London Underground Tube Map

Harry Beck

Henry Charles Beck (4 June 1902 – 18 September 1974), is the man responsible for the creation of the London Underground Tube Map in 1931. He drew up the diagram in his spare time while working as an engineering draftsman at the London Underground Signals Office. London Underground was at first skeptical of Beck’s proposal as it was an uncommissioned spare-time project, and was introduced to the public as a pamphlet for a trial in 1933. The immediate popularity of it meant it was used, and the Underground has used topological maps to illustrate the network ever since.

Beck’s Concept

He believed that passengers riding the trains weren’t too bothered about the geographical accuracy, but were more interested in how to get from one station to another, and where to change. This resulted in his diagram being formed, having more of a resemblance to an electrical schematic than a true map, on which all the stations were more or less equally spaced.


Beck’s diagram of the London Underground will allow me to create the foundations of my own map for the use of technology and human systems. I will use a similar style with colour coding and simplicity.







Images taken by myself in the London Underground


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