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IIT-Bombay students design user-friendly railway map

Posted on: December 20, 2013

Source: Times of India
MUMBAI: Commuting by Mumbai locals can be a daunting experience for not just a first-time traveller but even for a regular commuter going to a newer destination. Two first-year students of Masters in Visual Communication programme of Industrial Design Centre (IDC), IIT-Bombay, Jaikishan Patel and Snehal Patil, have come up with an easy to understand and commuter-friendly colour-coded railway map for the travellers.

The map, designed by the students, includes connecting routes that link western, central, harbour and trans-harbour train stations. It also attempts to incorporate the route map of the metro line under construction and Nerul-Uran railway link. Speaking about the special features of this railway map, Patil said, “Our map introduces a quick navigation system, which lets the user locate his stations within seconds using the box grid. We have introduced grid system in a different way. The newly designed map also includes the shuttle express way which runs from Vasai to Roha.”

The pleasant and visually appealing map is also designed to cater to the colour blind population. “According to statistics, approximately 13,956 people from different regions in India, suffer from colour-blindness. We have tested the map for the same and made changes accordingly,” added Patel.

Designing this map had its own share of bottlenecks. Developing a navigation system was a challenge in itself and the other one was to keep it small and portable, (i.e. to accommodate all the lines in a small size of A5 and ensure it was still legible). According to Professor Mandar Rane, associate professor, visual communication, IDC, who acted as a guide to these students, “If the maps are not installed on the stations and people are not using them then it’s not worth the effort. This map is useful and the students have designed it very well. The day we launched it through Facebook, it generated a great response.”

Students have also come-up with an A4 size of the map which can be folded into a 5cm x 7cm leaflet and can be easily carried in a wallet. The map is currently available in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati version. The maps can be downloaded from the link http://mrane.com/railmap.php

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