|BART Light Rail Map: An example of good visual design.|
However, getting to the BART station was another matter entirely. The signs in the airport terminal directed me to the AirTrain, where I was confronted with a dreadful map. The first thing you notice on this map is all the white space, roads, and terminal buildings. Although the geographical accuracy may be useful to some, it probably does not need to be to scale, as less empty white space would make the stuff of interest much bigger and higher in resolution. The orange and green fill on the buildings serves no purpose whatsoever, except to distract the viewer. It is pure visual noise. Is there a train on this map somewhere? Since I am on a train and would like to know where get off, that would be fitting. Eliminate the colored fill, and place the emphasis on the AirTrain route itself.
|AirTrain Map: is there a train in here somewhere?|
I confirmed this suspicion with a passerby and had about 10 minutes to kill before the next yellow line train arrived, so I decided to wander around the station and stretch my legs. That's when I came across another AirTrain map even more bewildering than the first one. Note the Zaxxon-style isometric projection of the AirTrain and terminals. Confused? Then just drop your eyes a little to the detailed top views and side view, where you can count the number of steps on each escalator and find the location of the nearest trash can. What is the purpose of this map? My theory is that it was drawn by a first year drafting or architectural student and placed in the station as a prize for getting the highest grade on the project.
|Anybody up for a game of Zaxxon?|