A NEW KIND OF MAP

As someone who first became fascinated by the London Underground map as a child (I could name virtually all stations on it by about the age of 10), I’ve long believed that the wonderful schematic, based on Harry Beck’s original design, stands among the most useful maps I know.

Now, Transport for London have added a new twist–and I, along with the author of the article featuring it that caught my eye (http://gizmodo.com/new-london-tube-maps-shows-how-long-it-t…)–think that it’s yet another useful innovation.

The new map shows the average walking times between stations, helping people who only want to make a short-hop to decide whether or not they’d rather stretch their legs. I’m not sure how the average times are worked out (or for other travel planning offerings, for that matter), but the relative distance between stations is made clear by taking this approach.

The map has continued to adapt as new lines have been added, and as stations have come and gone. Yet it still maintains its original striking simplicity and iconic appeal.

The new east-west Elizabeth Line will have to be worked in when that starts service in a couple of years time, and extensions to both the northern and bakerloo lines are also on the cards. But for the expert designers at TfL, I’m sure they’ll relish the challenge of adding a few tweaks to the familiar criss-crossing of bright coloured lines and elegantly apportioned fonts (in fact, I think they now have software to help them).

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