Geographically Accurate Tube Map

29 06 2011

In the news this week – an interesting new geographically accurate tube map. The standard map and the new map are inspired by the work of Harry Beck who’s simplified geometric map revolutionised underground maps. Londonist have an astoundingly varied and comprehensive guide to alternative tube maps with some really interesting images from maps of the underground drawn by memory to a live train movements map. Here’s what the designers of the new geographic map have to say about the concept, which I have to say looks pretty good, if slightly less easy to read than the familiar standard map.

A new angle on the London Underground – Creating a tube map for the 21st century

We welcome your views and ideas about this map and your experiences of using the London Underground system. You can contribute via our website which has links to the blog, twitter and facebook. Our aim is to create a dynamic map that responds to the needs of the user, makes best use of technology, and reflects the way we live our lives in the 21st Century.

For more information please contact: Map designed by Mark Noad (

The original London Underground diagram, designed by Harry Beck is one of the greatest designs of the twentieth century. He rationalised and clarified a complex system to produce a simple, easy to follow piece of information graphics. The principles he established for the diagram are still in use today.

However, in 1931 when it was first used, there were only seven lines so the compromises Beck made on geographical accuracy did not matter greatly. Today, with the constant development of the diagram now accommodating twice as many lines, these inaccuracies are more of a problem. Indeed, they form the basis for a major criticism of the diagram, that it bears little or no relation to London at street level.

This is particularly the case with newer lines especially London Overground which has been shoe-horned in leaving stations nowhere near their neighbours, for example: Watford and Watford Junction; Archway and Upper Holloway; Seven Sisters and South Tottenham; South Acton and Chiswick Park.

The map illustrated here is an attempt to see if it is possible to create a geographically-accurate representation of the underground system while still retaining some of the clarity of Beck’s original diagram. It uses similar principles, fixed line angles – in this case 30 and 60 degrees instead of 45 – and shortens the extremities of the lines to make it more compact.

Making the position of the stations the most important element of the design means there is less space for the station names. To allow for this, a new condensed typeface has been created – New Underground Condensed – which is based on Edward Johnston’s original font.

This map will help visitors to London navigate the city more efficiently. It will make it easier to decide which route to take including whether it is quicker to walk between stations. As the project develops, we will add more information to help users of the underground system which will be accessible on-line, in print, and via the app.




Brian Haw

20 06 2011

Brian Haw, the peace campaigner who had been camped in Parliament Square since 2001 in protest at Britain’s needless bombardment and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, died over the weekend.

You can read a press release from his family on his website here.

Brian had been in Parliament Square for ten years, a constant reminder of our govenrment’s crimes abroad and at home. His peaceful protest was the subject of constant shameless attempts to discourage, repress, harass, intimidate and legistate against him – all of them failed.

Watch the clip that film maker Chris Atkins uploaded onto youtube in tribute to Brian, and if you can watch the whole of the film that its from – Taking Liberties, a brilliant account of New Labour’s attack on our civil liberties.

London Walks

17 06 2011

New on the Guardian website and very beautifully created are a series of Badaude’s Illustrated London Walks.

The Guardian and Tate are also flogging a book of the series.

Badaude has a great blog with some wonderful observations and drawings of London, Paris and issues in between.



Olympics Lottery

17 06 2011


Did anyone out there actually get any tickets to the Olympics?

I applied in April for a very modest number of tickets to the first round of the women’s shot put on a monday morning thinking that I might have a chance of actually getting the tickets. After going through the bizarre application process I felt confident that me and my family would be going to see something of the olympics that we are all going to spend the rest of our lives paying for. Today on the 17th of June, I received an e-mail (below) informing me that I had not been successful with my application to the games.

London 2012
Dear Benjamin,
Your Olympic Games ticket application.

We would like to thank you for applying for London 2012 Olympic Games tickets.

Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets, we are sorry that you have not been allocated the tickets you requested. We can confirm that we have not taken any payment from you.

Demand for tickets greatly exceeded supply in the sessions and price categories you applied for. Where sessions were oversubscribed, we undertook a random ballot to allocate tickets in the fairest possible way. We had applications for more than 20 million tickets, seeing huge demand across many sports. Two-thirds of all price categories were oversubscribed and went to ballot.

