Cameron Booth, an Australian designer, has created a simplified road map of the Interstate and US highways of the continental United States that looks like a subway map, with straight lines connecting 4,385 different places along the way.
Design-wise, I just love being able to distill complex networks down to their barest elements: where do the roads go? Where do they cross other roads? When do they run concurrently with other roads? It’s a challenge for me to take something like a road map (geographically accurate, drawn in the tiniest detail) and reinvent it using the simple, pared-back design language of a subway/metro map (colored route lines, interchange markers, 45-degree angles), although the entire map ended up far more complex in its overall structure than your typical subway map. Most subway maps don’t have over 4,000 stops shown on them, though! Interestingly, the individual state maps still look relatively simple and far more subway map-like: it’s only when you see the whole thing put together that it looks so insane.
However, Booth does admit that while the map is elegant and beautiful, it may not be as functional as the usual map. He concluded that his maps couldn’t “replace a proper road map or your smart phone for directions, as they only show a subset of ALL the roads in the US.”