Rapid visualisation of networks can be carried out by simply converting Adobe Acrobat documents to .dwg format as we detail below with a quick render of the London Tube map:

Modelling of the tube lines was possible using the following workflow:

1) Download a Acrobat formatted 2D map from the London Transport site;

2) Import into Adobe Illustrator;

3) Export as .DWG which preserves the vector line data;

4) Import into 3DMax and converting the line data into 3D Splines.

This provides a quick and easy way to transform a 2D map into 3D. A movie illustrating work in progress is embedded below:

The same technique can be used for the actual geographical location of the London Tube Network:

These are sample images of a file recently retrieved from a lost disk – we will be updating the 3D Map over the coming weeks.


Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.