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Can Concentric Circles Save Subway Sanity?

A fresh spin on distorted city navigation.

If you're new to New York City, simply visiting for vacation, or, if you're a born-and-raised New Yorker that still can't point out any other states on a blank map besides Florida and Jersey, then you might also mistakenly believe what the MTA subway map tells you about the city—that it lacks any realistic level of fidelity and Manhattan is the blown-up silhouette of a Motorala RAZR:

Image via

The U.K.'s Max Roberts, a mapmaker and critic, has created a map that sees its simplifying problem and then solves it by taking a similar approach, but to a much greater degree. The map heads in the direction of a diagram and away from a map trying to represent geographic features. It may be the most lucid reinterpretation of the New York City subway map I've seen yet:

Click on the map to enlarge. 

"A map that pretends to be geographical but isn’t quite correct is potentially misleading, implying to people greater distances than exist in reality,” Roberts told FastCoExist.

It could actually be a success if the MTA were ever to a adopt design such as Roberts, but I think it's rather unlikely. The amount of money it takes to print out a map update when it needs to is enough for the authority to avoid risks with such a concept. Remember that $250,000 typo the MTA incurred back in March?