Unofficial Map: Paris Metro with Geolocated Stations
Further to yesterday’s post, here’s a new unofficial map of the Paris Metro that’s been hot on the interwebs over the last few days. Unlike the official RATP diagram, this version places all the stations in their exact geographical locations, although I suspect the route lines have been tweaked between those points to create more graceful curves than in reality. Also unlike the official map, it doesn’t attempt to show tram services or mainline train routes, removing some valuable information.
According to the author, the benefits of his map include showing where it’s easier to walk instead of transferring to another train (he uses the excellent example of transferring at St-Michele to get to Cité station, when you’d really be better off just getting off at St-Michele and walking over the Seine to the same point) and enhanced zone information (it’s often cheaper to catch the Metro to a similar point and remain in Zone 1, when the RER station may be in Zone 2 or 3!)
The map also makes use of Ethan Schoonover’s Solarized colour theme, a set of well-designed low contrast colours specifically designed for on-screen viewing. However, with a transit map, our eyes often need contrast to allow patterns to be discerned and routes to be followed, so I’m not entirely sure about its application in this case.
The author also claims that his map is good for color-blind users, but I’m not entirely convinced that his solution - tiny, rune-line marks on each line on either side of station marker - are actually any more effective than the big line numbers at the end of each line. More on this tomorrow.
Have we been there? Yes.
What we like: Overall effect looks gorgeous. A lot of thought and theory has been applied to this work. Released under a Creative Commons license, which is very generous.
What we don’t like: Labelling of stations gets messy in the centre of Paris. Zone areas look very blobby: these could have been smoothed out a little more. The perfect circle described by the eastern end of Line 7B goes against the author’s stated goals of accuracy and comes across as an affectation. Colour-blind route markers are too small to be of any use.
Our rating: Interesting, well-executed, but flawed. Not as good as the real thing. Three-and-a-half stars.
(Source: Author’s Website [in French] - Google Translate English version here)