Unofficial Map: A Series of Twin Tubes - A Track Diagram of London
After my previous post about this old track layout diagram from Berlin, reader Rolando Peñate brought this awesome project to my attention - a beautiful track layout diagram of the London Underground, DLR and Overground, complete with platform layouts, disused platforms, yards and sidings. What’s really amazing about this diagram, however, is that its creator, Andrew Godwin, has essentially automated its production. He explains on his website:
The map is created with an automated tool which takes a textual description of the lines and platforms (as a series of points), and which then automatically draws the lines, station names and labels, saving the tedious process of moving lots of lines around and ensuring all the angles and curves match. Placement of the stations and waypoints is done with a custom GUI tool which draws the map in realtime, as we found that it took too long to edit coordinates in the text file, create the image, and then look for problems.
As a graphic designer who spends way too long tweaking maps to get them looking just right, I’m both astounded and dismayed by this. Amazed that such tools can be written to produce a map this aesthetically appealing, and dismayed in that I may soon be redundant to the process!
Have we been there? Yes, and looking at the track layout around Earls Court brings back memories of waiting there for District Line trains to East Putney.
What we like: Beautiful-looking map full of intricate details and information. Here, in all its glory is the Northern Line junctions between Euston and Camden Town that frustrated Harry Beck so much (take a look at how many different ways that section of track has been rendered over the years), and countless other details.
What we don’t like: Nothing… this map is incredible, and I love it to bits! You might quibble that there are some omissions on the Overground lines, but that would be churlish.
Our rating: Mind-blowing. Five stars!
(Source: Andrew Godwin’s Aeracode website)