Based on real-time data!You know we love good transit maps at TreeHugger (see links on the left). Part of it is functional: Good maps make transit more useful, and that helps reduce pollution. Part is just about aesthetics: We just enjoy good-looking and well-designed maps. Creating them is an art-form that shouldn't be under-estimated.
Bruno Imbrizi has created a great real-time interactive 3D visualization of the London underground. It's designed more as an artistic and technological showcase than as a practical tool to get around, but that's fine. It's a lot of fun to play around with and explore! (The static image above doesn't do it justice, you can only see the 3D effect when it moves.)
Bruno describes his creation process:
I wanted more of a cool visualization based on the tube data, rather than an informative/useful map. How could I do something new with this data? Add a third dimension maybe? [...]
To do a 3D map of the tube I would need x,y,z values. It is amazing what we can find on the internet, it’s all there. Depth of tube lines and London Underground Station Locations.
I had everything I needed: train times, latitude, longitude and depth of the stations. [...]
One of the biggest challenges was to make the trains follow the spline and sometimes change splines depending on where the train’s destination. I feel that my algorithm could be more solid here, but it is working well. The last touches were to add the labels for each station and add some ambient sound recorded at the tube. (source)
Here's Bruno's 3D visualization. Note that you can toggle different train lines on the top right. It looks best when you enable all of them. To rotate the camera, hold your mouse button and move around. You can zoom in and out with the scroll-wheel.
For a more traditional, 2D map also based on real-time data, check this out.