Putting the rail loop on the map: Results in on your favourite design
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Putting the rail loop on the map: Results in on your favourite design

A plan to build an underground suburban rail loop linking every major line in Melbourne has inspired the city’s cartographers to try to map the proposed network.

On Tuesday, we showed you three maps and asked you to vote on your favourite.

It was a close race, but spatial analyst and self-confessed “map geek” Adam Mattinson came in first with 3050 votes for his circular geographic map, inspired by the Moscow Metro Map.

Coming in second was Age designer Jamie Brown with 2751 votes for his map based on the current Metro one, but adding in the proposed new loop.

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Philip Mallis, a transport planner for Darebin Council who has been reading the Melway since he was in kindergarten, said yesterday that he was a fan of schematic maps. But our readers are apparently not.

He received 240 votes for his map that shows nodes and the connections between them, instead of being focused on geography.

Schematic maps are considered easier to read, while geographical maps are seen as helpful for people navigating an unfamiliar area.

Harry Beck’s famous London Underground designs were controversial in the 1930s, but the style has since been adopted in other cities, including New York.

Mr Mallis said yesterday that the proposed loop meant maps no longer needed to be centralised around the CBD or city loop, sparking his design.

The results. Readers did not like UK and New York-style maps.

The results. Readers did not like UK and New York-style maps.

“It’s designed to provoke conversation or provoke a different way of looking at transport maps in Melbourne,” he said.

But Mr Mattinson said Beck’s transit maps had abstracted geography.

“Typically, they don’t allow for circular shapes, particularly when you’re working with a radial network of train lines,” he said.

“Adding this loop element gives an opportunity to shake things up a little, hence, the circles.”