Eric Carabetta
Thank you. I fucking hate the NY subway map, it’s horrible. Other cities are so much easier to read, New Yorkers are just stupid.
Comment from : Eric Carabetta

Huy Ly
Once a map becomes as complicated as Tokyo's but it is real hard for people not used to it to figure out where to go.

It's especially bad in Tokyo because to buy tickets at some stations you have to: look at the map above the ticket machines, find what station you're at, find your destination station and see what "payment zone" it's located in, then punch in the cost of the ticket. Sometimes the station names are in Japanese those were the times I was glad I did 3 years of Japanese in highschool and can read basic Japanese.

All this is why I only did it once then just bought an iC card to tap and go. Also I learnt Google maps is an absolute lifesaver.

Comment from : Huy Ly

NYC is built in a grid like system making it easier to have numerous subway stations underground which makes it easier for one line to give you large excess to the city. in nyc there is over 470ish stops, in london there are 240ish, even in japan there are only 240 stops. this makes it easier to allign different stops with above ground geography as there are more stations in relation to final destinations
Comment from : saberur66

When a game with a hardcore fanbase gets "streamlined".
Comment from : Edo

Rhys Holden
So new Yorkers hated that map because it's too simple? Go look at the perth western Australia train station map, it is EXTREMELY simple and EXTREMELY easy to use, its amazing
Comment from : Rhys Holden

New Yorkers are just dumber than non New Yorkers..
Comment from : Fizzbear

Alexander Wood
It might look pretty, but it's a horribly dysfunctional mess. It's got so many colors and routes that it's impossible to use.
Comment from : Alexander Wood

Jakub Korba
In my city there are just straight lines that cross on the places where transit lines have the same stop on the “map”
Comment from : Jakub Korba

Captain Goo
I can’t believe that they wanted a worse subway
Comment from : Captain Goo

Both Map Types have their use and you should give out both maps. A simple Map is useful when you just need to know where trains go and how you can plan your route. What can get lost on those maps is how far apart 2 stations might be and if it's faster to just walk or take the train. A map that is realistic can help to navigate on foot and help to plan the way. When you have a specific location where you want to be, you can take the realistic map, look what stations are nearby and whats on the way. Maybe it's better to take a station that is a bit further away but you have a fast food chain on your way. When you now your station, a simple map is then better to use.
Comment from : ZeldaFreak

Hannah Miyamoto
Los Angeles uses a diagrammatic map for its Rail, BRT and even commuter rail systems. However, detailed local maps of the local area are posted in each station, and they are used. Plus we have Google Maps now. The bus map, on the other hand, is a diagram, but also confusingly complex. It is posted in every subway station, so there is reading material while you wait for your train.
Comment from : Hannah Miyamoto

Kristýna Míšková
In prague you have map of the stations so simple
Comment from : Kristýna Míšková

Americans too dumb to understand abstraction lmao
Comment from : Darkside

DannyDaDuffyDucking Daffer
Geographically accurate
Comment from : DannyDaDuffyDucking Daffer

DannyDaDuffyDucking Daffer
That map is fucking dumb
Comment from : DannyDaDuffyDucking Daffer

Simon Eminger
3:06 the Viennese map is pretty great
Comment from : Simon Eminger

Ryan Grissom
I am going to take the third option and say I don't like either map.
Comment from : Ryan Grissom

Richard Sleeve
I prefer realistic maps. To me, the logic of, you don't need to know what's above ground, makes no sense. You're going to a destination above ground. That's why you're traveling. But I've worked extensively with maps most of my life, so simplified diagrams only serve to paralyze my ability to navigate.
Comment from : Richard Sleeve

Alicia Banister
As someone who hasn’t taken any form of public transportation since taking the school bus in middle school, I have no doubt in my mind I would get completely lost trying to take the subway
Comment from : Alicia Banister

If a map doesn't tell you how to get where you are going, then it isn't a good map.
Comment from : TheAres1999

jay capp
New York City has the largest Subway System in the world, with 469 Subway Stations. No other City in the world comes close to the size of the NYC Subway System.This is why it has to have the more precise subway map.
Comment from : jay capp

Even though I have never been to New York, I find subway maps using a real map much more useful and easy to understand rather than diagram for the whole system. For individual lines a diagram is fine.
Comment from : Ansh

Nicolas Gargano
That map is horrible, no wonder why it got changed! The map we have now is so much better and realistic.
Comment from : Nicolas Gargano

robertson Patrickson
I'm from Ohio, but a geographic map makes more sense,
Comment from : robertson Patrickson

Vagabond Wastrel
Doesn't shock me. They insist on electing the lesser political party and have a distorted opinion on the nyc pizza.
Comment from : Vagabond Wastrel

meanwhile london has been using harry beck's redesigned map since the 1930s and it's as iconic now as ever
Comment from : hotelmario510

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