Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Happy Birthday London Underground

Today is the 150th birthday of the London Underground. It therefore seems like an appropriate day to have a little look at some of the Google Map based applications that have been inspired by the London Underground and Harry Beck's iconic London Underground Tube Map.

The boffins over at CASA decided to re-imagine the tube map for the 21st Century. They came up with this 3d Underground Map that includes 3d buildings of famous London landmarks.

The map is just a simple image map but it is still an attractive redesign. I imagine the map tiles for the image map were created with CASA's own Google Maps image cutter tool.

The London Bloggers website is a directory of blogs written in and around London. The site includes a clever Google Maps interface to access the listed blogs by location.

The map uses the Google Maps API with the iconic London Underground map. If you click on any of the stations on the map you can view a list of bloggers who are based nearby. It is also possible to browse the over 4,000 blogs listed by individual underground line.

Of course Harry Beck's tube map has inspired lots of designers to produce creative redesigns of the London Underground map. In fact there are far too many to mention them all. One of my personal favourites is the Under Skin Map, which is a great human body map in the now familiar Harry Beck style.

If you are a fan of these Harry Beck style Underground maps then you should also check out The Guardian's slide-show of 14 Alternative Tube Maps

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