It a problem facing every holidaymaker when on a city break abroad – how on earth to read the Underground map.
Whether it’s the Metro in Mexico City, the Subway in New York or the Tube in London, each subterranean transport system has its own unique map and for foreign visitors they can be impossible to navigate. So one French-Serbian architect has come up with a uniform map design so that holidaymakers the world over can understand how to travel in each city, without any trouble. Paris-based Jug Cerovic has come up with standardised symbols and a geographically accurate map for key cities around the world, from London, Paris and New York to Beijing, Moscow and Tokyo.
— Transit Maps (@transitmap) October 16, 2016
For example, the London Underground map has been designed without taking in the geographical location of different stations in relation to each other, but the new map shows exactly where each one is above ground. The Tokyo subway map is also considered complicated by many tourists, due to the sheer amount of information it contains, while the Berlin map includes varying different types of train line all on one map, which can be confusing to the uninitiated.
In the words of their creator Jug Cerovic “A metro system is much more than a transportation network, it is a parallel universe where space is contracted and time is inflated”. Jug Cerovic has created a simplified version of metro maps from 40 important cities in world. According to him, a metro map is a collective representation and could be an artistic reflection about how citizens see their environment. Metro is a unique way to travel into space and time.
French- Serbian architect Jug Cerovic has standardized international subway maps with INAT, a guideline developed to unify the global metro network with easy to read and memorize charts. each city’s centre is enlarged, to make room for the multiplicity of lines and connecting stations. a standard set of symbols is applied to each map including the line colours, stations, connections and station labelling. Angles are gently curved for a smooth familiar look and linear paths are represented vertically, horizontally, or 45, with no more than 5 bends on their entire length.
Highly representative shapes are used for specific urban features: a ring for Moscow and Paris, a rectangle for Beijing and Shanghai, a stadium shape for Berlin and Seoul, a parallelogram for London, and regularly spaced parallel lines for gridded street patterns like New York and Mexico. all text is labelled in both local and Latin characters and are legible on small sized prints for pocket use and suitable for display on a wide array of supports.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery Harry Beck must be smiling wildly. Born in 1902, Beck was an English engineering draftsman who sparked a small revolution in the early 1930s when he created a radical new map of the London Underground. His linear, colour-coded diagram was at first greeted with apprehension from transit authorities, but soon proved popular among London commuters. Today, it’s arguably the most recognizable and influential transit map in the world, having spawned similar designs in major cities across the globe. Before Harry Beck transport maps were about as legible as a bowl of spaghetti.
I can only imagine that Harry is smiling upon Jug Cerovic’s work to build on what he started and make a complicated world a more understandable place for travellers.