Augmented Reality in Wayfinding | 擴增現實尋路記

My attempt of a concentric Hong Kong rail map.
我的同心圓香港鐵路圖習作。

My Love Story with Rails

Railway map has always been a fascinating subject to me. In my 5th and 6th grades, my pal and I worked on planning imaginary cities on a lot of graph papers (remember those?) for fun. We even put resources, pollutants and defence into considerations, and of course transit. I had a vertical transit system that would work somewhat like revolving sushi bar.

I had quite a few backpack traveling years after attending university. Maneuvering rail systems had always been an anticipated part of my journeys. After experiencing around 40 rail transit systems in 3 continents, I have become quite opinionated about rail maps, while have gained quite a bit of insights on how the unique features of each system would affect the design approaches.

Buses and streetcars do have their own appeals (big fan of the F line in San Francisco!). Railways are just more dependable for visitors as there are more points of reference to where they’re at and how to get to the destination.

與鐵路談戀愛

從小我就對鐵路路綫圖著迷。小學五、六年級時,我與玩伴以在方格紙 (graph paper) 繪製幻想城市為樂。資源、污染源與防衛也是我們考慮之內;交通運輸也就更加是我們紙筆版 SimCity 遊戲的重心了。我甚至創作了像迴轉壽司輸送帶的垂直集體運輸系統。

大學畢業以後,我也有幾次當背包客平遊列國。各地的鐵路捷運系統總讓我期待。遊歷過三大洲 40 個捷運系統,體會到不同現實情況如何影響設計,漸漸建立了對鐵路路綫圖的一點見解。

巴士 (公車) 與電車也有各自的魅力 (尤其鍾愛集合多個歐美城市電車款式的三藩市 F Line)。只是作為旅客,鐵路更為可靠易用。

Why Hong Kong Railway Map?

First of all, I was born and raised in Hong Kong until adulthood. I’ve been working on my versions of Hong Kong railway maps in 2005. It was an interesting challenging to me at that point, as the two systems in Hong Kong, MTR and KCR, were to merge, and there were quite a lot of proposed extensions.

In many ways, the Hong Kong case poses some particular challenges:

  • CJK + Latin bilingual contents.
  • Water bodies that pedestrians may not cross.
  • Lines crisscrossing in small downtown areas, with a lot of stations within close proximity.

為何要製作香港鐵路路綫圖?

首先,我是香港土生土長直至成年。2005 年,在兩鐵即將合併,與多個擴張計劃的背景下,我認為這習作頗具挑戰性,也就作了一點嘗試。

要為香港的鐵路系統設計路綫圖,也有一些特別的難度,例如:

  • 方塊文字與拉丁文字並行。
  • 行人不能跨越的水體。
  • 多條綫路在挾小的市區縱橫交錯,車站密度在重型鐵路系統中也是超高的。
Geographic version (November 2005) | 地理位置為本版本 (2005 年 11 月)

Earlier Versions in 2005 | 2005 年製作的幾個版本

Version 1 (July 2005)

  • Largely followed the then-MTR official version.
  • Lines easier to follow with added padding between parallel lines.
  • Application of route numbers, loosely adopted from Singapore’s MRT.

第一版 (2005 年 7 月)

  • 大致根據當年地鐵設計。
  • 平行路綫間加入間隙,使用者更容易看清走綫。
  • 參考新加坡 MRT 為路綫編號。
2005 v1 | 2005 年第一版

Version 2 (July 2005)

  • Some reference to the Paris Metro-RER map.
  • Scale adjustments.
  • Dumped route numbers.
  • Background colors tuned down.
  • Reduced twists and turns.
  • Realigned the lines between Nam Cheong, Mei Foo and Lai King.

第二版 (2005 年 7 月)

  • 參考當年巴黎 Metro-RER 鐵路圖。
  • 比例調整。
  • 棄用路綫編號。
  • 底色調淡。
  • 減少路綫轉折。
  • 重構南昌、美孚、荔景位置關係。
2005 v2 | 2005 年第二版

Version 3 (July 2005)

  • Reduced twists and turns.
  • Rounded turns.
  • Single line stations are colored by respective lines.
  • Less emphasis in geographic accuracy.
  • Not featuring Light Rail system.

