In 1972, Italian designer Massimo Vignelli re-designed George Solomon's New York Subway map; and I think it is a fantastic piece of work.
All the lines are represented by different colours, and each station represented by a black dot. In contrast to the original map design, the visual problem of awkward angles of the lines was solved by making each line 45 0r 90 degrees. Although this simplifies the map immensely, an obvious number of geographical liberties had to be taken. For example the map shows Central Park as a square rather than a rectangle.
However I do not see this as a problem. The aim of any map is to provide information in a way that is simple to understand/read. Re-proportioning certain geographical aspects of the map would certainly be detrimental to this objective.
Do you spot a resemblance in this map?
Obviously Vignelli was inspired by Harry Beck's design of the London Underground map (1933). Beck was the one who made all lines 45 and 90 degrees; and more importantly made the map a representation of the underground infrastructure, not influenced by the geographical layout of London itself.
This makes me think about how visualization works. Do aspects of a design/map/flow chart etc need to be neglected in order to achieve ultimate simplicity?