Three jobs of a callout line

After Defne’s awesome monster Weekly Charts in the last 14 days (here’s number 1, here’s number 2), this weeks’ Weekly Chart keeps it small. Today we launched callout lines for our locator maps (they are lines connecting marker and label), and I wrote a few words about how to create them and when – so I will simply refer you to this announcement blog post and explain the importance of our new feature with this map:

There’s a lot going on in this map. Our new callout lines have three jobs here:

  • The one at the top (“Perleberger Brücke”) separates the signal from the noise. All subway stations on this map are labeled directly. But we don’t have a lot of space to label “Perleberger Brücke” directly, especially if we want to give extra information. Separating the label from the labeled element gives us more space for the label.
  • The one in the middle (“Brandenburg Gate”) doesn’t use a taken design element (the circle) while still pointing to a location precisely. Circles have one job on this map: They communicate “I am a subway station”. So we can’t use a simple circle marker to show a tourism trap one of the most impressive sights of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate. A callout line solves that problem.
  • The one at the bottom (“This map only shows…”) does the job of a tooltip, while not being hidden. I like tooltips – but they have a hard time getting read. Bringing the information directly on the map increases its chances.

You can find a similar description of use cases for callout lines on our announcement blog post. Let us know what you think! And I’ll see you next week.