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This is the worst bus map ever

Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

Is this the most confusing map ever printed?

The Luxembourg bux map.

The Luxembourg bus map.

Ville de Luxembourg

Check out a full-resolution version here.

The map — for the many bus routes of Luxembourg (the city, not the country) — recently showed up on Transit Maps, one of my favorite Tumblrs, where proprietor Cameron Booth heartily dissected its many flaws, up to and including its typefaces. You can read that discussion here. The map itself hails from the Ville de Luxembourg.

The submitter of this map calls it Luxembourg's "spaghetti monster," while Booth calls it "a pile of worms." I'd say it looks more like the proverbial knot that can't be undone — and it sort of creates the impression that all of the buses in Luxembourg are constantly crashing into each other, which you'd think we'd have heard about by now.

Particularly in the city center, where every single line seems to converge, it's enormously difficult to tell what's going on. And without any real sense of streets or landmarks, I can't even imagine how I'd begin to use this to navigate Luxembourg. As Booth points out, this might be fine for locals, but good luck if you're a tourist.

Here's what the map would look like if you had the most common form of colorblindness. It's theoretically possible to use this to navigate under these circumstances, but good lord.


This is what the map would look like if you had deuteranopia. (Photo illustration by Anand Katakam/Vox)

Here's our advice: Luxembourg is one of the Low Countries, and thus you'd probably be better off biking anyway. Better to stick with that and maybe Google Maps on your phone.