Work in Progress: McKinney Avenue Trolley Map, Dallas, Texas

Thanks to Michael Champlin for inspiring this little project. I’ve been thinking of doing a more geographically-based map for a while now to break out of the routine of always doing diagrammatic transit maps, so when he sent me a link to the actual map (PDF, 5.6MB) that this heritage streetcar system in Dallas, Texas uses, I knew that something better could be done.

So here’s a work-in-progress screenshot. Most of the hard work has been done, but I’m still toying with a few elements here and there and adding the final informational layers on top. I drew the street map by hand in Illustrator, which is time consuming but rewarding. I did actually try to export the streets, parks and rivers from ArcGIS to style up in Illustrator, but got incredibly frustrated with the poor quality of linework from the City of Dallas’ GIS files: wonky curves, non-joined road segments, etc. It’d take me longer to clean that up than just draw it myself, so that’s what I did. At least I know what I’m ending up with when I do it myself!

The main experiment here – that I think is working well – is the bounding box around the two separate northbound and southbound stops along McKinney Avenue that share the same cross street (and therefore the name of the stop). This means I only have to label the stops once!

Other notes: the background grid is in quarter-mile increments, and the typeface is Good Headline Pro, which has a nice old world “Gothic” feel, but with a bit of a modern twist. Also: huge x-height and tiny descenders, which are great for this type of labelling work. The orange line is the Katy Trail, a popular multi-use path that’s an important part of the urban fabric of this part of Dallas.

Thoughts and suggestions?

Outstanding! Glad I inspired a fun project, and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.”
John Muir - conservationist, naturalist, founder of the Sierra Club, and champion of protected wilderness. (via jtotheizzoe)


As of today we are officially just one month away from NO-SHAVE NOVEMBER! Wahoo!

Or as some of us call it…November. 

New haircut. (at Epoch Coffee)

dude god could come down from heaven with a million angels and tell me that gif is pronounced “jif” and i still wouldn’t fucking do it

(via secretary)

The bedtime reading of a madman / insomniac.