第三版 (2005 年 7 月)

  • 減少路綫轉折。
  • 轉折位配用圓角。
  • 單綫車站以路綫配色標示。
  • 較忽視地理位置。
  • 不標示輕鐵系統。
2005 v3 | 2005 年第三版

Version 4 (November 2005)

  • Slightly geared towards geographic accuracy.
  • Adjusted to a higher-contrast color scheme.
  • Stations labeled in blue to accentuate the lines.

第四版 (2005 年 11 月)

  • 稍為重視地理位置。
  • 色彩對比較明顯。
  • 文字改用深藍色,以突顯各路綫。
2005 v4 | 2005 年第四版

Version 5 (December 2005)

  • Another step towards geographic accuracy.
  • Wider map area, as more horizontal space is required for labeling.

第五版 (2005 年 12 月)

  • 更接近地理位置。
  • 地圖比例更闊,以提供更多文字標示空間。
2005 v5 | 2005 年第五版

The Concentric Circles Approach

After seeing a couple of concentric attempts, I recently revisited this project. Max Roberts has been exploring circles maps in recent years. I would say the New York one is particularly interesting as a problem solving attempt, perhaps because I’m not that fond of the official one.

For Hong Kong, Sameboat released his Hong Kong Railway Route Map ring on Wikipedia in May 2016. I do find his approach pretty fresh and clean. This can be an easy reference to identify the routes and connections from station A to station B. While the geographic relevance in terms of orientation, proximity and natural barriers (water bodies) are mostly compromised, posing frictions for real-life applications.

A Facebook interest group HKRDG (Hong Kong Railway Development Group) released MTR System Map in June 2016, as a derivative of Sameboat’s map. Since the release in Facebook and featurings by local media, many have commented on the shifted orientations, especially for the focal center being Whampoa station, which very few would agree as an urban center. Essentially the downtown area is pushed leftward, largely because of the seemingly arbitrary choice to have most of the green line forming the northern part of the ring.

同心圓設計取向

年前看過幾個以同心圓取向設計的鐵路路綫圖,也想重新探討香港鐵路路綫圖這個題材。近年 Max Roberts 有在探討圓型框架的鐵路路綫圖。大概因為我不太喜歡現時的正式版本,他的紐約鐵路路作為解難手法,我是覺得特別有趣的。

香港鐵路路綫圖方面,Sameboat 在 2016 年 5 月於維基百科發表了 Hong Kong Railway Route Map ring。我認為算是相當新鮮與簡潔的手法。如果要尋找從 A 站到 B 站的路綫,這圖提供了相當便捷的方法。但地理定位、距離與屏障 (如水體) 被大幅犧牲,成為實際應用的障礙。

Facebook 群體香港鐵路發展研究組 HKRDG 於 2016 年 6 月發表了一款圓型框架的港鐵路,亦有參考 Sameboat 版本。經過 Facebook 發表與香港傳媒報導,不少評論認為地理位置被過分扭曲,特別是以黃埔站作為中心點是難以被大眾認同的。市區核心地區被推向左方,大概是因為觀塘綫被定作環狀綫的北段。

Official version

The current official System Map released by MTR mostly designed on a 90º grid, with a few lines on 45º grid. The emphases appear to be on equal pitch between stations, straight lines, and clear distinctions between lines, hence the arc between Nam Cheong and Lai King couldn’t be larger.

The red and green lines are the dominating factors on how the space is defined. Kowloon peninsular is stretched horizontally, while all suburb extensions are being squeezed.

The legend is placed on top of water, while most lines appear on land, very challenging for users to match the colors. The sharp twist between Tsing Yi and Sunny Bay appears to be lacking in elegance and continuation to me.

正式路綫圖

港鐵現時使用的正式強調 90º 框架,亦有局部使用 45º 框架。似乎最重視平均分布車站,直綫與明顯的走綫,特別是南昌至荔景之間的大弧度。

荃灣綫與觀塘綫成為定義佈局的主要元素。九龍部分被大幅拉闊,新界延綫反而被大幅壓縮,特別是西鐵綫。

路綫配色的圖例被放於水體的藍色之上,使用者卻要與大部分處於陸地白色背景的走綫相配,增加了使用難度。青衣站與欣澳站之間的走綫調換亦有欠優雅與連灌性。

Considerations

  1. To allow a more geographic relevant presentation, accept the fact that there isn’t quite a circle line in Hong Kong .
  2. Stress on the actual city center: Nathan Road (Prince Edward to Tsim Sha Tsui) being the axis in the middle, and the smallest circle marking the CBD (Central to Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hung Hom, etc.).
  3. Recognizable shorelines. Quite a pleasant surprise to discover during earlier draft that Kowloon can be protrayed as a cone, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories being the arcs around it. It appears to be relatable to the real world while keeping it clean and simple with the addition of a few features such as the old airport runway (where the Kai Tak monorail will be built along), and Shing Mun River in northeast.
  4. Defining this as an exercise to balance between the simplicity of the concentric approach, and real life relevance. I’ve largely followed the color and typography by MTR.

