London Cycle Map on Google Maps

See it here.

When people first take a look at Simon Parker's London Cycle Map, they often say 'how do I know what streets the routes are on?'. It's a fair question, because his Tube-style diagram of the LCN doesn't show where its routes are in reality.

What isn't fair is when people suggest that this is somehow a deficiency of Parker's proposal. After all, the whole point of his London Cycle Map is that, with proper signage on the streets, it would be possible for cyclists to navigate in London without having to know or remember hundreds of street names and turn rights and turn lefts for their journey. If Parker's system were implemented, you could get from anywhere to anywhere on the current LCN by remembering no more than a few coloured routes.

In other words, the Tube-style format for the London Cycle Map has been chosen precisely because it simplifies the overly-complex route information which is presently available; hence, not showing which streets the routes are on is the genius of Parker's map, not it's glitch, as some falsely suggest.

But, of course, cyclists would need to be able to get onto Parker's network of signed routes in order to make use of the LCN, so people would still need to be able to consult a map which does show which streets the routes are on. The situation would be no different from catching the tube: there's no point having a tube network unless you know where the stations are - to be able to get on and off the network at the start and end of your journey - so all the stops are marked on a supporting map (e.g. an A to Z), showing exactly where they are on London's streets.

For this reason, Parker has programmed the routes for the Greater London Cycle Map into the Google Maps interface - to reveal what a supporting map for his network might look like. Although not the finished article (for instance, none of the route codes are visible unless you click on the lines, and the central area hasn't been programmed in yet), the result is a quite beautiful image, and the mind soars when thinking about how much easier cycling in London would be if the capital were criss-crossed with Parker's coloured routes in this way.

(Note that there are some discrepencies betwen the Greater London Cycle Map illustrated by Jon Haste, and the routes on the Google Maps interface. Parker's exact route choices are constantly evolving following feedback from borough officers, transport planners and members of the public).

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