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Metro Maps of the World (World Maps) Hardcover – 12 Nov 2003
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From the Author
After collecting subway maps from all over the world, friends often asked if they could borrow them - I wondered why there was nowhere you could go to see all of them together in one place. Then I started a two year quest to write to the operators of every metro system in the world and seek permission to reproduce their official map a book. I enlisted the help of Greek, Spanish, German, French and Russian friends to help translate into some of the many languages I needed but had to ask an Indian restaurant for the Hindi and the Chinese Embassy for Mandarin translations! Some systems dont even have official maps they hand out to the public but this unique book lists almost 200 planned or existing mass rapid transit cities with maps from 150 of them.
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Students of Graphic Design will be enthralled as nothing like this has ever appeared before enabling side by side comparisons of almost 200 different cities' maps.
Its one of those books you don't necessarily see the immediate appeal of but as soon as you open it and see the inherent beauty and good design of a subway map from another city you'll be compelled to leaf thru and check all the places you've ever been, then come back and look through all the other cities. The similarities - and the differences will keep this book on your coffee table for months I promise!
This new edition is even better than the previous version, which in itself was an awesome collection of fascinating material from across the entire planet!
There seems to be many more illustrations now (the publishers claim almost 700 in a 144 page book) and more photo's of subway systems to compliment the maps themselves, a most welcome addition.
Small gaps in the history of certain major cities seem to have been filled (Paris, Montreal, Budapest, Madrid, Moscow, Kiev) and it seems almost every major map has been updated to the 2005 edition...making this now surely the leading world reference book on transit map design.
Also the author appears to have taken a more pragmatic view of cities whose maps do not conform to the international standard set by British designer Harry Beck.
Only criticism is that it's very hard to get hold of this book outside Britain - a bit of shame for a book with such a world focus, but thank God for amazon.co.uk!
Some fairly blurred reproduction of a couple of maps, and where did all the letter 'l's go on the Merseyrail map? - but otherwise difficult to fault. Handsomely-produced, with enough text to guide the reader through the book, and, most important of all, a lot of maps!
I have never really thought about underground maps as maps before - just diagrams, but this book really opened my eyes.
Underground maps are such a synthesis of design functionality and art and this book brings them alive.
I will never look at a London tube map in the same light again.
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