1196: "Subways"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
rhomboidal
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm UTC
Contact:

1196: "Subways"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:34 am UTC

Image

Large version

Title Text: About one in three North American subway stops are in NYC.

Large Title Text: For the pedantic rail enthusiasts, the definition of a subway used here is a "network containing high capacity grade-separated passenger rail transit lines which run frequently, serve an urban core, and are underground for at least part of their downtown route." For the rest of you, the definition is "an underground train in a city."

The brown routes are reserved for Mole Men. The red routes for Lava Monsters.

sotanaht
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:14 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby sotanaht » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:48 am UTC

I have no idea how to read this map. I'm guessing it reads something like a traditional subway map, but if it does I wouldn't know how to read that either, I don't live in a city with a subway. What does position even mean on this map, since it's obviously not geographic judging from the relative locations of DC, Miami, and Atlanta.

User avatar
Quicksilver
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:21 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:50 am UTC

Sponsored by Google!

User avatar
musashi1600
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:08 am UTC
Location: Hawaii

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby musashi1600 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:58 am UTC

Wow. I need this as a full-size poster. Now. Just name your price Randall Munroe, AND I WILL PAY IT.

sotanaht wrote:I have no idea how to read this map. I'm guessing it reads something like a traditional subway map, but if it does I wouldn't know how to read that either, I don't live in a city with a subway. What does position even mean on this map, since it's obviously not geographic judging from the relative locations of DC, Miami, and Atlanta.


This map is basically compilation of the subway maps for each city that's named, with minor edits so that each city's system is connected to other cities. For example, the portion for Boston is based on the actual subway map for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, including the names of line termini. This map alters MBTA's map so that the MBTA Green line is also connected to the Montreal Metro's Green Line, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's Green Line, and the New York City Subway's 4 line (which is colored green on their maps since it runs under Lexington Avenue in Manhattan), and that the MBTA Red Line is connected to the NYCS 1 line via the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line and the NYCS 2 line via its other terminus in Braintree.
Last edited by musashi1600 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:16 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
It's Bicycle Repair Man!

jboning
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:56 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby jboning » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:01 am UTC

Can't resist jumping in with some pedantry here! Not all of the lines shown here are not grade-separated--off the top of my head, Boston's green line, and all of San Francisco's Muni system.

Yes, I did create an account to post this. No, I'm not even a rail enthusiast....

plattypus1
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:54 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby plattypus1 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:06 am UTC

Pedantic railfan here!
(Long-time fan of the comic, but as you can see this is my first post.)

I was delighted to see that XKCD made this map-- for two seconds, and then I saw that it was done wrong. First off, the definition's really weird-- XKCD includes all rail lines that are part of a network for which at least one line has an underground segment in the city's central core. But obviously that criterion is not required for all lines in that network-- in Los Angeles (the system I'm most familiar with, so bear with me), the Green Line is entirely above-grade and doesn't serve the central core at all, while the Blue and Expo lines have literally a couple dozen feet of tunnel running. And the Orange Line is included, which isn't even a train at all-- it's a bus.* And yet the above-grade but certainly downtown-serving Gold Line isn't included. (Edit: It's there, it's just Orange, my bad. But it's still entirely at- or above-grade through downtown!) And then there's Seattle's Central LINK, which is a light rail line, but which meets the definition given for a "subway"-- running in downtown Seattle's Transit Tunnel, along with electric buses. And San Francisco's BART is certainly a subway, but Caltrain is commuter rail (and it runs *very* infrequently off-peak), and the MUNI Metro is only a subway on Market Street, after which the trains transform (literally transform, the steps change and everything!) into streetcars. These all are very different types of transit service, useful for very different things.

The map is pretty, and I shall from this point on fantasize about LA's Red Line running through BART's Richmond Line to Vancouver... man, would that be awesome... but the author's attempt to maintain a clear definition of what he's drawing here was clearly insufficient.

*And if we want to talk about including BRT systems that are linked to "subway" rail networks, the Orange Line is there, but neither LA nor Boston's Silver Line appear, nor any of York Transit's viva service in northern Toronto.
Last edited by plattypus1 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:21 am UTC, edited 4 times in total.

edenist
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:10 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby edenist » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:08 am UTC

Oh Chicago..... I feel your pain....

*We have a looped hub, star topology for our metro rail network as well, and it is quite simply awful

katalavaino
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:05 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby katalavaino » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:09 am UTC

If you search for "fakeisthenewreal", and grab the "subways at scale" piece, you can get some perspective and/or idea of how these look in isolate.

iamlemec
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:05 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby iamlemec » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:15 am UTC

Ouch, I guess Buffalo (NFTA) doesn't cut it?

