28 November 2015 | 10 °C

29 January 2013 | Maps, Transport | By: M@

Alternative Tube Maps: Straight Lines And Circles

Alternative Tube Maps: Straight Lines And Circles

Last week, Jonathan Fisher sent us a reworked Tube map, which presented the network as a series of concentric circles. Max Roberts, a long-time experimenter with the Tube map and author of Underground Maps Unravelled, has pushed the design further, increasing the number of concentric sections and — most pleasingly — spacing out the central section to resemble the famous Tube roundel. Note also that the map includes the Thameslink line and the forthcoming Crossrail — both of which are absent from TfL's standard Tube map.

As Max explains over on Annie Mole's blog, this is intended purely as a bit of fun, to see how resilient the map is to such tamperings. "I don't think I will be sending this one to TfL for comments," he says. "No great advances in usability here, but it was fun to make it."

See our comprehensive guide to alternative Tube maps.


Article by M@ | 5,373 articles | View Profile | Twitter


After being so critical of the abomination that was the previous circular map posted, I will say this one is everything that was not. It is almost practical and quite elegant, very impressive overall.

I do find it odd that the Thameslink loop only goes as far as Streatham rather than linking up with Wimbledon. The only sense I could make is that there is only a "metro frequency" service of a train every fifteen minute to Streatham, while the Wimbledon branch is only half-hourly. But by this logic Amersham and Chesham should be excluded, not to mention the now diminished service to Kensington Olympia.

While it should not be considered a replacement for the official tube map, I could actually see this being used in more exhibition-like capacities where there is need for a diagram away from stations.

Ben Barnett

Really wish you guys would link to the authors as well as your own articles.


This one works for me, unlike the some of the other recent shoings

Pete Stean

The Overground completed circle in zone 2 is very neat, but due to space constraints they have clearly had to take real liberties with the eastern central line - the Epping branch should shoot straight out like the District.


Originally a Central Londoner, from Covent Garden, I like the concentric circle approach to the map. I still think of London life as bounded by the Circle Line, the North Circular, or the M25; although mostly these days it's the habits and behaviour of the surface traffic throughout the day as encountered by motorbike, that occupies me...