Map Quest

Art & Design


The City of Boston wants a new public transportation map, and anyone interested in designing one is free to submit a proposal. Small problem: it doesn’t pay, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will own the rights to all submissions. Needless to say, designers are most displeased, and with good reason; crowd sourcing, an increasingly common way of getting content for free, remains a contentious issue for designers and writers. The Australian graphic designer Cameron Booth has been a vocal critic of Boston’s map competition, and if anyone knows the value of a good map, he does. In addition to having designed maps, Booth manages the blog Transit Maps, a fascinating archive of map-related ephemera from around the globe, where there’s plenty on display for map collectors, prolific travelers, or anyone who can appreciate the particular challenges of creating visual order from a chaotic volume of information. We especially liked these two maps from Israel and Russia—one official, one unofficial—mainly because, well, they just looked so pretty.




Photos: Transit Maps

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