Exclusive opportunity

We would like to invite you to take advantage of an exclusive opportunity to purchase some of the remaining tickets, in advance of those customers who were allocated tickets in the initial application phase.

From 6am on 24 June until 6pm on 3 July 2011 you will be able to request some of the remaining tickets on the London 2012 ticketing website

These tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. They cover a great range of Olympic sports including Athletics, Basketball, Football, Handball, Hockey and Volleyball. Download the full list of available sports

During this second chance sales window you will only be able to submit one application, and you will be able to apply for a maximum of three sessions. Once you submit, you will receive an email confirming your application. We will then advise you which tickets you have been allocated within 24-48 hours, subject to successful payment. All payments will be taken between 4 and 7 July 2011.

We very much hope you will take advantage of this exclusive ticket offer so you can still be a part of the greatest show on earth.

If you have any questions regarding your Olympic Games ticket application, please visit our Frequently asked questions

Thomas Cook Games Breaks

As the official provider of short breaks to the Games, Thomas Cook still have a limited number of Games Breaks available. Thomas Cook Games Breaks start at £99 per person and include official tickets, accommodation in London hotels and a range of other services. Find out more on the Thomas Cook website

Best wishes
The London 2012 Ticketing team

London 2012

Be aware

Please be vigilant if attempting to purchase London 2012 tickets from sources other than and ensure you are buying from an authorised outlet. A full list of authorised ticket resellers is available here

Apparently only 36% of applicants actually got any tickets. My mistake was that I was far too modest, I should have gone in all guns blazing and staked my life savings on getting some tickets, as this research by the guardian shows:

How much were you prepared to spend?

Range % chance of getting tickets
£1-£249 35.80%
£250-499 40.00%
£500-£749 42.90%
£750-£999 47.30%
£1,000-£1,499 53.50%
£1,500-£1,999 57.10%
£2,000-£2,499 59.40%
£2,500-£2,999 67.70%
£3,000-£3,999 60.20%
£4,000-£4,999 62.30%
£5,000 plus 83.10%

Boris Johnson is ‘slightly cheesed off’ about not getting his own tickets – will he be watching it on TV?

Framing the City

11 06 2011


Call for Entries

FRAMING THE CITY is a juried photography competition accompanying a major international conference hosted by CRESC at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from the 6th – 9th September 2011.

First and second prizes will be awarded to those photographs judged to best capture the conference theme: FRAMING THE CITY. Entrants are invited to examine the nature of change in the urban environment; to reflect on and challenge notions of city living from the local to the global and across cultural, technical and political landscapes.

The CRESC Framing the City conference aims to scrutinise the processes by which cities are conceptualised, realised, lived and contested. All shortlisted entrants will be part of an online competition gallery on flickr, hosted as part of the conference proceedings.

The winning entrants will:

· have their work published in the prestigious online magazine Manchester Review

· have their work featured on the CRESC FRAMING THE CITY conference brochure (1st prize, front cover; 2nd prize, back cover)

· receive a collectors’ item hardback copy of the work of photographer Stephen Gill

· receive a cash prize (1st prize £100; 2nd prize £50)

· have their work displayed at the Royal Northern College of Music during the conference

· attend a prize giving at the conference opening ceremony on 6th September

Deadline for entries: Thursday 30 June 2011

There is a limit of 3 entries per person, but prizes will be awarded to single photographs not to a collection of work and entrants must agree to the ‘Creative Commons Licence’ conditions of flickr.

To enter please click here

Travelling Towards Home

11 06 2011

Travelling Towards Home: mobilities and home making

Date: 23 & 24 June 2011, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

For more information & to Register

This conference aims to stimulate the use of notions of home and home making as ethnographic and theoretical lenses through which to view aspects of the relation between global migrations (of all kinds, including tourism) and trans-national identities.

Rapport and Overing (2007) identify home as a ‘key concept’ in social anthropology central to questions of identity. They further argue that, given a world shaped by migration, both concepts need defining in a way “that transcends traditional definitions of identity in terms of locality, ethnicity, religiosity, and/or nationality and is sensitive to allocations of identity which may be multiple, situational, individual, and paradoxical” (176).

