I’ve been fascinated with subway maps ever since my first experience on the London Underground at age three (and I know I’m not alone). The simplified arrangement of lines and circles create a powerful visual metaphor that can have a huge influence on how we mentally model the city they represent. When I lived in New York, the subway map was the primary way that I anchored myself spatially, even though it’s full of geographic distortions.
There have been a number of projects that have harnessed our familiarity with transit lines to explore demographic variations of cities. For New York, I’ve seen subway rent maps and the New Yorker’s interesting exploration of income inequality. But New York’s financial geography is unique, and I was curious to see what other kinds of patterns would emerge from a similar approach in a different city. So I decided to create a map of Boston that uses T stops to explore data from the American Community Survey (ACS).