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Playing with the Tube network’s classic design is nothing new: we’ve seen the realistic tube map that shows where it’s quicker to walk between stations, one that re-imagines its infernal underground depths in concentric circles, and another that neatly illustrates every South Londoner’s dream.
Yet it takes an active imagination indeed to think beyond the geometric simplicity of the 2D map and create something inspired by the Tube that could pass for an abstract work of digital art. Web developer Bruno Imbrizi has created this 3D representation of the complex web of lines and trains as they move past and over each other underground in real time.
The multicoloured spherical stations in his interactive graphic resemble a subterranean galaxy where the sounds and disturbances of real-life tube travel are left behind, instead creating a strangely harmonious sense of collective movement…
…And it’s fun to play with, too. Who knew there were so many twists and upwards bends on each line? The site allows users to adjust the speed of the trains, which makes us wonder what the Tube would be like if it were a massive rollercoaster.
The chaos of London transport is already pared down in Bruno’s ‘experiment’, but he prefers an even more minimalist approach. ‘People tend to like the map when all lines are on.’ he told us. ‘Personally I think it looks better when there are less colours.’
To create the graphic, he used real-time data shared by TfL to encourage people to make apps, like this one which tells you where your train is at any time. Although it won’t get you to work on time, Bruno’s experiment will at least give you a sense of the intricacy and scale of how you get there. Katie Forster
View the interactive map at brunoimbrizi.com.