The map is not the territory, but...

.. as the polish philosopher Alfred Korzybski pointed out.

But a good map definitely does help you get around the territory, as anyone who has ever been on the London Underground will confirm.

150 years ago today, the first Tube journey was made. But the real breakthough for the Tube came in 1931 when Harry Beck designed the now famous London Underground map, which enables travellers to get around the Tube's tunnels and escalators by following coloured signs.

Cycle Lifestyle's London Cycle Map Campaign is calling for a similar breakthrough for the capital's cycle network.

We want the authorities to install coloured markings and signs on the streets corresponding to the coloured routes depicted on Simon Parker's London Cycle Map.These markings and signs will enable Londoners to cycle from anywhere to anywhere by following a few coloured routes, just like on the Tube.

To see what we mean, take a look at an early Tube map and compare it to Beck's design (as it now stands). Then take a look at a current map of London's cycle network and compare it to Parker's design. In both cases, squiggly complexity gives way to technicolour simplicity.

The map is not the territory... but sometimes a map makes the territory better. By making it easy for people to get around London by bike, the London Cycle Map promises to make the capital a healthier and happier place.

Sign the London Cycle Map Campaign petition at

Early Tube map


Beck-style London Underground Map


London Cycle Network map


Parker's London Cycle Map

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