A new vision of the map for London’s Tube has been posted to depict a more geographically accurate representation of the underground train system. Navigate through the map for yourself here: http://www.london-tubemap.com/.
The original map was designed by Harry Beck; he compromised geographical accuracy for a rationalized system of connection, transfers and passages on a map that in 1931 only depicted 7 train lines. While those principles remain in use today, the underground subway system has doubled in size. The increased complexity of the system increased has amplified these inaccuracies and has received a lot of criticism for its diagrammatic quality and lack of correlation with London’s street level.
This updated map attempts to keep some of the principles of clarity that Beck designed as part of the original map, such as fixed line angles – in this case 30 and 60 degrees instead of the original 45. But the map attempts to establish a relationship between relative distances through the train and on the street, so that users can identify which routes are faster for walking or hopping on the Tube.
For more on the discussion what design means, sparked by the new vision for London’s Tube Map, follow this link: London Tube Map Sparks Debate: “Design” and the Multi-screen World.