kottke.org posts about London Underground

Photographing the TubeJan 14 2014

For the past 40 years, Bob Mazzer has been taking photographs of the London Underground and its passengers.

Bob Mazzer

Bob Mazzer

Anagram map of the London UndergroundJul 10 2013

Otter Bends, Queer Spank, Frog Innard, and Lob Horn are some of the stations on the anagram map of the London Underground.

Anagram London Tube Map

Radio's circuits shaped like London tube mapSep 13 2012

There's not a whole not more to this radio than what it looks like, but I will forever have a soft spot for things that mimic the London tube map.

London Tube Radio

Now, if it contained vacuum tubes or something...

Evolution of the London Underground mapAug 17 2011

A post featuring 8 different Tube maps since 1908 had me wondering what else was out there on the evolution of the London Underground map. There is quite a bit. This is less a reflection on Harry Beck, etc, and more a collection of what can be found.

A History of the London Tube Maps is pretty thorough until 2002. It's also attractive as a time capsule for websites from around then.

A more up-to-date designed collection of maps from 1889-2002.

An animated look at how the Thames has been represented over the years. An animated look at the entire system until 2008.

The Guardian's retrospective slide show.

Among other things, info on non-Harry Beck designed maps from 1939 and 1940. Also the detail that Beck received about 2 weeks wages as a bonus for the original design.

London Tube Map Archive.

A critique of the 2008 map. And the 2009 map. Undated critique (I think for 2008 map).

Geographically accurate Tube map, and the rest of this blog's coverage of the London Underground, including Edward Tufte's thoughts:

Harry Beck's diagram of the 7+ lines of the London Underground, although geographically inaccurate, provides a coherent overview of a complex system. With excellent color printing, classic British railroad typography (by Edward Johnson), and, in the modern style, only horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree lines, the map became a beautiful organizing image of London. For apparently quite a number of people, the map organized London (rather than London organizing the map). Despite 70 years of revision due to extensions of the Underground and bureaucratic tinkering (the marketing department wrecked the map for several years), the map nicely survives to this day.

(First post via Dave M.)

Tube typographyDec 10 2009

A lengthy discussion of the typeface for the London Underground, both the old version by Edward Johnston as well as the refresh.

"We continue to make subtle changes" Ashworth admits, "but we're very wary about doing too much and are always happy to roll back changes if they end up not feeling 'right.'

"The most recent major change was to the numbers 1 and 4 earlier this year. Not a lot of people noticed until a poster appeared advertising engineering work on the 14th of February -- then I got A LOT of emails."

Harry Beck's US Interstate mapNov 12 2009

Map of the US Interstate system in the style of the London Tube map.

US Interstate Tube map

Go large for detail. (via coudal)

Harry Beck Paris Metro mapMar 12 2009

Harry Beck, designer of the iconic London Tube map, once took a crack at a map for the Paris Metro, but his effort was rejected for being too geometric.

So why did the Paris Metro (now operated by the RATP) reject Beck's clear simplification of their beloved system? One reason is visible at each station entrance; Parisians use the maps here as a free public service to help them find their way round the city - the ubiquitous geographic wall map is more than just a Metro plan.

Milky Way tube mapJan 07 2009

A map of the Milky Way done in the style of the London tube map.

I was re-reading Carl Sagan's novel Contact recently, essentially a series of arguments about SETI wrapped into a story, and he alludes to some sort of cosmic Grand Central Station. That, coupled with my longtime interest in transit maps, got me thinking about all of this.

London tube map videoOct 17 2008

Nice 25-minute documentary on the London Tube map, "the pinnacle of London Transport's modernist design".

Another kind of Tube map: which seating/May 28 2007

Another kind of Tube map: which seating/standing positions in the carriage are the best and which are the worst? "Everyone knows the prime seats and standing spots, and people jostle for supremacy when the doors open, especially at the depot, when the train is empty."

The top 11 underground transit systems in theFeb 27 2007

The top 11 underground transit systems in the world. The London Tube is #1, NYC is #7, Hong Kong is #10. (via rob)

PrewalkingDec 08 2006

Prewalking: walking down the subway platform so that when you board the train, you'll be close to the exit or transfer point when the train reaches its destination.

