Recently, an architect’s redesigned map of Singapore’ Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) has gone viral in Facebook, even catching the attention of Singapore’s Land Transportation Authority (LTA) itself.
While the current map used by the LTA does the job of telling how the stations are connected, it is not geographically faithful. These maps are called schematic maps. They are meant to show relative positions of the stations in a simplified and easy-to-read format. Other countries and cities such as London’s Tube also uses schematic maps for their transport guide.
Cliff Tan, as his personal project, redesigned the MRT map in order to create a synergy of usability and accuracy.
Mr. Tan was inspired to redesign the map due to his increasing confusion with the MRT system as it continues to grow. Tan moved overseas back in 2010 in order to work and study.
“By the time I was back again last year, we had five lines and I was so overwhelmed that I spent almost the entire duration of all my MRT trips just glued to the train cabin wall, trying to understand the map. I found that the map lacks focus and I was unable to orientate myself, especially around town,” he said.
While the designed received praise from the LTA, they said in an interview that a redesigned map is already planned to be released later this year.
However, LTA did invite Tan to work with them, to which the architect seemingly accepted. He said he’s going to meet with them in a Facebook post.