It’s no secret that subway maps are mere approximations of geography. Designed for maximum readability, they map the subway system onto stylized curves and evenly spaced stops. Still, the images of these familiar maps distorted by geographic accuracy are more striking than I even imagined.

These maps were created by Benjamin M. Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University and a researcher in the digital humanities. Check out the interactive version at his website, where you can adjust the transparency of the overlaid map while zooming in and out.