© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


And don’t forget the humble tube map’s 80th birthday…

Posted at 5:45 pm, January 9, 2013 in Maps, Transport

Don’t you hate it when your mate has a massive party the night before your birthday, and everyone’s too hungover to come to yours?

Well, among the 150th birthday celebrations for the London Underground, let’s spare a moment for the tube map, which turns a sprightly eighty this January.

It was designed by Harry Beck, an engineering draftsman who based the map on a circuit board. He made the map easier to navigate by taking a few geographical liberties; spacing out the central London stations to make them easy to see, while condensing stations towards the end of each line. To create a more streamlined appearance he made all lines either vertical, horizontal or at a 45 degree angle and inserted only one landmark, the river Thames. Beck’s iconic design went on to inspire the style of transport maps in many other cities around the world.

Just so it knows that we’ve not forgotten its birthday, here are our favourite posts where we pay homage to the tube map. Jude Brosnan

1. The tube map in Lego

Lego tube map
2. The tube map as paper-cut material

Claire Brewster From a time when everything seemed possible 2011 photograph by Paul Minyo
3. The tube map made out of straws

© Kyle Bean
4. Olympic legends plotted on the tube map, from Seb Coe to Mark SpitzOlympic Legends Map
5. The tube map buggy

London underground tube map © Ianvisits

6) Life expectancy for each tube station

Life expectancy for each tube station.


7) The tube map alphabet

Artwork A-Z Tube map poster by Tim Fishlock 2010

8) The fantasy South London tube map

South London Tube


9)  The circuit board tube map
Yuri Suzuki's London Underground Circuit Map Radio

10) The arty tube map

The Great Bear tube map.

 Read more about the tube.

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