Back to the Tube: 3D London Underground in Google Maps

We are revisiting this earlier work due to a meeting today with regards creating visualisations of the London Underground. The work started out with the movie below of the traditional tube map. Created direct from a .pdf file via London Transports website it provided a ‘quick and dirty’ flythrough of the map:

London Tube Map Traditional Layout from digitalurban on Vimeo.

We then looked at creating a geographical version with the aim to morph in 3D between the two.

Pictured below is the layout so far using Google Maps ‘without the map’. Aimed at creating a ‘plasticine‘ look to the routes the interactive image below illustrates a work in progress produced so we can easily identify the errors. Double click to zoom in and drag to pan:

There are a few errors here and there but it should only need a few tweaks to be near a complete version which can then be morphed and changed as needs be.

You can also view the ‘Google Maps’ version full screen (recommended).

Thanks go to Simon Clarke who produced the original geographic tube map. Simon’s site is currently under reconstruction in the meantime take a look at other London Underground diagrams.

Author Bio

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


  1. Tomasz - February 25, 2009

    the map seems geographically accurate (I cant see the typical for tubemaps network simplification) so you might try overlaying that on a map with opacity control. It is possible using Klokan Petr Přidal’s tool at

  2. Stuart - February 27, 2009

    Very nice vizualization! I really like your cartographic presentation. I have always been frustrated with the geographic uber-generalization of most underground maps. Yours is very readable and retains geographic accuracy.

  3. Anonymous - March 2, 2009

    Which shows the huge great hole in the west of London, bigger than can be explained by Buckingham Palace alone. Isn’t it just begging for a direct, straigh-ish line between Paddington and Victoria?

  4. Tomasz - March 3, 2009
    ^^here I found few ‘3d’ drawings showing how deep and complicated are the station tunnels in London

  5. Will - March 5, 2009

    Wow I love your work on this, will be keeping an eye on the site

  6. Black Katz - March 12, 2009

    This is so cool, can’t wait for this to be the new norm.

Leave a Reply