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NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost | #smartcities #dataviz

NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost | #smartcities #dataviz | The urban.NET | Scoop.it

Even for the most direction-savvy New Yorker, emerging from the dark pit of the subway can be a disorienting experience. New York City streets are bright, they’re loud, oftentimes they’re smelly, and worst of all, maps are virtually non-existent. Or at least that used to be the case.

 

Just this week, the Department of Transportation unveiled its WalkNYC initiative, a program that will bring comprehensive pedestrian maps to all five boroughs. In a city where an estimated 30 percent of all trips are made by foot and one out of every three locals can’t tell north from south, they’re probably going to come in handy.

 

Though NYC’s public transportation is top-notch and we are technically on a grid, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed when traveling by foot. That’s why the DOT enlisted the help of PentaCityGroup, a consortium of urban planners, engineers, designers, cartographers and geographical information specialists, to solve the problem.

Their goal? To create an information-packed map that would orient pedestrians and help them find the gems each NYC neighborhood has to offer. The first of these new information kiosks was installed earlier this week in Chinatown (they’re already located at every Citi Bike station), and it’s expected that others will be popping up in midtown Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn this summer


Via Lauren Moss
luiy's insight:

If the style of these maps looks familiar, that’s because it is. The design team wanted to marry the current design to the graphic language that was was established for the subway system in the late 1960s. The typeface is still Helvetica (albeit with a slight twist–the type’s square dots are now round) and it uses the same organizational conventions (white type on a dark background). “All of this was deliberately echoing the way the subways look,” Bierut explains. “We wanted people to be able to ride the subway, come out and orient themselves.” Bierut says the design of the maps is meant to be accurate, trustworthy and friendly. But not too friendly—this is New York City, after all. “We wanted these things to be beautiful in a way, but also characteristic of the best of New York.”

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ParadigmGallery's comment, July 8, 2013 4:02 PM
great...can't wait to try these...
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NYC Subways Deploy A Touch-Screen Network, Complete With Apps

NYC Subways Deploy A Touch-Screen Network, Complete With Apps | The urban.NET | Scoop.it

The designers at Control Group--have been hired by New York’s MTA to bring a plan for bringing a networked, touch-screen system to their subways. Starting this year, 90 touch-screen kiosks will make their way to thoroughfares like Grand Central Station and hip stops like Bedford Avenue. Together, they’ll make a beta network for 2 million commuters and tourists a day.

 

Each kiosk is a 47-inch touch screen, encapsulated in stainless steel, with an operational temperature up to 200 degrees. They’ll be placed, mostly in pairs, outside pay areas, inside mezzanines and even right on train platforms. Control Group has skinned the hardware with a simple front end and an analytics-heavy backend. And the platform will even support third-party apps approved by the MTA.

 

At launch, the screens will feature all sorts of content, like delays, outages, and, of course, ads (which bring in $100 million in revenue for the MTA each year, but mostly in paper signage). Yet its most powerful interaction for many will likely be its map, which features a one-tap navigation system.

You look at the map, you tap your intended destination, and the map will draw your route, including any transfers along the way. It’s an interface that puts Google Maps to shame.


Via Lauren Moss
luiy's insight:

THE POWER OF EXTRA SENSORS

 

At the same time, the system’s screens could be the least interesting part of this project. The kiosks will be fitted with extra modules--video cameras, mics, and Wi-Fi--to open up a whole secondary layer of data collection and interface.

 

With cameras and mics, the MTA can enable two-way communication (what I imagine as emergency response messaging), and they can also pull in all sorts of automated metrics from their stations--they’d have eyes capable of counting station crowdedness or even approximate user ethnographics.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi opens the door for networking a whole platform of mobile users with Internet access and other streamed content. Given that the average person waits 5 to 10 minutes on a platform, O’Donnell sees the potential of engaging, sponsored experiences, like a networked game of Jeopardy, while people wait for the train, or streaming media content, like TV/movie clips. A tourist could, of course, do something far more practical, too, like download a city map in moments.

“We can’t provide Internet for everybody,” he says, “but we can allow interactivity on the platform.”

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James's curator insight, March 21, 2013 6:15 AM

Touch interface has seen a rise in the community, such as information booths.

It allows for easy usability and quick access for people in a hurry.

While it does give convenience to the people, it's another job that's been mechanized because of its efficiency.

 

Touchscreens do away with the harder input devices and allow people to use it little to no prior knowledge of how to access it.