One of the first things that I do when I visit a foreign country or city I do not know about, is to grab a subway plan as I usually use it for my travels.
Sometimes, apps are available that provide me with the information, at other times, paper maps are available in hotels or stations that I can make use of.
The open source software qMetro offers another option. It is a cross-platform application that ships with a large selection of subway maps included, and options to download additional maps from the Internet.
The default maps include popular cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, Moscow, Paris, London or Delhi. The maps available on the website add many more cities to the list.
Vectors are used for the maps, and you can zoom in and out using the mouse wheel or the buttons in the main toolbar.
To calculate the travel time, click on a station name and then on the name of the destination. The program displays the information to you the.
Here you can make slight modifications, including the time it takes you to reach the station, the waiting time, and if available, different routes.
What you cannot seem to do, and that is without doubt an issue, is to change the time you want to take the subway. While the information presented to you are helpful, you do not really know if they are also accurate for the day and time you want to take the subway to the destination.
You can make a couple of modifications in the program's settings. Here you can change the default font type and size for example, which you may want to do as the default font is not that readable.
Other options include adding or removing shadows, colors or transparency effects on the map. If you notice performance issues, you may want to check the performance settings to make modifications here. You can for instance enable simple graphics for transfers, or enable caching.
To load a different map, select File > Open from the options. New maps can be downloaded from this website. Just place the downloaded maps in the same folder the other maps reside in. You can load them from there using the application then once that is done.
The qMetro app has several things going for it. It is cross-platform and open source, supports more than one hundred Metro maps, and can be used offline.
The travel information are less useful than they appear to be on the other hand, and if you do have an online connection, you are probably better off using Google Maps or Bing Maps for that instead.