Sarah Wong
Sarah Wong ✿ Designer 

City or Suburbs?
City or Suburbs is an interactive infographic that compares areas within the Greater Toronto area. The map is based on Ontario's regional transit system, Go Transit, by using the system map as a point of reference for the distance and proximity of different areas. This map compares each area based on livability, housing, and transit statistics; and compares factors that may be important to those looking to live outside the downtown core.

Date: 2017
Role: Designer
Type: Student Project


Awards
2017 Merit Award (Interactive)
Advertising and Design Club of Canada
Student Awards

2017 Honourable Mention
Cineplex Digital Solutions Award for Information Design
RGD Student Awards




Making the Map
To create the map, I based the structure on Go Transit’s System Map and used stations as anchor points for each area. I plotted each train station on Google Maps and traced over each station line. Since the goal of the map is to highlight the difference in distance, I designed the map in a fixed view. This helps highlight the true distance between stations as everything can be seen at once in one screen view. 






Livability
How accessible is the area to sidewalks, transportation, and entertainment options? The livability section is based off of an area’s quality of life from calculating their Walk Score and population.





Housing
How much does it cost to purchase a home in each area? The housing section shows the average price of a single family detached home and the average price per square inch.





Transit
How do different train stations compare with one another? The last section compares the services and ridership of different Go Transit stations.





Individual Train Lines
Users can see an overview of a specific train line by clicking a specific station.





Reflection
This project challenged me in finding a way to visually represent statistics in a system that could work across multiple categories for different types of information.

Looking back on this project, I think this map could be improved if there was an onboarding process to greet users to explain the map's overall purpose. I also would add more context to the geography of Toronto in its relation to the layout of Go Transit stations, as this would help people further understand the distance of cities.

Some features I would add to improve the map:
🔎  A search function
🏙  The option to compare cities directly
📚  Overall expanding the information by including more details on each city