考量

  1. 接受在實際地理分佈的條件下,香港的鐵路走綫沒有環狀綫的基礎。
  2. 設計佈局應以實際的市中心為重心:以彌敦道 (太子至尖沙咀) 為中輻,最小的環狀 (中環至銅鑼灣、尖沙咀、紅磡等) 為實際核心區。
  3. 更容易被辨識的海岸綫。在早期草稿發現到的意外驚喜是以錐形表達九龍,新界與香港島呈弧形環抱,再加以城門河與舊機場跑道的細節,簡單之餘也鈎畫了足以辨識的輪廓。
  4. 我將這習作定義為同心圓的簡潔取向與實際辨識應用的平衡。配色與字型大致仿效港鐵版本。

Project Scope

  1. Currently operating lines and stations.
  2. In construction and proposed lines (outlined) and stations (name greyed out), limited to the ones included in recent agenda (e.g. the cross harbor connection from Whampoa to Tin Hau or Fortress Hill is not included, since it was not mentioned since 2000).
  3. Kai Tai Monorail 啟德單軌鐵路 (as commonly referred to) is officially Environmentally Friend Linkage System 環保連接系統, which would be unlikely as the marketing name. The former is adopted here.
  4. Routes of China Railway High-speed and Intercity Through Train are not shown as there are no intermediate stops within the territory of Hong Kong, their routes would not affect wayfinding. Only icons representing the location of their termini in Hong Kong are displayed.
  5. For Shenzhen Metro Network, only the stations adjacent to the cross border facilities are displayed.

Note: all versions below are updated with recently updated line and station names.

項目範圍

  1. 現時營運中路綫及車站。
  2. 興建中與已倡議路綫及車站,以近年議程中提及為限。(如黃埔至炮台山過海綫從 2000 年起未有提及,所以不再標示)
  3. 一般稱作啟德單軌鐵路正式稱號為環保連接系統,但有見此稱號難以被應用,暫且引用前者。
  4. 中國高速鐵路與城際直通車均不在香港境內設中途站。其路綫並不影響港鐵使用者尋找路綫,故只以符號標示香港總站所在。
  5. 深圳地鐵網絡只標示供港鐵旅客過境的接駁車站。

註:以下各版本已根據新近公佈的路綫稱號與站名更新。

Concentric Version 1 (July 2016)

  • General routes of supplementary services (Light Rail, Ngong Ping 360, and Kai Tak Monorail) are included.
  • Future lines are shown as hollow; names of future stations are grayed out.

同心圓第一版 (2016 年 7 月)

  • 包括輔助路綫 (輕鐵、昂坪 360 與啓德單軌鐵路) 的大致走綫。
  • 未通車路綫以空心綫標示;未通車車站名稱以灰色標示。
Concentric v1 | 同心圓第一版

Concentric Version 2 (December 2016)

  • Larger text for lower physical size requirement.
  • Legend is eliminated, line labels are applied close to the respective routes.
  • Future stations are marked with gray solid dots.

同心圓第二版 (2016 年 12 月)

  • 使用更大字型以減低尺寸要求限制。
  • 不再以圖例標示路綫配色,改為靠近路綫以配色和反白字顯示。
  • 未通車車站以實心灰點標示。
Concentric v2 | 同心圓第二版

Concentric Version 3 (March 2018)

  • In place of line names, lines are numbered by destination, which can be used as platform numbers.

同心圓第三版 (2018 年 3月)

  • 路綫棄用現有名稱,改以終點站編號標列,可作為月台編號應用。
Concentric v3 | 同心圓第三版

Thanks for reading. You may also want to read about my version of the Dallas DART map.

謝謝閱讀。我也發表了我的達拉斯 DART 路線圖 (只提供英文版)。

All map works are licensed under the Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

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