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s there has been a consistent stream of writings on the theme of the relation between mobility and the idea of home which have moved beyond traditional anthropological boundaries: Mack (1991) and Bammer (1992) on the theoretical possibilities of the term home in a globally mobile world, Robertson’s (1994) collection of travellers’ tales about displacement and loss of home, Kain (1997) and Kheter (2001) on leaving home in South Asia and Lebanon respectively, Levitt and Waters (2002) on how migration has challenged traditional meanings of home, Long and Oxfield (2004) on refugees and ideas of home, Walters (2005) on home and diasporas in black writing, and others. However, Aguilar’s (2002:24) contention that “ubiquitous in the migration literature, ‘home’ and ‘family’ are words that appear self-evident but, on reflection, signal a domain of problematic assumptions, methodological complexities, and hegemonic discourses and ideologies .. magnified by processes of movement and displacement” still has considerable traction today.

This conference thus sets out to respond both to the considerable and growing general interest in the relation between mobilities and ideas of home but also to the uneven and arguably thin engagement with the field within the social sciences. We hope to generate a research framework capable of grasping the theoretical and analytical possibilities that the relation between home and mobility promises.

Conference organisers

Tom Selwyn, and Parvathi Raman,

Organiser: Jane & Rahima at the Centres & Programmes Office, SOAS


London – City of Paradox

11 06 2011

Conference – April 2012 – London – City of Paradox – CALL FOR PAPERS

In 2012 London will be a focus of public interest worldwide. The Olympic Games will bring intense media coverage, viewed by the British government and by numerous interest groups as an opportunity to celebrate the city as an economic hub and a centre of global cultural activity.

We wish to address these issues in the context of independent assessments – of the city, its histories, its cultural heritage, and its complex and contradictory role within contemporary global networks.

From 3 to 5 April 2012 the University of East London will host an international conference: London – City of Paradox.

This event considers the city in its local, national and transnational contexts. It aims to stimulate discussion among academics, community activists, artists and others, encouraging development of informed, critical perspectives on London. It recognises that London is viewed and experienced in a host of ways: by its residents past and present; by those influenced by national, colonial and imperial authorities centred in the city; and by those who have embraced, contested and resisted the latter.

This will be a multi-disciplinary event, drawing on insights from History, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Migration Studies, Refugee Studies and Urban Studies. It will engage those involved in visual art, performance, creative writing and in community action.

Keynote speakers include:

Craig Calhoun (New York University)

Paul Gilroy (London School of Economics)

Ranabir Sammadar (Calcutta Research Group)

Saskia Sassen (Colombia University)

Jerry White (Birkbeck, University of London)

Themes: you are invited to contribute a paper to one of six thematic streams:

1. Contending histories: London as an object of historical study; London in the national narrative; “people’s histories”; London, gender and history; history and community today; “official” history and the Olympic project.

2. London and the world: colonialism, neo-colonialism and the metropolitan city; commerce, slavery and empire; London and the neo-liberal networks; global city: London and the cities of the South.

3. Race, racism and the city: “hidden” and “invisible” populations; inclusion and exclusion; geographies of community; immigration, work and settlement; refuge and asylum; citizenship, multiculturalism, “cohesion” and integration today.

4. East London: the East End in narratives of London and nation; East London and the maritime networks; the East End as refuge; East End, gender and sexuality; resistance and radicalism; regeneration and the “new” East End.

5. Imaging and Performing London: visual cultures yesterday and today – film, photography, multimedia, performance.

6. City and spectacle: London and the Olympic cities – global spectacle and local reality. Documenting the Olympics past and present.

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words by 1 October 2011 to Mary Sutton: (All enquiries about the conference also to Mary Sutton.)

London – City of Paradox is organised together with the Runnymede Trust, London East Research Institute, Raphael Samuel History Centre, Matrix East Research Lab, the Centre for Narrative Research and the Centre for Cultural Studies Research. CMRB, University of East London, Docklands Campus, London E16 2RD.