Developers

"New Perspectives" T Map Challenge

 

Do you think you can design a better MBTA map? Here’s the opportunity for you to show us what a new T map could look like.

In celebration of National Transportation Week (May 12 – 18, 2013) the MBTA and MassDOT are sponsoring a contest to tap into the creativity of our customers and to build on the public’s interest in mapping. The contest offers contestants the opportunity to develop alternative versions of the MBTA rapid transit (or “spider”) map.

Two Entry Levels

In order to promote contestant creativity while also ensuring that some submissions meet the design and accessibility standards that MBTA maps must conform to, the competition is being structured with two entry levels—an open tier and a classic tier:

Open Tier Entry

This entry level encourages the broadest range of creativity and includes the following guidelines:

  1. Any map of the MBTA system, or an aspect of the MBTA system is permissible
  2. Contestants can choose to submit inactive or interactive maps. Interactive or Web based maps must be hosted by the contestant; a link to the map should be submitted with the entry.
  3. Maps must show some part of the MBTA system – but can be as inclusive as the entire system map, or as limited as one bus line.
  4. Creativity and innovation in displaying unique aspects of the MBTA system will be rewarded as well as integration with other public transportation modes

Classic Tier Entry

The guidelines for the Classic Tier include:

  1. Maps must conform to the current MBTA map standards
  2. The map must be of the full MBTA Rapid Transit system – with the aim to improve upon the standard “spider map”. While Classic Tier maps will not have to include all modal information as the current spider map, they must include at least the Red, Orange, Blue, Green and Silver Lines.
  3. Maps must be able to be printed
  4. Creativity and innovation in displaying unique aspects of the MBTA system will be rewarded

Submission Requirements

Entries are free and you may submit as many maps as you like.

The competition runs from April 9, 2013 to May 14, 2013. All submissions must be received by 5:00 pm on May 14, 2013.

All entries should be sent via email to DOT.GISServices@dot.state.ma.us 

Entries should include:

  • Entrant's Name
  • Entrant's Email Address
  • Entry Tier (Open or Classic)
  • Name or Title of the Map
  • Short description (500 words or less) of the purpose of your map 

Maps should be submitted as PDF, PNG, JPEF files, no larger than 5MB, or you if you are hosting an interactive map please submit a link to the map. Web sites for all competition entries must be active through July 31, 2013. 

All submissions shall become the sole property of the MBTA. The MBTA shall own the entire copyright in all submissions selected, in whole or in part, for use in the final map design.

Competitors whose submissions are not selected, in whole or in part, shall grant to the MBTA a worldwide, perpetual, gratis license to reproduce and/or use the submission in any way, in any medium now known or hereafter devised, for any purpose, including but not limited to publication, exhibition and archive of the competition results.

Submissions will not be returned to competitors after the contest and access to the submission will not be allowed at any time. Therefore, it is important that competitors photograph their submissions and/or retain at least a copy of the submission materials. Once received, submissions become the sole property of the MBTA.

Winning submissions will be showcased on the MBTA Website and will be on display at the State Transportation Building at 10 Park Plaza, Boston. 

Judging Criteria

The MBTA and MassDOT will assemble an evaluation committee of transportation and cartography experts representing a cross-section of perspectives on how customers use MBTA mapping tools. The committee will review all submittals and evaluate them against the criteria and requirements of either the Open or Class Tier contest levels.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria: 

Open Tier Criteria

  • Creativity (1-5 points - to what extent does the map represent a re-imaging of current MBTA mapping tools?)
  • Aesthetic Quality (1-5 points - from a purely artistic and graphic design perspective, how successful is the map?)
  • Readability / Visual Clarity (1-5 points - how accessible is the map? How quickly can the viewer retrieve desired information?)
  • Informative Quality (1-5 points - how useful is the map to someone relying on it to navigate the system?)

Classic Tier Criteria

  • Creativity (1-5 points - to what extent does the map represent a re-imaging of current MBTA mapping tools?)
  • Aesthetic Quality (1-5 points - from a purely artistic and graphic design perspective, how successful is the map?)
  • Readability / Visual Clarity (1-5 points - how accessible is the map? How quickly can the viewer retrieve desired information?)
  • Informative Quality (1-5 points - how useful is the map to someone relying on it to navigate the system?)
  • Accordance with MBTA map standards - All criteria must be met, if failed on any criteria the entry will be placed in the Open Tier category.

MBTA map standards

These are the legal and accessibility standards the MBTA currently holds system maps to, and which the Classic Tier submittals will be required to meet. 

  • Maps must fit into a perfect square (at a 20” X 20” scale).
  • Proper legend and title should be included in the map.
  • Accessibility guidelines include the need to provide station ADA accessibility information, and using only sans serif fonts and using mixed case for station names.
  • Other standards that are important for customers with vision impairments include: maps should be designed so that two parallel lines do not touch; and text (such as station names) cannot break across a line without a buffer around the text.