Old school map scale



Found on Noisy Decent Graphics. Hope its ok to borrow, an interesting approach to getting scale on a map, using 1/2 mile circles all over to give you a scale were ever you look.

Not sure if this is that much better than having a grid which is tied to a scale. But the problem with that approach has always been about matching fold lines to grid lines. You don’t really get a nice alignment of the folds of paper to the scale of a map. unless you’re lucky. The other problem with the folds/grid approach is that people may not neccesarily understand that the physicality of the folder paper relates to the map printed onto it.

As Mr. Terrett says “I thought it looked easy, I’m not sure the rest of the audience did” quite so, i’m also wondering if the question of scale is so important that it should dominate the map so much.

Its the same kind of approach as our Legible London map scale:


No new ideas eh?

Map Monsters


As Long as people have been drawing maps, sailors have been lying about the size of sea monsters. These two activities meet in the curious word of map monsters.

One eternal truth with these monsters is that they never seem to resemble real animals. You can imagine the old sea dog describing his encounter:

Sailor “It were 100 league long and 30 leagues deep”
Cartographer “Did it have teeth?”
Sailor “Teeth! 15 rows of razor sharp bone crunchers”
Cartographer “ok”
Sailor “Maybe 25 nows i think about it”
Cartographer “What else?”
Sailor “20 legs, 10 heads, 4 tails, fire coming out of its gills”
Cartographer “Yeah?”
Sailor “and horns. Probably. I didn’t see it in person”
Carotgrapher “…”
Sailor “did I tell you about the teeth?” 

have a look at this zoomable map on the National Geographic website. It must have been scary out there on the open seas. 





Although you only have to see something like this to start to wonder…


Zurich’s On Tram Information

Just stumbled over these images of the on tram information in Zurich.

© http://www.flickr.com/photos/9880707@N02/
© http://www.flickr.com/photos/9880707@N02/

From the Flickr page of the photo taker: “Many of the trams on the ZVV system carry these signs, indicating what stops are coming up, with an ETA to each, and what you can connect to at those stops. In this case, there are no connections at the next three stops, but you could meet bus route #79 at Auzelg. In some cases, when approaching a stop that has connections, the screen will expand to show when the next train from each route is expected to arrive at that stop.”

They seem to show interchanges and be animated…


© http://www.flickr.com/photos/9880707@N02/
© http://www.flickr.com/photos/9880707@N02/

Bus Flags of the world

Bus flags, sometimes know and Bus IDs are the minimum required signage for a location to be used as a bus stop. In most cases it’s a flat panel at the top of a pole. Sizes vary, as does the information on the flag.

Flag in this context seems to have two possible meanings: either the resemblance to a flag:

or the acting of waving your arm (like a flag) in order to get a bus to stop, also known as hailing:

So, what different kinds of bus flag will you find around the world? Continue reading “Bus Flags of the world”

One Million Signs

Day one

Image: StunningMonochrome

For quite a long time now i’ve been planning on starting some sort of blog or website to gather my thoughts about information design.

I work as a graphic/information designer for Applied Information Group (AIG) in London (www.aiglondon.com) where we specialise in world leading wayfinding systems. We also work on interactive, online, exhibition and print jobs. I also have a somewhat undefined role at dynamo london (www.dynamolondon.org) ranging from flash developer to writer/editor.

I’ve also got a podcast called Internet Music Programme (www.internetmusicprogramme.com) as a bit of a hobby. Have a listen if you like. Its free.

So, here we go…