As a Londoner, I’ve always taken the Tube Map for granted, but as a designer, I’ve listened with interest to friends from outside London and overseas saying how confusing they find it especially when trying to relate it to London at street level. Harry Beck’s original is one of the greatest designs of the twentieth century but, although the current diagram still follows the same principles, they have not been applied with any great care. As a result, I do not believe Beck would have been happy to put his name to the current version.
I wondered what Beck would do asked to start again with the different parameters we have today: twice as many lines and more planned; the Docklands Light Railway and London Overground moving the emphasis away from the Circle Line loop; developments in technology meaning it is just as likely to be viewed on-screen as it is in print; and many more visitors from outside London.
The map I have created takes as its starting point the location of each station and, although there are still compromises with distance in the outer zones of the system, the stations are geographically-accurate in relation to each other.
This website allows you to navigate the map and to filter different levels of information. We are working on adding much more information and the site will be updated regularly.
We want to create a map that meets the needs of the user so we welcome your thoughts and comments about what you think works (or not) and what information you would like the map to contain. Also, let us know your tips for using the system, where to change, where it’s quicker to walk, even where you can get great coffee on the station.
We will be updating the map on a regular basis so keep checking back or sign up for our email updates.