It’s been almost a year since I finished and uploaded this map. By then this blog still didn’t exist (so the world was a better place), and I didn’t really have the space to talk a bit about it.
For those who haven’t noticed, it’s a rather strange version of Harry Beck’s London Undeground map, in which I took the approach of “reflecting the topology, ignoring the geography” to the limit. This wasn’t exactly the goal I wanted to achieve when I started the project.
Shortly before the beginning of its development, I had found this map around the internets, which very clearly reflects the layout of the London Overground as an orbital transport network. I, very cockily, said “I could do that with the whole London Underground network, duh!”. I couldn’t. The complexity and the non-circumscriptability (I just made up that word) of it made it impossible to do it without turning it into a horrible mess. But instead of just leaving the project, as I had nothing else to do, I countinued to add curves and stations until I ended up with the Central, Piccadilly, and the Jubilee Line connected in a really strange way.
So I realised that what I could do was connect all the lines in a way that someone that doesn’t know the city at all would be able to navigate across the tube as well as with the original map. But to the rest of the people, it would look completely insane.
The development of the map took me about four days aligning strokes and circles on Illustrator. I struggled specially with the East of London – Aldgate area:
And that’s pretty much it!