Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mind the Map

The Tube map is iconic; designed in 1931 by Harry Beck, it is recognizable to tourists the world over.

It's also incredibly misleading.

The map, while beautiful in its symmetry, doesn't accurately portray distances or account for kinks in the subway lines.

According to Professor Zhan Guo of NYU, around 30% of travelers on the Underground do not take the most efficient route due to the design of the current Tube map.

However, Mark Noad has created a new map that aims to increase accuracy by including geographic truths.  It's quite a project, and will hopefully help those new to the system to navigate it most competently.

It'll be strange to get used to, but - while I respect Beck's original design - I think it's a huge improvement over the 1931 map!  What do you think?  Revelation or heresy?


  1. Love the new map. Makes much more sense geographically!

  2. They're doing the same thing with the DC metro map. I'm all for cutting corners, but the old map is definitely more pleasing to the eye.

  3. This is the map that changed the way I use public transport - walking distances between stations:

  4. Probably more useful for tourists but just counting how many stops would say which is generally the faster route. Plus I think buses are still more useful for giving an accurate idea of London's layout. Some easier bus maps then giant fold out pieces of paper would be useful.

  5. I never use the map -- I use an app and so does my husband. I guess, if the world is largely going digital, does the map even matter? I'm pondering this... :)


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