TfL rolling out new walking maps

As the growing legacy influence of Legible London spreads out across the TfL network you will now find the new walking maps at some bus stops (presumably all sooner or later).

Apart from looking great, and linking perfectly with the new cycle hire maps they represent an marked improvement in the level of information available to those getting off the bus, and to those a bit lost who gravitate towards the bus stop as a place of information.

One complaint: no ‘you are here’ information, obviously it’s difficult to do this without needing lots of one-off artworks, but they could at least have included the bus stop codes, that way you can at least work out where you are by looking at the stop codes on top of the stop you’re at.

The 3D buildings are looking great too. Have a look at the Barbican in all it’s architectural glory.

Ah well, patience my dears…

Alt Tube

From the people who re-did the Seoul subway map as a series of ever incresing circles, here’s the London Tube map given the same treatment:

An impressive undertaking of course, most interesting though is how unTube it is. Which makes me wonder if the true nature of the tube map is in it’s angles rather than it’s colours and typeface…

Here’s the seoul one for reference. I like this.

Multimodal Spiders

Prompted by a post on AntiMega i’ve been shooting my mouth off again, have a look at the original article, it’s about the new multimodal spider maps TfL have introduced with both buses and Tube line together, my thoughts below:

“It seems to me that the biggest problem with these maps is the disassociation with reality. As much as information can help to influence behaviour, if the physical reality doesn’t match up then you risk adding confusion.

I think it’s rather challenging to have the two services presented together in such a visually similar style. Rendered like this the tube lines seem more like express services bus that only stop infrequently (although probably only if you’re a tourist), I wonder if a stronger visual distinction between tube and bus services is necessary. How about making the tube lines double thickness? Or a difference in the style of line, different radii for example, something to give you a notion of the complexity.

TfL already has a problem with the similarity between spider maps and the tube map, it exacerbated by having the spider maps inside the tube stations. Do you know where these maps might be found? At a bus stop (in which case i’ve probably already decided on a bus) or inside the tube station (in which case i’ve already decided on the Tube), or perhaps online when i’m planning my journey (in which case i’d rather use Journey Planner).

Of course, i’m being rather harsh. Modal integration is not easy, especially with the legacy of London Buses, Underground, Overground etc. I’m sure many people will be able to figure these diagrams out and make use of the information. I just hope this doesn’t raise more questions than it answers.

And I can’t wait to see the one for Bank/Monument…”

Cycle Hire

Wandering around the west end today and saw a cycle hire sign being installed. They’re popping up all over Zone 1, and if you’ve been in Central London in the last week or two you no doubt have seen one.

Interesting to see on with the side open, it’s obviously hollow but there are also the electronics to power the back lights and the credit card machine too. Maybe there will be questions over hte backlighting, as you can see the row of LEDs are very visible and it all looks a bit cheap and shoddy to honest, but close up it is nice and legible. If not a bit too bright for eyes that are accustomed to the dark:

Spot the L.E.Ds
Close-up at night

But do these new signs really have anything on the mighty Minilith?

On the plus side the maps are good, they’re all over central london, this essentially expands Legible London to a large part of zone 1. While the locations are not selected for optimum pedestrian routes, they do at least raise the profile of the the ‘brand’ of Legible London mapping and hopefully people we see the links between these various TfL systems. With any luck this will help wider adoptions of the walking system.

At leasts its better than cycle super highways. More on that later…

Oyster Rail Services Map

Oyster Services Map

Welcome to TfL’s newest Map, no doubt this will create much less furore than the removal of the river and zones from the tube map. But there are just as many things one could complain about here, but not me. I think this is an excellent attempt to explain the complexity which has come up with the inclussion of the National Rail lines around London into the Oyster system.

But Jeeeeeeeeeehovah it’s difficult to get into.

they really need to start looking at the bigger picture with this stuff. Here are a couple of immediate concerns (not to be a miserable beggar):

the DLR has gone solid, but only on this map
the DLR has gone solid, but only on this map
we have directional arrows, but not in a consistent visual style (see below)
We have directional arrows, but not in a consistent visual style (see below)
Directional arrows in a different style
Directional arrows in a different style
Big ugly black arrows on the end of lines, why not in colour (and why not aligned?)
Big ugly black arrows on the end of lines, why not in colour (and why not aligned?)
A bus connection on a tube map? Why not!
A bus connection on a tube map? Why not!
Overground has also filled in. Contrast Schmonstrast.
Overground has also filled in. Contrast Schmonstrast.
Two Bethnal Greens? Take your pick!
Two Bethnal Greens? Take your pick!

So there you have it. It works on some levels, but raises questions on others. What will the people say?

London as a honeycomb

Glancing over the always interesting Strange Maps blog an intersting image popped up:

Strange Maps
Strange Maps

From a book about proposals for the captial which never came to fruition called London As It Might Have Been and that article lead to this article on the (new to me) Kosmograd blog, which looks like its an interesting thing to look at. And they had this image:


which is and interesting way of looking at the city. It’s always interesting to see peoples attempt to rationalise London, and then how much london repels such rationalisation.

Like the tube map without the river, London is London and if you try to change it (for better or worse) it stops being london.

In this case it becomes Blockbusters: