The London Underground map

Living in New York as I do, I focus much of my attention on all things New York, as that’s what I’m exposed to on a daily basis. However, a colleague (a New Yorker) today enthused about the London Underground map, having seen a documentary about it on PBS. I’m annoyed not to have seen it.

Anyway, here’s some interesting stuff relating to the London Underground map; interesting in my head, at least.

First of all, here is a PDF of how the London transport map might look come the 2016 Olympics. Apart from the unimaginatively named Cross River Transit and East London Transit lines, and the confusing colours chosen for the Crossrail (too close a shade to the Hammersmith & City for my liking) and the East London Transit line (too close to the Victoria), it’s quite impressive.

Terminal Five makes an entrance, and the Crossrailcompletely changes the face of the map. Meanwhile, some of the stations look more like airport terminals given their sprawling ways(see Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Stratford and Willesden Junction). Harry Beck would indeed have been amused.

Here’s a map I found some time ago, showing the London Underground map true to its overlying geography. And here’s an interesting comparison of the relative scale of various cities’ underground networks.

A work of geniushere showing how the Underground might look if it were centred south of the river. The entire map (including the Thames) has been rotated through 180°, with meaningful placenames given to the resultant stations.

And finally my favourite, currently adorning Joost’s wall (on loan from my good self), here’s the Great Bear, in which station names are replaced by famous people past and present, grouped according to the line they’re on.

The London Underground map is possibly the most iconic map in the world. Its layout (and of course its font) are immediately recognisable and it’s a work of immense beauty. It’s great to see so many people enjoying it to the full.


2 Responses to “The London Underground map”

  1. alanm on January 15th, 2006 23:52

    you mean the circle isn’t? who knew?

  2. Dan on January 16th, 2006 09:37

    Nope – kinda whale-shaped, the whale swimming towards Heathrow, the Piccadilly line between South Ken. and Hyde Park Corner forming its mouth.


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