A chap by the name of Mark Noad has designed a new London Tube map. A couple of years ago an official map was released that did not have the River Thames on it. Useless! Public pressure ensured the river was quickly put back as it was important for people who used the river to orient themselves, as I did.
But why did Mr Noad design a new map? For mine, if it ain't broke, it don't need no fixin'. As I was reading a little about the map, it became personally very clear to me why a better map was needed. The piece gave an example of where many go wrong because the reality and the representation do not match, and we did exactly as the example said.
We studied the map as we wanted to go from Trafalgar Square to Paddington. The nearest station was Charing Cross and we would then change to another line one station away at Embankment to get to Paddington, and this worked fine.
Except, as the article says, Embankment is a three minute walk from Charing Cross. So, to get to Paddington in the minimal time, we should have just walked to Embankment and caught a train from there.
We were tourists, so it didn't matter to us, but why didn't we realise Embankment was so close? Because it did not look close on the Tube map, and this is the problem that Mr Noad has attempted to address with his newish map.
And this is Mark Noad's design. A more accurate map it may be, but it makes me feel a little queasy in the stomach. From what I have read, it really is a much better map if it is to be judged by how close to reality you can get with a stylised map. I hope there is soon an Adroid app so I can play with both.