Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Animated History of the London Tube


It seems to have become accepted knowledge that the current map of the London Underground is too cluttered for purpose. A lot of cartographers have therefore been tearing their hair out recently by trying to redesign the London Tube Map. All of them have missed the obvious solution.

The reason why the London Underground is now so hard to map is that the network has too many lines and too many stations. My solution is to therefore demolish all London Underground stations built after 1900.

The London Underground in 1900 was a much smaller and much more manageable public transport system. It was also much easier to map. In fact it is small enough to make an animated map which shows the development of the network from 1863-1900. The London Underground began when the Metropolitan Line opened in 1863 with seven stations between Paddington and Farringdon. By 1990 the network had grown to include a District Line and the beginnings of the Northern Line.

You can see how the London Underground grew in its first 40 years on my History of the London Underground. If you press the 'Start' button on the map the London Underground lines will start to appear on the map in the order in which they were constructed. The animated tube lines were created using the Leaflet.Polyline.SnakeAnim. If I ever have a spare month I might get around to adding the next 118 years of construction to the map.

If you want to complete the map or reuse the code then you are welcome to do so. You can clone the project on Glitch.

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