Sun 27 Jan 2008
Of the 74 third-party transit sites collected in the Headway Wiki, one of the ones that I’ve been most impressed with is the onNYTurf Subway Map. This donation-supported mapping project, associated with NY blog/discussion site onNYTurf, covers rail and ferry lines in the New York metropolitan area.
At first, the map looks like your standard Google Maps transit mashup, albeit one with very nice custom tiles:
However, when you zoom in, you really start to see what a labor of love this has been for developer Will James and his collaborators:
The map has detailed underground footprints of every station in Manhattan and many in the other boroughs, complete with red staircase icons marking all the entrances. This information was collected by the community: according to Will, “visitors to the map have gone out and photographed many of the subway entrance and exit maps at the real stations and sent those in so I can illustrate them and include them on the map. The illustrating work for Manhattan was all done by Jared Schneidman who volunteered to do the work.”
But that’s not all: recently Will has integrated a wiki system for filling out station information like transfer information, service advisory links, and accessibility.
I’ve wanted to see something like this for a long time–it’s hard to manage this sort of metadata, so it’s great when motivated users can contribute or correct information based on their local knowledge. I’ve been watching the edits since the effort was announced last month, and there’s been a steady stream of improvements, mostly coming from Will and a couple other users. (It’s possible that the wiki syntax is a barrier to casual edits, or perhaps the feature isn’t visible enough yet on the site.)
Keep up the good work, Will & co.!
See Also: onNYTurf entry in the Headway Wiki.