Someone’s drawn a circular Tube map and we’re stuck in a spiral staring at it

  • london
  • February 2, 2024
  • Comments Off on Someone’s drawn a circular Tube map and we’re stuck in a spiral staring at it
Someone’s drawn a circular Tube map and we’re stuck in a spiral staring at it thumbnail

Published Feb 2, 2024, 2:57pm|Updated Feb 2, 2024, 4:01pm

A new unusually shaped map of the London Underground has emerged – but people are divided over it.

The map is a circular shape with the colourful Tube lines in concurrent circles.

It’s all come about because Samsung has partnered with Transport for London (TfL) to promote the new Circle to Search feature on the Galaxy S24 phone.

And the result is a newly imagined design of the map for the first time in 90 years.

The map features 11 London Underground lines with the recognisable Tube station logo in yellow in the middle with the words ‘circle to search line’.

Each line is still the same colour as it is on the London Underground map we all know, for example the Circle line is yellow and the Bakerloo line is brown.

Some of the lines cross each other, or have extra branches added on, as with the normal Tube map.

It also has many features of the map we see across the Tube network, including signs showing stations that are accessible, National Rail stations symbolised by the train track icon, a section of the River Thames, and the boat logo indicating London River Services.

But people are divided over whether they like the redesigned circular map.

Posting on discussion forum platform Reddit, one user said the new map ‘slaps’ – so the original poster clearly thinks it’s great.

And many joined in with this sentiment, with one person saying it’s ‘aesthetically pleasing’ and another saying it’s ‘fun’.

Someone else found the circular map helpful for showcasing how many Tube stations there are North of the river compared with South.

But a lot of Reddit users found the reimagined map at best confusing and at worst ‘rubbish’.

One person said that ‘northbound/southbound doesn’t make sense anymore’ while another said ‘things are going in the wrong direction’, pointing out that the map makes it look like the Central line bends northwest.

But maybe this was the whole point, with one user commenting ‘what if all lines were confusing like the Circle line’ in a nod to how tricky people often find the yellow line.

Others became very stressed out looking at the map, with one person saying they ‘hate it’ and ‘feel like they need to lie down in a dark room’ to ‘get over this post’.

Another questioned why it bares ‘no relation to the layout of London’.

The redesigned circular map is not designed to be geographically accurate.

Those with deeper knowledge of the London Underground even made references to Harry Beck, who designed the original Tube map.

Someone said they actually ‘love it’ because it adds to the idea of the ‘ever-evolving Tube map’ based of Harry Beck’s original which, the user said, ‘became the default template for most city transport maps worldwide’.

Harry Beck designed the original London Underground map in 1933 and purposefully rejected making it geographically accurate in any way.

Instead he created a very simple design of colourful, criss-crossing lines.

One of the most common proposals for the map’s redesign is to make it geographically accurate.

And, although it has never been used publicly, it was revealed in 2015 that TfL does have its own geographic Tube map that it holds and updates regularly.

The new ‘Circle to Search’ function on the Samsung phone will allow users to instantly search something they see on their phone without switching apps.

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