Spotted These Circular Tube Maps Doing The Rounds?

Last Updated 02 February 2024

Spotted These Circular Tube Maps Doing The Rounds?
a circular tube map
Round, round, baby. Image: Matt Brown/Londonist

Squaring the circle might be impossible, but circling the tube map isn't, if a new set of Underground maps is anything to go by.

Head to five stations on the Circle line right now — King's Cross, Blackfriars, Westminster, Liverpool Street and Paddington — and you'll be greeted with a skewed version of Harry Beck's classic Underground map design. It's been twisted — rather satisfyingly, we might add — into a circle, emphasising how the yellow line links up with the Underground's other tube lines. As someone at Londonist Towers said: "I can't explain it, but that makes more sense than the actual tube map."

More circular maps
Go seek out these maps in five Circle line stations. Image: Matt Brown/Londonist

Now don't fret, TfL isn't being frivolous with its latest increase in government funding; these circular maps are an advertising gimmick, namely to promote Samsung's latest phone tech which allows you to search for things online by circling them. (Hence the clumsy 'Circle line to search' roundel in the centre of the maps.) But we have to say, it's a nifty piece of marketing — not to mention that it looks a bit like the Ultimate Mark Wallinger Labyrinth.

A circular tube map
Is it just us, or does this make more sense? Image: Matt Brown/Londonist

How long will the map be aROUND for? Just the two weeks, says Samsung. Unless, that is, a slew of passengers who've suddenly seen the light start writing into TfL, saying that the Circle line finally makes sense and we need to keep this forevermore. Better get typing, people...