Need to teleport yourself across the Milky Way? This handy and strangely accurate subway-style map gives you a clear guide to the galaxy's way stations.
Called the Milky Way Transit Authority, the map was created by Samuel Arbesman, a Harvard computational sociologist (most awesome job title ever). He says he got the idea to make the map because he was reading Carl Sagan's Contact and started mulling over how to organize galactic data in the same easy-to-read, condensed format of a subway map. He writes:
This map is an attempt to approach our galaxy with a bit more familiarity than usual and get people thinking about long-term possibilities in outer space. Hopefully it can provide as a useful shorthand for our place in the Milky Way, the 'important' sights, and make inconceivable distances a bit less daunting. And while convenient interstellar travel is nothing more than a murky dream, and might always be that way, there is power in creating tools for beginning to wrap our minds around the interconnections of our galactic neighborhood.
I have attempted to actually make this map as accurate as possible, where each line corresponds to an arm of our galaxy, and the stations are actual places in their proper locations.
Arbesman welcomes input from anyone who had ideas about how to improve the map or make it more accurate. Check out his project page devoted to the Milky Way Transit Authority.