A number of you have asked me why I don’t add the Google transit overlay to the map. I wish I could, it’s really well done, but my searches haven’t turned up anything but people saying that they don’t share it with people using the Maps API. It’s unfortunate, but c’est la vie.
Just kidding, that just means it’s time to try my own hand at it :-). I took the past couple days to make some programs that work together to automatically generate subway/trolley/light rail route maps from publicly available transit schedules.
It’s not exactly finished, but I’ve decided to release this initial version to gauge the reaction, and whether there’s any outcry at its shortcomings. One of the big ones is that if multiple lines share the same stops, the lines that represent them on the map will just sit on top of each other, and you can only see the top one. Another is that you may notice some wonky behavior with some of the lines. Many of you know these cities better than I do, so if you see anything that seems wrong to you, let me know.
To activate the overlay, open up the Filter box, and then open up the Super Secret Advanced Features, and check the checkbox next to Mass Transit Overlay. It currently shows only subway, light rail, and trolleys – bus routes would have been overwhelming. I have another project in mind that will take those into account, though.
The transit overlay is available in a few major cities at the moment. Please let me know if there are any big ones that I’ve missed, or small ones where rail-based mass transit plays a big role. Also, if you spot any bugs – I know about one or two, but there are probably more that I’m not aware of.