Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tunnel vision: a history of the London tube map

At the Guardian: Tunnel vision: a history of the London tube map

Jonathan Glancey asks, Is it the end of the line for London's iconic tube map?
The expansion of the Oyster card brings yet more change for Harry Beck's classic design. It's time to go back to the drawing board.
Can any of my UK readers explain to me what is an Oyster card?


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At Thursday, November 26, 2009 , Blogger SwimLFS said...

An Oyster is the Underground's version of Chicago's CTA Chicago Card, or DC's Metrocard. Heavy plastic, it allows you to travel/transfer between buses and trains and so forth

At Saturday, November 28, 2009 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

OK that makes sense, but why "oyster"? Is the card shaped like a clamshell?

According to Wikipedia:
"Oyster was conceived and subsequently promoted because of the metaphorical implications of security and value in the component meanings of the hard bivalve shell and the concealed pearl. Its associations with London through Thames estuary oyster beds and the popular idiom 'the world is your oyster' were also significant factors in its selection."


Also, I'm not sure why this would spell the end of the transit map...

CTA and DC still have a separate, "iconic", map of of their train system...


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