User avatar
Angelastic
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:36 am UTC
Location: .at (let's see what's through here!)
Contact:

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Angelastic » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:18 am UTC

I don't know how to read this map either; obviously it's not a complete map of all the subway systems in North America, so is there a station for each city that has subways, and random connections between them? Or is it all just made-up funny stuff, e.g. Springfield monorail, trolley rt. 10 to California, Green line extension to Canada, Boston! Ha! Who'd call a place Boston?

Edit: And if they are all just made-up funny things, why is there no Roomba line to somewhere? Or Conga line?
Last edited by Angelastic on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:22 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Knight Temporal, and Archdeacon of buttermongery and ham and cheese sandwiches. Nobody sells butter except through me.
Image Smiley by yappobiscuits. Avatar by GLR, buffygirl, BlitzGirl & mscha, with cari.j.elliot's idea.
Haiku Detector
starts a trend to make way for
my robot army.

Wooloomooloo
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:05 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Wooloomooloo » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:18 am UTC

Ok, this has to be a new low of me feeling unspeakably stupid - I can't make any sense of this (and it isn't even a math / programmer in-joke...). Yes, this resembles the subway map of a city. Since there are no such things as inter-city subways, what the @$#% am I looking at here, exactly? Actual rail? If so, why is that "sub-"?

User avatar
musashi1600
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:08 am UTC
Location: Hawaii

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby musashi1600 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:29 am UTC

plattypus1 wrote:And San Francisco's BART is certainly a subway, but Caltrain is commuter rail (and it runs *very* infrequently off-peak), and the MUNI Metro is only a subway on Market Street, after which the trains transform (literally transform, the steps change and everything!) into streetcars. These all are very different types of transit service, useful for very different things.


Pedantic transit junkie here. Caltrain isn't included on the map; the red lines there correspond to Muni's T Third Street line and BART's Richmond–Daly City/Millbrae line. :wink:
It's Bicycle Repair Man!

Lindley
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:08 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Lindley » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:30 am UTC

The map is out of date. Buffy caused Sunnydale to cave in a few years back.

Economica
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:56 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Economica » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:41 am UTC

Wooloomooloo wrote:Ok, this has to be a new low of me feeling unspeakably stupid - I can't make any sense of this (and it isn't even a math / programmer in-joke...). Yes, this resembles the subway map of a city. Since there are no such things as inter-city subways, what the @$#% am I looking at here, exactly? Actual rail? If so, why is that "sub-"?

You are looking at actual subway maps, strung together. Here is the actual Boston metropolitan subway map. Here is the actual NYC subway map. Similarly for the other cities: Los Angeles. Chicago. Washington, DC.

Randall strung the biggest couple subway maps together, no more, no less.
Last edited by Economica on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Travel well, we'll see you on the other side.

teelo
Posts: 781
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:50 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby teelo » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:41 am UTC

Now just add this in there somewhere: http://www.nsubway.co.kr/korea/seoul/se ... ymapen.htm

Ekaros
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:37 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Ekaros » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:41 am UTC

I would love to see this for Europe, including Europe side of Russia...

Misanthropic Scott
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:38 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Misanthropic Scott » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:45 am UTC

This is great. In the morning, I'm going to take the Path (not shown here) into the city (Manhattan) and then take the train to Mexico City.

BTW, the Path is missing from this and does meet your qualifications for a subway. (I tried posting the link to the map, but got flagged and denied.)

I wonder how many other much smaller networks are missing from this.

Let's see if I can edit this approved post and put in the link for the Path system (Port Authority of NY & NJ).

Nope. Even if I put spaces in the URL, I get flagged and denied. Others have posted links. Why can't I? Perhaps after I've made some specific number of posts?
Last edited by Misanthropic Scott on Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Eutychus
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:01 am UTC
Location: France

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Eutychus » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:52 am UTC

Am I the first person to be reminded of this?
Be very careful about rectilinear assumptions. Raptors could be hiding there - ucim

m1el
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:38 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby m1el » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:14 am UTC

Ekaros wrote:I would love to see this for Europe, including Europe side of Russia...

Afaik, there are no public subways in Russia between cities, but here are some subway maps:
Russia:
Moscow: http://www.artlebedev.ru/everything/metro/map2/
Other cities: http://www.karta-metro.ru/

Ukraine:
Kyiv: http://100realty.ua/sites/100realty.ua/ ... 2-2012.png
Kharkiv: http://www.city.kharkov.ua/images/users/metro_ua.jpg
Odessa [planning]: http://planetolog.ru/maps/metro/big/ode ... ro-map.gif

Edit: corrected myself.
Last edited by m1el on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:17 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

admerwill
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:54 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby admerwill » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:16 am UTC

You forgot Seattle. Yes Buses run in it as well as the train, but there is a graded rail train that goes through it.

strikerha
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:31 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby strikerha » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:35 am UTC

You forgot Seattle. Yes Buses run in it as well as the train, but there is a graded rail train that goes through it.


