Transit maps used to be man-made, hand-made works of art that were at the same time useful tools and symbolic items.
Useful tools as you could rely on them for journey planning, orientation and discovery of the system and its opportunities.
Symbolic items as an entire urban population would share the exact same map and rely on it to shape their mental image of the city, an icon.
These maps were made by people able to gather data and give it shape, conscious of the living organism that a city is, aware of its history, its past and its potential future.
Today the novelty is massive amounts of data collected, processed and mapped by machines. The map is still a fantastic tool but is it as beautiful and efficient as it used to be? Is it still an iconic work of art? Furthermore maps are not unique anymore as many different companies, administrations and individuals produce, edit and publish new ones everyday. Who would you trust more, your local agency, an internet company or your friends? Which service would you use more often?
At the Transit mapping Symposium we want to confront this new situation and see how we can merge the legacy of the old system into the possibilities that our new conundrum is offering by exploring 3 main lines of thought:
– Digital Transit: mapping in the digital era.
– Beauty Protocol: the search for a synthesis of automation, aesthetics and meaning.
– Urban Freedom: in a city, transit means freedom, and maps are its incarnation.
This symposium is a labour of love for Jug Cerovic (creator of inat) and Richard Archambault (creator of the unofficial Mexico Metro site), who concocted the idea over a bottle of wine in Paris, while gushing about their favourite transit maps.