When significant changes need to be communicated to a community where English is not the dominant language you have to get pretty smart with your visual language. This custom designed map was developed to show residents in St Albans the changes that were going to happen to their environment as a result of construction works for the removal of their level crossing.
It was designed specifically for the St Albans community before the map style was set by the project authority. The St Albans community speaks many languages without English being the dominant language.
An information hierarchy was designed to prioritise the content so that it was easier to read. Information about impacts like footpaths being closed sits close to the central diagram of the railway line, explanations sit on the outer edges and are shown as icons first with text underneath.
Designed for a predominantly non-English speaking community, icons for landmarks looked enough like their real world counterpart to be recognisable as specific locations rather than generic landmarks like “hotel”.
By using already existing visual language for closures and icons of equipment, and establishing a hierarchy of information, this map is able to by ready without need to understand English.