As part of the London tube strike, TfL say they will be handing out their walking maps. I don’t think I’ve seen them before, and as well as a general Central London one, they also offer ones tailored around certain train stations.
They’re nice and clear, and on the station ones, I love the isochrones.
But…. they’re not walking maps. They’re main road maps, and main roads aren’t particularly nice to walk on.
A particular beef is that walkways aren’t shown, either through the parks, or along the canals and Thames. This leads to oddities such as the Millennium Bridge, a plain white span.
Another niggle is a complete lack of scale or compass rose. There’s no way of knowing how far something might be (normally a lot less far than you might expect).
It just seems a bit random. Why is Piccadilly Circus worth a call-out, but Leicester Square isn’t? The places of interest also seem an odd mix of markets, museums, tourist attractions and public buildings. It feels as if a lot of the sentiment and learnings from Legible London have been lost – I wouldn’t want to venture through London on a new route with just this map. The station maps aren’t any more detailed or zoomed than the central London one.
If you look at the central London map (with no isochrones), you really see what this is – a really nice geographic tube map. Tube and train lines are intricately detailed, curved and titled. So, an interesting addition, but I’d love to see what a real walking map could be and mean.
That looks a lot like the design of the bus maps: compare it with the Central London PDF.
I think the isochrones indicate they’re learning some lessons from Legible London, but I hope that (perhaps when there’s not the looming deadline of a strike) there’s a proper central London map in their style, rather than a hacked-up version from another mode.
email: chris is at anti-mega.com