No Need to Ask: Early Maps of London's Underground

Maps of London’s Transport: Design variety in the first half of the Twentieth Century

Mr Beck’s Underground Map

Telling the Passenger Where to Get Off: George Dow and the Development of the Diagrammatic Railway Map

Underground Maps After Beck

London Underground Maps: Art, Design, and Cartography

Underground Maps Unravelled

The United Kingdom

Compared with London, the majority of maps from the rest of the United Kingdom seem positively archaic!

British Railway Maps of Yesteryear

The Times Mapping The Railways

The Rest of The World

Around the world, urban rail networks have their own stories of map development. Sometimes emulating London, sometimes developing their own styles, driven by the features of their networks, national psyche and politics.

Metro Maps of the World

Metrokaarten van der Wereld

Transit Maps of the World


Atlas de Metros del Mundo

Railway Maps of the World

Great Railway Maps of the World

Paris Metro Style in Map and Station Design

Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations, and Design of the Metro

L’histoire du Métro Parisien Racontée par ses Plans

Vignelli: Transit Maps

Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture and Design in the New York City Subway

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story

Das Berliner U- und S-Bahnnetz. Eine Geschichte in Streckenplanen von 1888 bis heute

Das Hamburger U- und S-Bahnnetz: Eine Geschichte in Streckenplanen von 1842 bis heute

Ein Jahrhundert Berliner U-Bahn in Streckenplanen und Fotos

And the rest?

Moscow, Madrid, Japan? Many cities of the world have fascinating histories of map design for their metros. Perhaps they will have their own books one day.

Designing Maps

There are a lot of books on maps out there, but most are historical, for example telling the story of maps, or a city that has been mapped. Fascinating and colourful, they don't say much about how to go about designing a map. There are quite a few books compiled by graphic designers which include sections on maps, but although many such authors are keen to see information well-presented and easy-to-use, they lack the necessary background to convey the fundamentals of what the user needs to know, and how this is best conveyed to the user.

The Design of Everyday Things

Understanding Maps

Designing Information: Human Factors and Common Sense in Information Design

And Some Links

Douglas Rose has spent all his working life trying to make travel easier for people using public transport, and he designed London Underground maps from 1984 to 1987. He believes that the best designs are those that are so transparently easy and effortless to use that people do not realise just how much work went into creating them. His thoughts on effective design can be found at, along with a description of his long-term project to record for posterity the tile designs of London's original Yerkes Underground stations. Peter Lloyd writes thoughtful articles here, along with a description of his long-term project to record for posterity the tile designs of London's original Yerkes Underground stations. Diamond Geezer can always be relied upon for a incisive analysis of the latest London Underground map.

Two blogs which are currently sadly dormant, Annie Mole’s web pages are at Her blog is at Mark Ovenden has not blogged for a while, but when he does, it will be here

Scans of New York Subway maps can be found at, and at There are Berlin maps at and at, and a few Paris scans at The Moscow Metro is another network that deserves a book on its maps. These are good web pages: and