Going Round in Circles

Jonathan Fisher's suggested new radial and orbital London Tube map

Jonathan Fisher’s suggested new radial and orbital London Tube map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current London Tube map, based on Harry Beck's 1931 angular original.

The current London Tube map, based on Harry Beck’s 1931 angular original

For years now, Harry Beck’s angular London Transport tube map has been the seminal example of how to diagram transport systems. However, the system is much more complex now than when it began because in Europe they add to transportation systems as the population expands rather than in the US where public transportation is viewed as a moral hazard, encouraging people not to be entrepreneurial enough to be able to have their own limos. Designer Jonathan Fisher has responded to the resultant cartographic complication by suggesting a map based on the more conceptual idea of radial and circular lines, which is more how you think of your travel. You pop into a hole in the ground at Tottenham Court Road, and pop out again in Hampstead, which in your mind is simply northish of where you started. You are both unaware, apart from it being irrelevant, that you did a lot of wiggling around underground in between. Similarly, the Circle Line isn’t exactly circular, although conceptually it is, in a round about sort of way.

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