One for the Road: Transit Maps of the World

There’s a lot of buzz about this new title on the web today and it looks like a goodie. Actually, Catherine already mentioned this book, but I’ve got to salute it again as our travel book suggestion of the day. I mean, Boing Boing calls it sheer subway porn — it deserves more love. Transit Maps of the World: The World’s First Collection of Every Urban Train Map on Earth has a flashy cover that screams fun for fans of public transport systems. I’m definitely in that category — I love conquering subway systems when I visit a new city. There is such a sense of accomplishment in getting from A to B, learning station names and knowing how to navigate yourself through tunnels and tubes, especially when you throw in that added layer of language barrier. And the names of favorite (or most often used) stations always linger: Jianguomen in Beijing, Principe Pio in Madrid, Dupont Circle in DC.

Penguin’s new book claims to be the first and only comprehensive collection of historic and current maps of every rapid-transit system on earth. Whew! Author and transport extraordinaire Mark Ovenden traces the history of mass transit-including rare maps, diagrams, and photographs. I don’t doubt that this book will live up to what the publisher calls “the graphic designer’s new bible, the transport enthusiast’s dream collection, and a coffee-table essential for everyone who’s ever traveled in a city.”