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Comparing cities based on their tube maps

We all know that the usual method of evaluating a city's size and importance is by population. Rather than looking at a satellite image to see how big a city is physically, the cultural relevance of any given city is judged by how many people live in it. But recently another method occurred to me: I was looking at a map of the London underground and, noticing how elaborate it looked, wondered how it compared with the tube maps of other cities. I looked a couple up - New York's and Sydney's - but they didn't look anything near as complex as London's. Paris' tube system is slightly more elaborate, but I still think London has the edge. I think this method gives you an idea of how advanced a city is; how built up and used it is. In a way an underground rail system is metonymic of a city's character: each has it's own distinct personality; and each grows organically, growing naturally through it's use by thousands upon thousands of people. Thus this is a way to compare the great cities of the world; a way to make an essentially meaningless comparison through an integral yet often overlooked and forgotten aspect of a city. After all, all these cities are awesome and unique, so if you need to weigh one against the other, why not go by something which they all have and every citizen in the city uses, yet which embodies a city's personality and aura: the tube network.


[Edited 11/11/2017 at 13:29:19 - addad a bit]
[Edited 11/11/2017 at 19:49:04 - addad a bit]

Comments

Or the fact that the tube map is byzantine could just reflect the fact that it was the first, and has barely changed in a long, long time ... That's also why the tunnels are so small that the tube is cramped compared to other cities' lines.

You could be right, bro. On second thoughts, underground maps are a crap way to compare cities. After all it depends so much on where a city is geographically. IE, Sydney has the tube system it has because it is located on a huge natural harbour.

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