The Maps - See Interactive Map
Based on the modern geography of London, these maps were created by me from scratch. I am a frequent user of London's railways and a great believer that the tube map was an icon for London. I had to create these maps after looking at the official version and realizing it could be done much better. So I created a tube map, below, as well as an oyster map showing EVERY station accessible with an oyster card. (see more here!)
The diagrammatic map for London was first seen in 1933, created by Henry Beck. It became an instant hit as well as inspiration for many designs around the world. It is still popular today but, because of the numerous updates since it's introduction, it has very little of the original clarity left. To see how far the contemporary map is from the original you can find the 1933 version at this link www.clarksbury.com/cdl/maps.html.
These design issues can be more than a slight disappointment to the discerning eye. There are several places where the map can lead to a longer choice of route due to simplifications made in 1933. I have created a section on the home page to show some of the issues that my map eliminates.
The Story So Far
After standing at my local station I decided that if I thought the map could be better I should do it myself. I started by learning how to use a vector design software and laying out simple straight lines. I centered my map at Embankment and worked out from there. This developed quickly into a prototype which I was then able to refine.
With this map I ran the first Kickstarter campaign. I invited as much feed back and comment on the design as I could get, as I knew that the map had to be usable to people other than just myself.
While much of the map survived scrutiny several valuable additions were made. Lines running parallel were separated so that they were easier to follow. (Separation reduces the effect of colour juxtaposition changing how the line colours are perceived). Out of station interchanges were updated and the best way to show that Blackfriars station crossed the river was discussed.
At this point I knew that I wanted to make the map available digitally and to make an interface with as much thought to clarity as I had to the map itself. I decided to set stretch goals offering an app. These goals were not met due to being added last minute to the site. This was probably a good thing as it meant I focused on delivering the map prints. This focus allowed all the rewards to be delivered on time.
Since finishing the map I have continued to develop the project particularly with a view to include live data and intuitive interactive features.
I want to take London Layout to the next level and make a map that can be carried anywhere. I have carried an A2 one around the tube on the way back from the printers and though it was good for the several people I helped out with directions on the way home it's probably not for everyone.
This project wants to produce:-
- an App for Android,
- a Pocket leaflet
If we reach our stretch goal of £1600 we will produce:-
- an App for iPhone
- Able to toggle extra information on and off to reduce clutter
- Station finding, type in a station and be taken to it on the map
- Live departures of tube lines and national rail lines
- Average best routes, don't know if your leaving in 10 or 30 minutes it doesn't matter this will show your best bet.
- Quicker to walk, If the time on foot is comparable this will be suggested when searching for routes
- Final mile completion, jump from the app to maps of the area around your final station
NEW!! My Local - Be you a native or visitor, many people navigate by the tube map more than any surface map. Make the most of this and get on the map. For example
- Own a business become a local attraction and get a link to your store website.
- Recommend a local gem in your area
Posters - These will be produced by the same printers as I used last time, They are of great quality and several positive comments can be found on my old project page.
Risks and challenges
The map is already designed and only small modifications remain. There is no risk associated with this part of the process. I have already brought a domain name and hosting for 2 years. I have created an interactive map available at www.londonlayout.co.uk/online.htm
The risk associated with developing a leaflet is minimal as I have experience with the design software as well as a working relationship with the printers.
The main risk for developing an app is shifting timescale due to unforeseen difficulties. I have a timetable which includes adequate spare time. With the algorithms for several parts already developed for the webpage the unknown is reduced. I also pledge to be open an honest about the progress throughout the entire process
- (41 days)