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Webwatch: London's Underground goes Overground

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Webwatch: London's Underground goes Overground


As graphic design goes, it’s a right little cutie. The London Underground map has been simplified to such an extent over the years that passengers forget just what life looks like directly above whatever station or tunnel they’re in. The Circle Line (the yellow one) appears on the map as an overturned wine bottle while the Northern Line (the black one) more or less splits the city vertically down the middle.

To have a real idea of orientation, an English developer has created a site that allows viewers to see the Underground map as it would appear in a real road map. One click and those nice straight lines start to bend into their topographical shape. Another click brings up the original design by Harry Beck. Beck came up with the first Underground map in 1933 based on an electrical circuit. His idea has been copied in Metros, Subways and Underground networks across the globe.


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