Tuesday, September 9, 2008

chart junk

I have been studying Melbourne's tram map lately and overall it is pretty good. One thing that does bug me is its poor integration with the rest of the public transport maps, in particular the railway map. The nearest train stations are identified on the tram map as blue dots. This is fine as far as it goes, but a light-grey rail map faintly behind the tram lines would make the general act of getting around much simpler. Melbourne's bus routes are complex and would add clutter to the map I suppose but in general this integration problem needs to be solved if public transport is to be navigable. Instead the website for the integrated map (currently) reads, "Due to updates to improve customer functionality, the online public transport map is currently unavailable." Ha!

On a related note, as a fan of E. Tufte's first three and a half books,* a newspaper and journal article chart-junk and junk-chart scourer myself, I appreciate this blog on Chart Junk and Junk Charts.

* Although I liked the spark lines, Tufte's last book is a bit light-weight, especially towards the end. The discussion on Powerpoint is worthwhile but I'd previously read this in pamphlet version.

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