Monitoring Urban Rail Networks: A qualitative study of map use in transit control centers

Authors: Emily Domanico*, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Cartography
Keywords: dynamic visualization, control center, map use, infrastructure
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In public transit networks, control centers are sites where information is reported, synthesized and operationalized. In these environments, maps and diagrams play a central role in the work done to coordinate movement. Presented here are findings from a qualitative study of map use in transit control centers. Drawing on historical and contemporary accounts of rail control, participatory observation fieldwork, and survey analysis, this project addresses the question of how maps and schematics represent location information in the transit control center environment. This project studies how network visualizations are used in context to coordinate the movement of trains and passengers through an infrastructural landscape at a distance. Further, this work is concerned with the technology of digital maps, the practice of their everyday use, and the communities of people who work collectively with dynamic maps to monitor rail transit in real-time.

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