London Tube Maps
Category: Design / Environmental, Other Design Fields,
Posted: Dec 15th 2011
No. of comments: 0
Henry (Harry) Beck was the man responsible for the London Underground Map as we know it today. Prior to the 1930's the map had always been laid out geographically. However, Beck believed that passengers weren't interested in geographical accuracy but were more interested in knowing how to get from one station to the other.
Initially the idea was seen as being too radical but after a trial run in 1933 the new design proved to be highly succesful and has now been emulated by transit companies around the world.
Interestingly, London is now having to create a new wayfinding system to try and encourage people to walk instead of relying on a very overcrowded public transport system. Although Beck's map was revolutionary in helping millions (or more likely, billions) of people navigate London's Underground Network, over the years people have come to view his map as being geographically accurate. By all accounts there are over 100 connections on the underground where its quicker to walk than take the tube! The new wayfinding system, Legible London, is set to change people's perception of the walking distance between stops.
1: Geographical London Tube Map (circa 1930's)
2: Harry Beck's Tube Map (1933)
3: Modern London Tube Map (2011)