Also forgot Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Has grade separated train line underground through downtown and the university campus.

jgh
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby jgh » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:53 am UTC

When I read "subway" I picture a pedestrian underpass.
Anyway, for the pedants out there, "subway" here is being used in the North American vernacular shorthand for "light rail"|"light rail transit".

User avatar
caprandom
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:51 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby caprandom » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:59 am UTC

Love it and can't wait to see it as a picture. The maps enthusiast in me is jumping with joy!

Small nitpick, the south end station for Montreal yellow line is Longueuil

UnHoly
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:59 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby UnHoly » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:02 am UTC

I can be a pedant, though not usually about railways.

i.e. Longueuil is misspelled. :mrgreen:

User avatar
BlitzGirl
Posts: 9088
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:48 am UTC
Location: Out of the basement for Yip 6! Schizoblitz: 115/2672 NP
Contact:

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:32 am UTC

admerwill wrote:You forgot Seattle. Yes Buses run in it as well as the train, but there is a graded rail train that goes through it.

I was wondering why Seattle was missed, too.

Random Cory Doctorow:
DoctorowSmall.png
DoctorowSmall.png (20.93 KiB) Viewed 10975 times


Not related:
Spoiler:
SigIconWiki.png
SigIconWiki.png (6.34 KiB) Viewed 10276 times

SigIconBlog.jpeg
SigIconBlog.jpeg (1.39 KiB) Viewed 10276 times

SigIconTitles1.png
SigIconTitles1.png (9.17 KiB) Viewed 10276 times

SigIconTitles2.png
SigIconTitles2.png (7.6 KiB) Viewed 10276 times
Last edited by BlitzGirl on Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:25 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
Knight Temporal of the One True Comic
BlitzGirl the Pink, Mopey Molpy Mome
Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image<Profile
~.Image~.FAQ->Image

User avatar
da Doctah
Posts: 976
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:34 am UTC

rhomboidal wrote:The brown routes are reserved for Mole Men. The red routes for Lava Monsters.


"Well, here we are! Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat!"

Möbius sheepshank
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:56 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Möbius sheepshank » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:36 am UTC

Missing Guadalajara.

There's an underground part and everything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadalajara_light_rail_system

Rplot
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:26 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Rplot » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:45 am UTC

edenist wrote:Oh Chicago..... I feel your pain....

*We have a looped hub, star topology for our metro rail network as well, and it is quite simply awful


Hey, don't bad mouth the Chicago Loop. Definitely hitting a nerve there, or maybe the 3rd rail :wink:

User avatar
Angelastic
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:36 am UTC
Location: .at (let's see what's through here!)
Contact:

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Angelastic » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:51 am UTC

Surely it's missing lots of places other than Seattle and Guadalajara; there's no way there could be anywhere near that few subways in such a huge, generally wealthy continent.

The nice thing about Subways is that you don't have to know the root password for them to make you a sandwich. :)
Knight Temporal, and Archdeacon of buttermongery and ham and cheese sandwiches. Nobody sells butter except through me.
Image Smiley by yappobiscuits. Avatar by GLR, buffygirl, BlitzGirl & mscha, with cari.j.elliot's idea.
Haiku Detector
starts a trend to make way for
my robot army.

User avatar
Xenomortis
Not actually a special flower.
Posts: 1445
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:47 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:59 am UTC

sotanaht wrote:I have no idea how to read this map. I'm guessing it reads something like a traditional subway map, but if it does I wouldn't know how to read that either, I don't live in a city with a subway. What does position even mean on this map, since it's obviously not geographic judging from the relative locations of DC, Miami, and Atlanta.

Subway maps, like many transport maps, only give the topology of the system.
That is they only show which stations are connected; irrelevant details, like distances and directions, are liable for removal for the sake of clarity.
Approximate locations may be preserved (and often is) on city transport maps, but it is not necessary.

(In short and in a very strict sense, position means nothing)

It would be very inconvenient to preserve even approximate distances for an inter-city map, so it's cut down. Approximate directions can still be preserved however.

Ekaros wrote:I would love to see this for Europe, including Europe side of Russia...

I don't think inter-city subways are as extensive in Europe as they are in the US; particularly as you head east.
Although, if the Channel Tunnel is connected to subway's in France, you might get something combining the London Underground* and whatever is on the French side.

