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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

London Challenge Tube Map

Weirdest Tube Map Ever

Many thanks to Max Roberts (author of
Underground Maps After Beck and a commenter to this blog) who pointed me in the direction of this map

Detail from London Challenge Tube Map

At first glance you'll think "Ah it's some of London's schools". But then on closer inspection you wonder what would have possessed a school authority to name its school after a DJ, a soap star or a shouty entrepeneur.

All's revealed here: "Transport for London (TfL) has produced a special map, based on the Tube map. TfL has replaced the stations with some of the capital's successful schools, inspirational teachers, excellent GCSE students and successful Londoners who went to state schools, including Rio Ferdinand, Sir Michael Caine, Emma Thompson and Mayor of London Ken Livingstone."

Why? The mind boggles. OK, OK I know, somehow this celebrates London's kids doing well in GCSE's. Very well done to them.

But from a geographical point of view, the map makers should failed their cartography exams. As the map seems to bear little relation as to where the schools actually are. Max said "Haberdashers' Aske's was definitely not at Shadwell when I was there, or have they moved it since I last looked?" The same can be said with schools in West London on the Piccadilly Line, which I'm most familar with. It's stretching the imagination to think that Gumley House (in Isleworth) is anywhere near Acton Town Tube. Keira Knightley went to school in Teddington about six miles away from Gunnersbury.

I'm sure it won't take you long to spot many more inaccuracies. Goodness knows what this is doing to the legacy of Harry Beck's map. I feel a law suit coming on.


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