The map, titled Milky Way Transit Authority, was created by Harvard computational sociologist Samuel Arbesman. He had the idea to make the map while reading Carl Sagan’s Contact and contemplating the organization and presentation of galactic data in a format that is familiar easy-to-read, such as a subway map. Arbesman said:
This map is an attempt to approach our galaxy with a bit more familiarity than usual and get people thinking about long-term possibilities in outer space. Hopefully it can provide as a useful shorthand for our place in the Milky Way, the ‘important’ sights, and make inconceivable distances a bit less daunting. And while convenient interstellar travel is nothing more than a murky dream, and might always be that way, there is power in creating tools for beginning to wrap our minds around the interconnections of our galactic neighborhood.I have attempted to actually make this map as accurate as possible, where each line corresponds to an arm of our galaxy, and the stations are actual places in their proper locations.
Arbesman says he is open to input from those with ideas to improve the map and/or make it more accurate. You can read more on his project page devoted to the Milky Way Transit Authority.