Check out this collection of 6 transit-style maps based on different kinds of information: the best movies of all time, the National Parks system, web trends, the Mississippi River, the US Interstate system, and the world’s transit systems.
Within the sociology of culture, this could lead to an interesting discussion regarding genres. The average city-dweller likely has some idea of what transit maps look like: they involve color coding and also possibly symbols to denote different lines as well as marking stops and important junctions. These maps aren’t necessarily about geography but about a coherent traffic map that showcases the lines and the broad outlines of a city. Some maps, particularly London’s, are quite famous for their design.
So what happens if people are presented with transit maps that convey other bits of information? Could they easily understand them? Looking at all six, the one that might be the most difficult is the best movies map as it would take a little time to figure out how the movies are all connected and the map also implies the movies are derived or connected to each other in significant ways (is the genre of movie enough?).
Flipping the question around, could transit system data be easily “translated” into another genre of maps or data presentation?