Updated Cincinnati Transit Map now available

October 31st, 2013

It’s been available for a while, but I’m now more confident that I actually have everything in the right place ;-)

Cincinnati Transit Map

The main PDF version can be found at:
That’s where I’ll always keep the best/most-up-to-date regional transit map that I have floating around.

And now

This map is like a teenage romance for me; full of lust and zealous ambition, it was exciting! And it’s what got me properly interested in transit and cartography. I can even say it’s landed me a couple real jobs. It’s usually the first thing people mention about me if I’m being introduced, reliably conjuring an “Oh! You’re that guy! I love that map!” That was such a great feeling at first!

But we all grow out of those romances and I now look back at it as a piece of myself irretrievably far away. How mothers keep loving their children, this designer will never know; proximity to my creations grows my boredom.

The project has been a success by every measure I can think of.
But I’m sick of it now. I’m sick of looking at it, using it as a bookmark, and hearing about it. I’m sick of updating it and being responsible for it. The Map and I have grown apartĀ  and it will not be updated again.

A big question for me then: What’s next?

2 responses to “Updated Cincinnati Transit Map now available”

  1. Matt Jacob says:

    I know I’ve suggested it to you before, but an Uptown/OTR/Downtown/NKY map of the core should be next. Much like Boston or New York City have a single small foldable map for all transit in their center city, Cincinnati needs the same thing.

    I’d gear it towards both visitors/tourists and residents/commuters with two tiers. Your current map is scaled and focused more towards the later, correct? There’s a need to show how these connections interact in the core as well as a need to give simplified directions to points of interest for v/t’s. If people can understand transit in our city, they will use it.

    • Nate Wessel says:

      Thanks Matt. I think visitors/tourists and residents have the same basic needs for understanding from a system map at any scale. Schedule design might vary(I think Google transit and the like have a bigger role to play for tourists), but the system map is essentially showing spatial relations and relative qualities of places and routes. The biggest difference is that residents have time to grow beyond needing to refer back to the system map and can incorporate it’s basic facts into memory.

      I totally agree with you..it’s just a matter of finding the funding to do it now. I did the first one for free and loved every minute of it, but that method has it’s shortcomings:
      1. I didn’t have any institutional buy-in, so no stable financial support.
      2. I was living off my (shrinking) savings while I worked on it.
      3. Emotionally, I was on my own for validation and motivation which is both good and bad.
      4. The product lacked the authority that might come with an ‘official’ transit map.
      5. I had to find my own distribution channels.

      In any case, I’ve talked to people at both transit agencies about getting in on the bidding next time there’s a map update/redesign. Hopefully one of those turns into a paying, sustainable gig in the near future. It’d be good for me and I don’t honestly think they could find a better person to do it. If you know anyone at either agency, I hope you’ll tell them how important good map design is!