The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Going Underground

Been incredibly busy of late so little time to post. But though this was interesting.

The London Underground Map is one of the most famous maps in the world. Designed by Harry Beck in 1933 it is even considered, by some, to be an iconic work of art as well as a useful guide to navigating your way around the London Tube network.

What it isn`t however is a true representation of the positions of the stations on that network, maps don`t always have to show reality you see, just the ideas in an easy to understand way.

Imagine how messy it would be if the distances and sizes of the stations were mapped exactly as they appeared on the ground. Well now you don`t have to thanks to this site here.

Amazing how recognizable it still is. And yet how strange some areas seem.

The tube is expensive, crowded and often dirty and unpleasant. Yet is it is the oldest, deepest and one of the most extensive metropolitan railways systems in the world and as I lever myself into a crowded Tokyo train each morning I do miss some aspects of it. Japanese commuters may smell nicer and be more polite than there counterparts in London; and generally the system here may work better and be cheaper than anything London has to offer but there is more life on the tube most days than here. Some of that life might be of the crawling, biting, infection kind true, but a lot of the cosmopolitan character that makes London such an amazing and interesting place to live can easily be experienced just taking a short train ride on any of the lines on that familiar map.

Just thought I`d share that.



One response

  1. Andy

    I’m glad you pointed out the fact that it isn’t a true representation of the actual location of the stations
    You can have hours of fun giving directions to American tourists using the tube map.
    You can send them from Bayswater to Queensway on the tube which is 2 stops and 1 change. When you step outside the station you can actually see the other on about 200m away!

    October 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

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