Skip to content
CityLab
Culture

Mapping the Organized Chaos of All of the World's Subways

From a design standpoint, the map connecting the world via one mega subway system is a mess. But it says something about human mobility.
relates to Mapping the Organized Chaos of All of the World's Subways
Gerardo Cid

What if Beijing was only a subway ride and a few station transfers away from New York City? And if the metrorail lines of Paris, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo met at a single intersection?

Those are the kinds of scenarios that the World Metro Map, a whimsical graphic from the New York-based collective called ArtCodeData and the nonprofit Open Access Initiative, imagines. The map combines the metro rail lines of 214 cities into one mega subway system, totaling almost 12,000 lines and nearly 800 stations.