Content Marketing: Going Viral with a Public Transport Map Design



The Goals


A major business milestone was reached while I was working for a tech startup in Cape Town - collecting data from a city's entire informal public transport network, and providing open access to that data. 

I was challenged to communicate the potential of the extensive and previously unavailable public transport information resulting from this milestone.

One goal was to encourage the development of technical applications which utilised this data. Other goals included raising the overall awareness of the company's efforts in the sector, contributing to a perception of unrivalled value and expertise. 

Digital Map Snippet.jpg


The Approach


Aware of the digital interest in informative maps, and the common sight of public transport maps in many world cities, I proposed a map which turned tens of thousands of kilometres of data into an accessible and understandable graphic. 

With a team eager to reach a large audience but with only a small budget available, I developed a design-driven concept which was interesting and informative, working with in-house designers on digital and print assets for different target audiences.

Taking inspiration from hundreds of other cities while also developing context specific design rules, a full map was created (after hours of data analysis and design revisions). 

The map was optimised for digital media through large and small infographics and a print run was undertaken for promotional purposes. I created complete project messaging to provide a consistent story and brief colleagues engaging with the media. 



The Outcome


The public transport map was met with significant enthusiasm, extensive reach and resulted in measurable business impact.

Hundreds of thousands of social media users engaged with content related to the asset, and it was shared by the Premier of South Africa's Western Cape province. The project and company were featured in interviews on public sector TV and local radio stations. 

Digital media coverage included articles in Wired, Quartz and CityLab, and an associated hackathon resulted in a surge in the number of applications using the company's data.