Friday, April 2, 2010
At the beginning of last year, the Google Maps team launched the Transit Layer, showing the layout of public transportation networks on top of the map in over 50 cities worldwide. Since then, we have grown our coverage to nearly 450 cities and added more information to both the base maps and the transit layer.
We've now released a significant redesign of our transit maps that better highlights the information transit riders are most interested in seeing. Before, the transit map was placed on top of the base road map, obscuring some important information in the base map and competing visually with the complexity of the road network. With this redesign, we're changing the entire base map to put more focus on the transit lines, and lower the prominence of roads. We hope you'll agree that the result is a cleaner, less cluttered map that will make it easier for transit riders to get around.
Looking at the London Underground shows the immediate benefits of removing the clutter of the A-road badges, and the simplified map style which lets the transit lines and roads coexist more elegantly:
In the old transit map of New York, streets such as 8th and 7th Avenue are completely obscured. The new rendering is a cleaner, lighter, and more readable experience:
San Francisco is a great example of the benefits of being able to see important underlying map data in addition to the transit lines. Now the city name, major landmarks and important roads are visible again:
To try this out for yourself, select "Transit" from the "More" drop-down on Google Maps in any city where transit is supported, or simply click on a transit station on the map itself. We hope that you have as much fun using our new transit maps as we did making them!