The Southwest Chief is 2,256 miles of the most beautiful scenery in America. It travels daily from Los Angeles, through the heart of the west, all the way to Chicago, and back again. However, what you'll remember most about the trip are not the specific places but the sights. Among those are the rock formations in Arizona, native american country in New Mexico, snow capped peaks in Colorado, and the farms of Missouri and Illinois.
Inspired by this, I collaged those moments into one memorable image. There's the rock formations, water, and land. As well as some animals to add a touch of life. The landscape fades darker to represent the passing of time. This imagery is textured and colored to give a older, nostalgic feel. This represents the emotional and qualitative aspect of a ride on the Southwest Chief.
In contrast, to that is the rational and quantitative aspects: my representation of the route and the type. I wanted it to be somewhat abstracted, or forward thinking. My purpose was to give the idea of a train ride as a modern way of travel. The arrows and circular elements show that the train goes back and forth, while acting as a compass (the "n" and "w" are an index to a compass). Another aspect of the map is that it doesn't show the typical outline of the states. I felt that simple marks and labels on the major stops would allow it to stay in the abstract realm. In compensation, all the stops and times are labeled out to the side. I blended the two worlds of the qualitative and quantitative worlds by allowing them to collide in the composition. The map literally enters the scene and leaves again. The marks that indicate the stops are colored to refer to the imagery, as well as the sub-title that references it.