A schematic, or schematic diagram, is a representation of the elements of a system using abstract, graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures. A schematic usually omits all details that are not relevant to the key information the schematic is intended to convey and may include oversimplified elements to make this essential meaning easier to grasp.
I decided to work on schematically representing the Street Shopping places in the city of New Delhi for people commuting by Metros. This was done under the mentorship of Rasagy Sharma (https://medium.com/@rasagy) at NID.
Understanding the Place
To start with, I shortlisted 10 budgeted shopping places in New Delhi and plotted them on google maps. For easier and faster working, I mapped it by tracing it on a gateway, keeping the print under it.
Metro Lines in Delhi
New Delhi has a very extensive and spread out metro line transportation, which has become the primary mode of commute for millions. While mapping the places, I decided to focus on keeping metros as the primary mode for my schematic representation.
There have been multiple takes on the Delhi metro schematic map, but I decided to work on the one done by INAT which follows a radial grid. A radial grid was also something that worked well with my plotted map because a lot of the shopping places fell on concentric circles.
I overlayed the next iteration on the INAT map and drew the relevant metro lines. Due to the vastness of the lines, almost all shopping places fell on metro stations, making commute really easy.
Radial Grid for the Schematic Map
I redrew the 01 route (after removing the metro lines) and noticed the presence of a possible radial grid.
This was placed beside iteration 04 which was the combination of a metro map with the shopping places. The black route indicates the route one should take, and the respective colored routes were the metro lines. The problem occurred when I realized that the black route was fairly redundant because it was a displacement representation between two places, instead of the distance between them.
After the last iteration, I decided to directly work digitally due to the smaller details that were now to be added. Additionally, it was agreed to mark the shopping location different from the metro station to make the communication better and faster. As a result, I decided to schematically represent the walking route from the metro station to the market.
Keeping the intent in mind, I created the following schematic representation. Even though overall, I was satisfied with the output, the map felt empty with glaring white space. Additionally, there were also minute errors that had to be corrected.
After a review with my project mentor, Rasagy, I decided to 1) Add more context to the map to make it look more filled. This could be done either by adding districts of Delhi, increase the type size, or add a market description. 2)Complete the incomplete metro lines to not make it look like they are floating mid-air. 3)Change icons like the pin and car to something more relevant to the context of street shopping.
Resolution & Final Representation
I went ahead with the following changes and marked the districts with a simple stroke without giving it any fill.
The incomplete metro lines and stations were completed, however at a lower opacity. Also, to help the viewer, a marker for all in between metro stations were added (the title was omitted to prevent noise in the map)
The pin icon was replaced by a shopping tag icon, and the car was replaced by an auto, which is another common public transport in Delhi. This was because, for someone traveling via the metro, a car wouldn’t be a feasible alternative.
After all the recommended changes, the following was my schematic representation. Additionally, a heading and description were also added to help the viewer understand it better.
However, where the previous iteration lacked context and felt fairly empty, this had a lot of noise with multiple elements screaming for attention.
I decided to 1) Getaway with the district segregation because the labels (southeast, northwest, etc.) weren’t very helpful. 2) The shopping tag pin was changed from red (similar to the red metro line hue) to black stroke with white fill. This was also to bring harmony to the icons by following a similar language. 3) Reduce the opacity of the directional tags under name tags, to divert the focus back to the metro color lines.
Additionally, the metro lines that weren’t relevant to the route were lowered further in opacity. The intent was to grab the viewers attention to the metro lines > Metro Icon> Shopping Markets > Directional Tags > Shopping Pins.
As a result, after all the relevant changes, the following was created. It resolved all the issues that the previous iteration had. Also, the previous maps had a grey overlay which added to the noise of the map. I decided to go back to a paper white background colour instead of a shade of grey.