When Transport for London began their policy of making Tube data publicly available in 2010, they intended to encourage the development of consumer-friendly apps to make travel easier and reduce overcrowding. However, they did not foresee the wonderfully comprehensive and creative things that people would do with all that data.
The launch of a Live Tube Map was the first step – it offers highly accurate information on where exactly London’s underground trains are, and can be displayed as a secondary ‘transit’ layer on Google Maps.
However, designers have gone a step further – Bruno Imbrizi’s live 3D Tube Map offers an engagingly Tron-like view of the Underground that makes travelling on the Tube look like a ride on a futuristic rollercoaster and adds fascinating depth to our traditionally 2D image of the network.
It can’t make the journeys any more fun, but it can certainly assist Londoners in finding their way home with the minimum of fuss.
From the rushing commuter trying to catch their train, to the earnest procrastinator following dots for fun, such in-depth visualisations offer a handy insight into the constantly shifting maze of London’s transport system, and allow us to see something ordinary anew.