A new take on London’s underground

A while ago I blogged about The Real Underground, a website which allows visitors to morph the current London Underground Map into the famous 1931/1933 design by Harry Beck and into a geographically accurate depiction of the Underground network.

The new design of the Tube Map by Mark Noad

Now, The Economist presents a reworked version of the Harry Beck design by London-based Designer Mark Noad. The new version stays true to many ideas behind Beck’s original design such as the use of primarily straight lines (though at different angles than Beck’s). However, Noad points out that the geographical simplifications of Beck’s design are more problematic nowadays with twice as many lines as in the map in the 1930s and that this sparks criticism:

The map illustrated here is an attempt to see if it is possible to create a geographically-accurate representation of the underground system while still retaining some of the clarity of Beck’s original diagram. It uses similar principles, fixed line angles – in this case 30 and 60 degrees instead of 45 – and shortens the extremities of the lines to make it more compact

Additionally, the map uses a new, custom-designed condensed typeface in order to be able to accurately portray the station positions without the labels getting in the way.

The Noad map is still under development and the designer announces that more information will be added to the map. Several modes of interaction with the map are available, such as print, online and smartphone app.

I think the new map looks very clean and useful and that Mark Noad does not have to be as modest as described in The Economist article:

Mr Noad suggests that his version be used in conjunction with, rather than instead of, the original.


(via The Economist)


One thought on “A new take on London’s underground

  1. Pingback: Distortions of the Tube map visualised | visurus

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