*It's tenuous, but King's Cross and St. Pancras are basically the same.
Image

DarkAudit
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:01 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby DarkAudit » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:04 am UTC

Yay! Morgantown's PRT made it in. As dinky as it is compared to the big kids.

Boo. Pittsburgh is missing. It's definitely not dinky.

User avatar
Jack21222
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:13 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Jack21222 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:26 am UTC

The map is missing the E branch of the Boston Green line, to Heath St. It has the B, C and D branches to Boston College, Cleveland Circle, and Riverside respectively, but not the E branch.
broken_escalator wrote:The Mako is powered by the rage of the physics it denies.

Möbius sheepshank
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:56 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Möbius sheepshank » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:35 am UTC

Angelastic wrote:Surely it's missing lots of places other than Seattle and Guadalajara; there's no way there could be anywhere near that few subways in such a huge, generally wealthy continent.


Well, let's see...

Missing other such symbols of wealth as:

Buffalo
Pittsburgh
Newark
Edmonton

We begin to strain the definition of subway, perhaps, with some of these, but if L.A.'s Orange Line gets to be on the map...

My favorites to read about were:

Rochester (operated 1927-1956)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_Subway

Cincinnati (never completed)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_Subway

Also, Panama City's metro is due to open within a year, seemingly the first Central American subway.

r3loaded
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:01 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby r3loaded » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:41 am UTC

Looks like the major North American subways strung together is less complex than the London Underground on its own! :D

User avatar
jestingrabbit
Factoids are just Datas that haven't grown up yet
Posts: 5967
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:50 pm UTC
Location: Sydney

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:56 am UTC

The design ancestor of all these maps is, of course, Harry Beck.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Beck

He was the first person to remove the geography from the london underground map, identifying that it was only the way the rails related to each other that was important to commuters. Now, every subway map follows his design concept.

edit: dumb name typo...
Last edited by jestingrabbit on Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:54 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

User avatar
Tormuse
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:34 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Tormuse » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:08 am UTC

It was kind of eerie to see the familiar stations of my hometown of Toronto on this site. :o

Also, I love the inclusion of the Springfield Monorail. :D

(Sings, "Monorail... Monorail... Monorail... MONORAIL!")
I'm not really that patriotic... really!

User avatar
peewee_RotA
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby peewee_RotA » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:11 am UTC

I think this would be more interesting if it were a what-if on whether or not a subway tunnel can be constructed at $5 per footlong.
"Vowels have trouble getting married in Canada. They can’t pronounce their O’s."

http://timelesstherpg.wordpress.com/about/

WontonSoup
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:05 am UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby WontonSoup » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:15 am UTC

Tormuse wrote:It was kind of eerie to see the familiar stations of my hometown of Toronto on this site. :o

Also, I love the inclusion of the Springfield Monorail. :D

(Sings, "Monorail... Monorail... Monorail... MONORAIL!")


Tell me about it, since Vancouver's in the top left, one of the first things I saw was VCC-Clark. This made me WTF pretty hard.

User avatar
amorya
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:08 pm UTC

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby amorya » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:21 am UTC

Angelastic wrote:I don't know how to read this map either; obviously it's not a complete map of all the subway systems in North America, so is there a station for each city that has subways, and random connections between them? Or is it all just made-up funny stuff, e.g. Springfield monorail, trolley rt. 10 to California, Green line extension to Canada, Boston! Ha! Who'd call a place Boston?

Edit: And if they are all just made-up funny things, why is there no Roomba line to somewhere? Or Conga line?


I think the connections are done on stations with the same name. So Richmond is the connection between San Francisco's BART and Vancouver's metro, since they both have a station with that name.

User avatar
Angelastic
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:36 am UTC
Location: .at (let's see what's through here!)
Contact:

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Postby Angelastic » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:32 am UTC

amorya wrote:I think the connections are done on stations with the same name. So Richmond is the connection between San Francisco's BART and Vancouver's metro, since they both have a station with that name.

Ooh, that would make it kind of cool. If that's the case for the others, then thanks, I think I understand why this map was made, and I think Vienna should connect to European subways.

But why is G Line random service? I thought it was a global ban.

Hehehe, skinflower, bonevine, braintree... for vegetarian carnivores.
Knight Temporal, and Archdeacon of buttermongery and ham and cheese sandwiches. Nobody sells butter except through me.
Image Smiley by yappobiscuits. Avatar by GLR, buffygirl, BlitzGirl & mscha, with cari.j.elliot's idea.
Haiku Detector
starts a trend to make way for
my robot army.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 88 guests