New York City MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) are taking a major step towards the future of transport information design with digital screens being installed at 33 newly renovated subway stations.
T-Kartor were asked to develop a specially designed digital version of the printed local area maps we are creating for all 450 subway stations.
Optimised for low resolution
This special adaptation is necessary because digital screens, even so-called HD (high definition) screens and televisions have a very low resolution, compared to your laptop or desktop monitor. This means that smaller features and symbols, or lighter texts are rendered illegible. The images below illustrate the problem:
T-Kartor carried out a thorough study of fonts, colours and text sizes to achieve increased legibility. Finally, specially designed graphic files were tested in prototypes of the screens, including a study of the ambient conditions, which will influence colours and contrast.
The result was a fine, legible map, which a viewer will perceive as identical to the established printed brand and a wealth of expertise gained, which will form valuable input to the success of future interactive products.
In the New York press:
NY Daily News
Together with the award-winning design company Familjen Pangea, T-Kartor has completed a project to create new maps for the tram line no 7 to Djurgården. The map designs are based on experience from our successful projects in London, New York, Birmingham, Houston, Toronto, Dublin and Paris.
The detailed maps show all points of interest in the neighbourhood and the best ways to find them or complete the journey to your final destination.
The project also included new maps for the commuter Ferry lines 80, 82 and 89.
“This is yet more proof of our long-term customer relationships with close cooperation and a continuous development of new projects. This project really shows the benefit of using a consistent strategy for Mapping a Connected City to support sustainable mobility strategies. We look forward to supporting Stockholm as it strives towards a Greener Capital.”
Erik Körling, Managing Director T-Kartor Content Management
T-Kartor are delivering public transport and pedestrian wayfinding information in Birmingham. This phased delivery includes the production of new mapping and indexing for an expansion of the Interconnect pedestrian wayfinding project as well as updates to the existing totems.
In parallel to this we are working with Centro to refresh information at interchange bus stops in the city and have also created information for three brand new stops at New Street Station. The new and updated artworks communicate recent alterations to bus services and a number of projects that have changed the face of the urban environment. The new stops have helped fans navigate to the recent Rugby World Cup games held at Villa Park and in the longer term will assist passengers traveling by bus from the busiest station outside of London.
Birmingham has recently undergone many physical changes, from the opening of the extensively re-modeled New Street Station and the new Grand Central shopping centre to the Metro tram extension that is due to open shortly.
T-Kartor were recently invited to give a presentation at an event called ‘Intelligent Mobility in the West Midlands’. The conference, now in it’s second year, was organised by Centro and held in Birmingham on 6th July and saw the coming together of industry experts describing and discussing their visions for making the West Midlands a leader in developing and delivering intelligent and sustainable mobility. Our talk focussed on a Smart City solution for customer facing mapping and information and we introduced our new content management tool for tracking and managing information assets. The solution can be used as a platform for serving a variety of data sources onto a web portal – from public transport maps and wayfinding information to municipal GIS and asset data. These can be integrated into the system as dynamic layers and used to support intelligent mobility by interfacing shared information resources into a mapping background that is used across all customer facing information outputs. Moving forward we will be working closely with Centro and their partners to develop options for using this system across the West Midlands region
In Toronto, T-Kartor and project partners Steer Davies Gleave, Swerhun, Future Systems and DIALOG have delivered a wayfinding prototype in the Bay Street/Queen Street area of the Financial District. This pilot is part of phase two of the Toronto 360 Wayfinding Strategy – a multi-modal wayfinding system which is designed to encourage walking and will be a feature of the city when it hosts the 2015 Pan/ParaPan AM Games that will vastly increase the number of visitors to Toronto.
This stage of the project includes public and stakeholder consultation taking place to assist in the development of graphic design principles, mapping and industrial product design.
Launched in 2012, Interconnect Birmingham is a scheme of pedestrian wayfinding and public transport information that was designed to improved the journey experience of residents and visitors in the city.
T-Kartor have recently finished a cartographic production run for this project where large quantity, rapid production was facilitated using our mapping database. The database was created around four map scales covering Birmingham city centre and was expanded to cover a wider area during the artworking phase. We also designed a series of automated production tools for street indexing and export purposes.
The cartographic production work involved updating all maps, indexes and graphic elements for the existing pedestrian scheme and delivering original artworks for 77 brand new totems for phase 2 of the system. Each side of a totem contains 2 heads-up maps at different scales and all units are double sided, in all we produced 408 maps and 204 indexes in a matter of weeks.
T-Kartor are now working on expanding the database coverage and updating the maps and indexes on the public transport part of the system.
The second major phase of the New York City wayfinding system (also called WalkNYC) has rolled out, locating totems with real-time bus information at SBS (Select Bus Service) stations along a new route of this bus rapid transit system.
Select Bus Service is New York City Transit’s new, innovative bus service designed to reduce travel time and increase the level of comfort for customers. The new B44 route running along Nostrand, Rogers and Bedford Avenues in Brooklyn was launched November 2013 and the route will serve 40,000 passengers each day. The improved passenger information provided by the wayfinding totems will be key to providing a user-friendly customer experience and is another step in the ambition to provide a fully joined-up wayfinding solution to pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit users in New York City.
The cartographic map production was lead by T-Kartor, together with a design team including wayfinding specialists CityID and industrial designers Billings Jackson. Graphic designers Pentagram and engineers and project managers RBA Group complete this team. The map production has been trialed at two stops during the fall 2013, with the rest of the route and two further routes (M34 in Midtown Manhattan and M60 out towards the New York LaGuardia airport) to be rolled out during 2014, with graphic artwork produced by T-Kartor.
A new pedestrian wayfinding system known as WalkNYC has been introduced in the city of New York.
Commissioned by the New York City Department of Transportation and its partners, the system offers pedestrians a series of stylised maps, orientated to ‘heads up’ so the top of the map is always displaying the same direction that the user is facing. This is, in part a reaction to research that showed 33% of people on the streets of the city could not identify which direction was North. The same research highlighted that 13% of locals were not aware of the neighbourhood or borough they were in when questioned.
The project is as much about finding the best way around on foot and discovering points of interest as it is about orientating oneself within the city landscape.
WalkNYC was delivered by PentaCityGroup, a consortium of:
- T-Kartor who designed the geographic database and manage cartographic production
- Billings Jackson Design – industrial designers
- City ID – wayfinding experts
- Pentagram – graphic designers
- RBA Group – engineers and urban planners
The project is also an extension of the city brand, utilising a new version of the Helvetica font which is used elsewhere in the urban realm. The design also uses a palette inspired by colours within the city, icons that are based on certain design aspects of the Helvetica typeface and an overall look and feel that is reflective of the graphics used within the subway system.
Phase 1 of the roll-out will include approximately 100 ‘totems’ of varying widths dependant on location and will feature the same mapping style already used for the CityBike cycle hire scheme which has 300 stations so far and continues to grow.
Future phases of the project will look to expand the system over a wider geographic area and to include information about other transport modes. Developing into digital and other print channels is also being discussed.