This week Transport for London have released a big revision to the tube map. They are trying to make it clearer. It is a great deal simpler than the previous version, but they may have gone too far. The River Thames has gone:
I think that the Thames is one of the cues that gives some grounding to people who have a look at the map for the first time. In fact the river would fit perfectly well onto the current map as it is (apart from moving one station) if you incorporate a new rule: station labels are allowed to overlap the river.
Here’s a close up of what it would look like:
Instead of simplifying the map too far, here’s a reminder of my design that has all the same information as the previous map and more while being clearer:
For a long page on my thoughts on London transport design, visit this page.
For more radical tube map designs and commentary on the current official design, follow the work of author and designer Maxwell Roberts: