French Invasion Of Tube Stations On Google Maps


Not only does Nelson have to contend with a looming statue of a giant French ‘coq’ in one corner of Trafalgar Square, but now the local transport is also turning bleu. Just type Charing Cross into Google maps and instead of one of our city’s glorious red, white and blue roundels popping up proudly, you’ll see an arrogant white ‘M’ inside a nonchalant blue box. Bof! It’s suspiciously similar to the logo of the Parisian Metro.

And, if Google maps is to be believed, this invasion is happening all across London with tube stations everywhere going strangely Gallic. We’re not sure how this started but we know it’s been happening for a month at least. The M also shows up on various iphone and Android phone apps too.

The question is: are we going to stand for it? In the immortal words of Marcel Marceau – “Non!” Londonist is ready and willing to mount the barricades, sing the entire score of Les Mis and fight for the traditional causes of liberty, equality and cartography!

If we tolerate this insult who knows what French style indignity our noble city will suffer next: good cheese, fine wine and a successful football team? Quelle horreur!

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  • Vijay

    It’s all tube stations now…

    • HoosierSands

      not on my Google maps. it isn’t.

      I think it may change back after a certain event takes place next week :-)

  • Dan

    Also Trafalgar square isn’t a roundabout either is it?

    • MattFromLondonist

      No, but this shows the area just south of the square, which is a roundabout.

  • Kerry

    As long as it isn’t Charing Croix!

  • Fred

    Makes the stations far more difficult to see. Rubbish!

  • Caroline

    Sorry but the French sign on Google maps is a blue M round , not square, so nothing to do with the French here 😉

  • nemethv

    This is a recurring thing, I’ve seen it before, a year or so ago, then it went away. Maybe some internal bug in their systems…

  • Thomas Reiser

    This is used worldwide by google maps

  • Jon Millwood

    I think the symbol is from the New York Metro not the Paris one?

    Also I spotted the national rail symbol on a DLR station so I think they have messed several icons up.

  • Paul Robinson

    Perhaps it stands for Marine Nationale, and the French Marines have been doing a bit of recon up the Thames and through the Tube system. They’ve been doing a lot of joint exercises with the RN and the “Royals” lately, and could be a bit of a jolly French jape, especially since the two countries have launched their cyber defence branches too. As you can see from the photo 3 years in Frogland haven’t changed me a bit. Alternately they could be being cheeky, and it’s M for Merde! – ah that’s it another book release in the series from Stephen Clarke! Taught me a lot about France when i arrived here, especially swearing, insults and sarcasm. Damn gotta go someone said something about the guillotine again. “Up the rebels and to hell with Burgundy” (not the wine) – Willie Shakespeare.

  • Chuck

    Looks like the Washington DC Metro designation.

  • Geoff Marshall

    it’s not the Paris symbol – the metro there is a dark blue ‘M’ in a circle, so this symbol is NOT ‘used worldwide by google maps’.

    UPDATE! They’re compounded the issues … the DLR stations have now turned into National Rail ‘BR’ symbols this morning! (Thursday) WTF is going on!?

  • Darryl

    Appalling I was about to blame the Americans! :) Someone says it’s all to do with the Tour de France

  • Jean-Charles Da Rocha

    I’m french, and it’s not the same blue, round and not the same typo.
    But, what i have to say is we loose our london tube logo spirit… it tooks me maybe 30s to find a tube station the first time i’ve seen this logo….

    so sad for londoners that we are…

  • SouthEastEd

    I have the proper symbols!