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London Underground Map Re-designby Dalene Ingham-Brown

After 80 years of existence, it has now been pointed out that the London Underground map is inaccurate. Distances between stations are not to scale in relation to how much time it takes you to get between stations. When the map was designed in 1931, its purpose was to show the positions of stations in relations to one another, and not to be geographically correct.

Call me crazy, but when you create something as significant as “The London Underground Map”, don’t you make sure it’s accurate in every possible way; seeing as millions of commuters are going to be using it?

Snippet of London Underground Map created by Harry Beck in 1931


Snippet of London Underground Map re-created by Mark Noad in 2011


Mark Noad has re-done the map including 30 and 60 degree angles rather than 45 degree angles, making the map far more accurate. This means commuters will now be able to plot their routes more effectively and find the most time sensitive route to travel. High-five Mark!

Zhan Guo, professor in urban planning and transportation policy at New York University, reported that 30% of people trust the London Underground map ABOVE their personal experience. Why on earth would someone do that?

Let me get this straight. Joe Soap has two different route options for getting to work: route A takes him ten minutes less than B, but because route A’s line on the map is a little bit longer than B’s, annually Joe wastes 433 hours of his life travelling the extra distance. Joe Soap is an idiot.

Critics have said that because the original map cannot be relied on for accurate distances, commuters should opt for walking between destinations, as many of the routes can be reached faster by foot than by train. *Ahem* Does anyone else have a sneaking suspicion that ‘the critics’ are all members of the UK Public Health Association? Not a bad idea though. Oh, well, if it means an extra guilt-free scoop of Ben & Jerry’s after dinner, London is going to have to build bigger pavements!

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