Time for a new tube map?

Harry Beck's original 1933 electric circuit based tube map was a navigational masterpiece that set the benchmark for future transport maps. Over the years though, the much loved tube map has steadily evolved with the addition of new stations & lines. In particular the new Overground extension has had a dramatic effect on the look of the tube map and to some extent the usability.

©TfL/London's Transport Museum

Overall beck's design has stood the test of time quite well, but with the impending Crossrail line possibly being added to the map, things could get a bit messy. So is it time for a new map?


Tube expert Max Roberts thinks so, and has suggested this more european, concentric circle based approach. He says that it was just a bit of fun, but I think there is more to it than that. There's a few usability issues that need ironed out; distances look a bit off, there's some congestion in areas and zoning is missing but with a bit of work this design could be the answer. Getting rid of Beck's design sounds like sacrilege but perhaps design nostalgia should make way for a clean, user friendly navigation system. And the underground roundel in the middle is a nice touch.

©Max Roberts

Read more about it over here.

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