Geometric distortion of schematic network maps

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The London Underground map is one of the most popular maps of modern times, depicting the lines and stations of London's rail system as a schematic diagram. Its present design is still very similar to Harry Beck's original layout of 1933. The geometry is deliberately distorted to improve readability and facilitate way finding in the network. This short paper presents the visual results of a cartometric analysis of the current London Underground map. The analysis was carried out using MapAnalyst, a specialized program for computing distortion grids and other types of visualizations that illustrate the geometric accuracy and distortion of maps. The described method could help designers of schematic maps to verify their design against the "geometric truth", and guide their choice among different design options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-18
Number of pages4
JournalSoC Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006

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