Interstellar Overdrive: Take the Milky Way Transit Authority.

Interstellar Overdrive: Take the Milky Way Transit Authority.

Samuel Arbesman, a postdoctoral fellow in computational sociology at Harvard, made this simplified map of the Milky Way. Just take the Tube.

He says, “People ask why I haven’t marked ‘You Are Here’ on the map – but I think it’s more humbling to realize that we aren’t the center of the universe.” http://arbesman.net/milkyway/

Pink Floyd With Syd Barrett – Interstellar Overdrive-Part 1

#scienceeveryday   Samuel Arbesman 

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41 Responses to Interstellar Overdrive: Take the Milky Way Transit Authority.

  1. Rajini Rao says:


    Haha, Linda Hedrick !

  2. Jeff Boerst says:


    I especially like the fact that the graphic is styled after The Tube!

  3. Chad Haney says:


    Do they have a week pass? I don’t think I can see everything in one day. It has to be better that the RTD in LA, (Rough Tough and Dangerous).

  4. Rajini Rao says:


    Arbesman especially mentions that the London Tube design by Harry Beck was the first of its kind. Many cities now model their maps after his elegant and minimalistic design.

  5. Rajini Rao says:


    Kimberly Elaine , you know this was my excuse to listen to PF in the middle of the day 😉

  6. Chad Haney says:


    Like you need an excuse.

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Haha, back to that manuscript. Someone give me a demerit.


  8. “Doors closing, doors closing… this is the Red Line to Galaxy Place… our next stop will be Andromeda Central… Doors closing, doors closing…”

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    William McGarvey , if only we could figure out mass transportation 😉

  10. Rajini Rao says:


    This one seems to be a spiral subway.


  11. Rajini Rao True, on that subject we waste a lot of energy, without shedding much light on it…

  12. Rajini Rao says:


    We’re on the red line. Feisal Kamil , you should be getting off at the Dream Nebula soon? 🙂


  13. Rajini Rao Gots to be a wormhole…

  14. Rajini Rao says:


    We should planet better instead of Hubblin along.


  15. Edward Tufte has done a bunch of these, Feisal Kamil  in his famed study of graphics, e.g., http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ytjn83EH1uQ/S-g97DVwlJI/AAAAAAAABss/aN1jyAtu270/s1600/tokyo-subway-map.gif


  16. Feisal Kamil See?  Great minds think in the same track (usually narrow-gauge).

  17. Rajini Rao says:


    Get off at the next stop and happy dreams, Feisal Kamil .


  18. To deepest slumber — and the next Galaxy!!  Onward, Feisal Kamil !

  19. Rajini Rao says:


    Warp 10 is faster 🙂


  20. Feisal Kamil ‘Til then you’ll hear me singing,


    ♬♪ ♬♪   


    “I’m stuck inside of DC, with those Metro Blues again…”  ♬♪ ♬♪


  21. Rajini Rao Sorry, I was doing my imitation and paraphrase of Johnny Cash:  Johnny Cash-Folson Prison Blues

  22. Chad Haney says:


    Goodnight Feisal Kamil I hope you have nice dreams about Princess Leia and not Hand Solo.


  23. OK this one I have to come back later ….when I have time to do the color look walk/maze assignment. But I already know that I am humbled for the day. Thank you 🙂

  24. Abrak Jamson says:


    If anyone is wondering, we live on the Orion branch (red) at the Sol marker.

  25. Rajini Rao says:


    I’d probably head the wrong direction with that map, Gnotic Pasta 😉

  26. Rajini Rao says:


    Hey, that’s a great idea. Like they draw constellation outlines to connect stars on an image.

  27. Kevin Clift says:


    You’ve done some more nice work Samuel Arbesman (;.  On the subject of the London tube maps Rajini Rao , this tool morphs from real to topological and back and gives some history for anyone that’s interested: http://www.fourthway.co.uk/realunderground/

  28. Rajini Rao says:


    Kevin Clift , very cool morph! I’d like 3D too, yes! Drew Sowersby 🙂


    Although the “real” version is not as elegant, it is surprisingly easy to read. I could handle it. 

  29. Chad Haney says:


    That is really cool Kevin Clift That should be a separate post.

  30. Rajini Rao says:


    Edited post to tag Samuel Arbesman . Thanks, Kevin Clift .


  31. I appreciate its accuracy despite its stripped simplicity. Thanks Rajini Rao! 🙂

  32. Kevin Clift says:


    Thanks Chad Haney , I tried it, but perhaps because there was no picture it was largely ignored: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104765717987042844598/posts/5D3RdCjCbKX

  33. Chad Haney says:


    Kevin Clift that’s a common problem. Apparently G+ people are drawn to pictures. I almost always find a picture for every post. You should just take a screenshot of one of the maps and redo your share. I’ll re-share it with my followers.

  34. Rajini Rao says:


    Kevin Clift , a picture is better than words. A picture is often better than a video. An animated gif attracts the most eyeballs, whether in approval or disapproval (that depends on the gif itself; nobody likes a gratuitous or seizure inducing gif). 


    Horizontal images work better because they don’t leave those black bars on the sides. Goes without saying, bigger pictures are better, so look for the largest size (unless its over Googles limit, then it doesn’t matter of course). If you have more than one image, better to have >3 or they get squished into little images and have to share the same real estate as one. So I typically go for 1 or 3+. 


    My perspective on this is that if anything is worth posting, it’s worth posting most effectively.

  35. Kevin Clift says:


    Thanks Rajini Rao .  I sometimes don’t have time to find the images and so I wing it.  I have re-posted it with a quick vertical image now, but BTW the black bars are history.


  36. I continue to be humbled ….. as maps, (tube or otherwise are a blindspot in my IQ) I am presently looking to have a permanent GPS device implanted somewhere & thank somebody for the one in my car. Kevin Clift I did go to your link and clicked (pictures do work here very well) and I am proud to say I was able to follow…thanks 🙂

  37. mahek abbas says:


    really interestingggggggg

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