Harry Beck changed the way we see the way we understand transport systems when he came up with his now famous tube map which dropped the geographical accuracy in favour of legibility. It was so successful that almost all transit systems around the world now use a similar design. The difference between the two types of maps is most obvious when laid next to or on top of each over. Below are some neat visualisations showing just that.
The first one is from an associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston. He’s take the transit maps for Boston, New York and Washington DC and distorting them over a geographical map of the city. The maps can be zoomed and the transparency of the transit map adjusted to see the geographical map below. The map below is from Washington.
Another way of showing this is in the video below of the Shanghai Metro which also shows each service travelling through the network over the course of the day. I always find these type of visualisations strangely mesmerising.
There was a similar one done of Auckland’s network a few years ago. It would be great to see what it would look like in a few years after the new network and faster electric trains have rolled out