Graphics, comics and other magics, News from another star

Never been to London

But if I’m going, I just want to reach Elephant & Castle.

This is obviously an old map of London tube, made in 1931 by Harry Beck. It was at that time dismissed as too ‘revolutionary’. According to Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections at the British Library, this Underground map solved the problem of how to represent clearly and elegantly a dense, complex interweaving of train lines.

Placing the stations at similar intervals regardless of their true locations amplifies the area of central London, increasing its clarity, while the straight lines and interchange symbols confer a simplicity and order on the network. A cartographic icon.

Read more about 9 other maps that changed the world here.

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