Update: Photo of the Way Out -> tube map, which marks which side of the train to exit from and where exits/transfers are for each station. (thx, tom)

Update: Exit maps are available for the Toronto and Toyko subways. (thx, adam)

Representation of the London Tube map ifFeb 21 2006

Representation of the London Tube map if the stations were sponsored by products or companies. I love the Pizza Hutney, Upministry of Sound, and iPoddington stops. Rather DFWesque. (via bb)

London Tube map with anagrammed station names.Feb 13 2006

London Tube map with anagrammed station names.

Dorian Lynskey "[charted] the branches and connectionsFeb 03 2006

Dorian Lynskey "[charted] the branches and connections of 100 years of music using the London Underground map", much like Simon Patterson's The Great Bear. (gs)

More explosions in London on the tube and busesJul 21 2005

More explosions in London on the tube and buses. Only detonators were used; minor injuries and damages.

Surveillance camera pic of the London bombersJul 17 2005

Surveillance camera pic of the London bombers.

British security officials now believe the London bombers were British-bornJul 12 2005

British security officials now believe the London bombers were British-born.

The large number of surveillance cameras inJul 08 2005

The large number of surveillance cameras in London may help identify the bombing suspects. "In all, there are at least 500,000 cameras in the city, and one study showed that in a single day a person could expect to be filmed 300 times."

Daniel Gross on why the financial marketsJul 08 2005

Daniel Gross on why the financial markets reacted to the London bombings as they did. Stocks dropped (but not too much), oil fell sharply, and transportation and insurance stocks took a bigger hit than most.

And now, everything elseJul 08 2005

Despite the flurry of remaindered links yesterday morning about the London transport bombings, yesterday was a pretty slow day on kottke.org. Because of the time difference between New York and London, news about the bombings became more scarce around noon ET when the London workday was ending and I decided not to post about anything else for the remainder of the day. Today, I'm resuming the usual flow of frivolous links and commentary around here, but I'll be keeping an eye out for news from London as well.

Final death toll from London bombing willJul 08 2005

Final death toll from London bombing will be at least 50, but "unlikely to top 100".

A Letter to the Terrorists, From LondonJul 08 2005

A Letter to the Terrorists, From London. "We're going to take care of the lives you ruined. And then we're going to work. And we're going down the pub."

The Guardian has some links to theJul 07 2005

The Guardian has some links to the blogosphere's reaction to the London bombing.

BBC News has some eyewitness photos ofJul 07 2005

BBC News has some eyewitness photos of people evacuating the tube.

BBC reports that the death toll isJul 07 2005

BBC reports that the death toll is up to 33 due to the London bombings.

An "I'm OK" message on Flickr from a London residentJul 07 2005

An "I'm OK" message on Flickr from a London resident.

BBC News: "Blogs respond to London blasts"Jul 07 2005

BBC News: "Blogs respond to London blasts".

Nate at Project Nothing is keeping upJul 07 2005

Nate at Project Nothing is keeping up with news on the London bombing, including reactions from the Brit blogosphere.

A Wikipedia page about the London bombingJul 07 2005

A Wikipedia page about the London bombing is already being filled out.

The Guardian's NewsBlog has pretty good coverageJul 07 2005

The Guardian's NewsBlog has pretty good coverage of the London bombing. "Four explosions are confirmed. One on a tube train between Aldgate and Liverpool Street, one on a bus, one in the tube at King's Cross, another at Edgware Road."

Eyewitness photo on Flickr of London tube bombingJul 07 2005

Eyewitness photo on Flickr of London tube bombing.

Looks like Londonist is on top ofJul 07 2005

Looks like Londonist is on top of the bombing story as it develops.

Google Maps launches in the UK withApr 19 2005

Google Maps launches in the UK with London Tube stations right on the map. Google, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please do the same for the NYC subway. Please?

Tufte on the London Tube mapApr 18 2003

Tufte on the London Tube map.

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