There was so much in both speeches that I'm going to do several posts about the information they covered, although I'll focus mainly on the London Underground, even though they covered international subway sytems.
Interestingly Mark used the same Punch cartoon in his presentation last night to illustrate how complex and confusing the London Underground map looked before Beck came along and "straightened it out". Removing streets, distorting geography, straightening out lines and exaggerating the size of central area where there more stations closer together, are all things that make Beck's map great and usable.
Some of you will know that Beck's original map was rejected in 1931 but later London Transport came round to the idea, as Beck persistently badgered them with revisions of his beloved diagram and they said "You had better sit down. We are going to give you a shock. We are going to print it" and the rest is history! Since then Beck's map has been as much of an icon of the London Undergrond as the Tube's logo (roundel) itself and is printed in millions each year. It also adorns a huge variety of merchandise such as socks, boxer shorts, umbrellas, mugs and even showwer curtains!