The New York City subway map designers at the MTA have a tough task: to show the breadth of all the City's lines in a relatively small sized, rectangular map. The problem is that the City just isn't rectangular at all. Redditor and data visualization guru Richie Gelles recently created this great GIF showing the New York City subway map in its compressed form, versus a similar map that covers the actual geographic distance.
The official subway map simultaneously expands the area for Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn and compresses the outer reaches of the system in Queens, outer Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Definitely makes it more legible though, following the actual geography the whole Financial District is an incomprehensible blob of stations.
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