Earlier this year, our map contest generated a few new ways of looking at the Metro map, but none were as creative as this spiral map.


Image by Andrew Bossi.



This map probably wouldn’t be very helpful posted in railcars, but it offers a unique—and twisted—look at the region’s most recognized map.

Reader Andrew Bossi came up with the idea after seeing a bus ad in Trondheim that resembled a transit map but in the shape of a spiral.

When discussing the map contest results, we debated the merits of a truly geographic map versus one that’s a more stylized diagram like the current one. Many geographic features get distorted for simplicity.

This map takes distortion to an extreme for stylistic purposes, but in doing so reminds us that while we call a transit map a “map,” it’s really not.

Also, notice how none of the station symbols have to jump over any lines. Fort Totten and Chinatown do connect the red line on one “arm” of the spiral to the Green Line on another, which is the only topological cheat necessary to make this work. For how many of the world’s larger transit systems is such a thing possible?

Tagged: fun, maps, metro, wmata

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle.