A user-friendly railway map from the students of Industrial Design Centre at IIT Bombay

39693969a1

Two first year students of Masters in Visual Communication programme of Industrial Design Centre (IDC), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Jaikishan Patel and Snehal Patil have come up with an easy to understand and commuter-friendly, colour-coded railway map for the travellers.

Commuting by Mumbai Locals can be a daunting experience for not just a first-time traveller but even for a regular commuter going to a newer destination. Rail maps plays a critical role in providing the travel related information, to help commuters navigate and to guide them towards making an informed decision for their journey. Unfortunately, for a city like Mumbai, which perhaps has one of the busiest rapid transit systems in the world – operating more than 2000 train services and carrying more than 7 million passengers daily – there were no well designed and authentic maps available of the railway network. Realizing this, two first year students of Masters in Visual Communication programme of Industrial Design Centre (IDC), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Jaikishan Patel and Snehal Patil have come up with an easy to understand and commuter-friendly, colour-coded railway map for the travellers.

The map designed by the two students includes connecting routes that link Western, Central, Harbour and Trans Harbour train stations. It also attempts to incorporate the route map of the under-construction Metro Line and Nerul-Uran Railway Link. Speaking about the special features of this Railway Map, Patil said, “Our map introduces a quick navigation system, which lets the user locate his stations within seconds using the box grid. We have introduced grid system in a different way. Its slightly modified in comparison to the traditional grid which has alpha-numeric coordinates. This consideration was from our study of most Indians who are not accustomed to criss-cross alpha numeric grid, excluding those who have travelled abroad, where the use of maps and such grids is common. The newly designed map also includes the shuttle express way which runs from Vasai to Roha.

The pleasant and visually appealing map is also designed to cater to the colour blind population. “According to statistics, approximately 13,956 people from different regions in India, suffer from colour-blindness. We have tested the map for the same and made changes accordingly. In the map design it is been considered to an extent that people with colour blindness can differentiate among the routes by the tone and thickness of the rail lines. In that way, the map would be still useful in case of B/W print,” added Patel.

Designing this map had its own share of bottlenecks. Developing a navigation system was a challenge in itself and the other one was to keep it small and portable, (i.e. to accommodate all the lines in a small size of A5 and ensure it was still legible). According to Prof. Mandar Rane, Associate Professor, Visual Communication, IDC, who acted as a guide to these students, “IDC has always been involved in projects, which focus on benefitting the society. Our dream is implementation. If the maps are not installed on the stations and people are not using them then it’s not worth the effort. This map is useful and the duo have designed it very well. The day we launched it through facebook, it generated a great response. Most of our changes have been done through crowd sourcing and we kept on updating the versions online. We visited the Chief PRO of Central Railways, who was very supportive and is keen on taking it forward. We are now waiting for the approval from DRM to make the map official.

Students are hoping that You Are Here (YAH) versions of their Maps are installed at all railway stations, which can help commuters to quickly access and seek any information related to rail networks. They have also come-up with a A4 size of the map which can be folded into a 5cms x 7cms leaflet and can be easily carried in a wallet. The map is currently available in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati version. The maps can be downloaded from the link http://mrane.com/railmap.php

Be Sociable, Share!


Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Social PopUP by Timersys