Transit Maps of the World

Posted on:

As I mentioned in my last post, my (if I do say so myself) fabulous map was included in the latest edition of Mark Ovenden’s Transit Maps of the World. I got a big kick out of seeing my map and my name in print, but what did I think of the rest of the book? Let’s find out!

Obvious Full Disclosure: I’m in the book. I also got a free copy for being in the book:

However, I have now bought a copy of the older edition; let’s compare the two! (Can you believe that I never actually owned it before? I just borrowed it every once in a while from the library!)

The first thing we notice about the new edition is the cover. The 2007 version was ok, but the new version is really attractive.

Transit Maps 2007 edition
2007 edition

The cover image of the new edition was actually used inside the old one, but has been greatly expanded (the few African networks were “under construction” on the old map):

Transit Maps 2007 inside cover
Inside cover of 2007 edition
2015 edition
2015 edition

I really like the new cover! But what about the content?

Oh, the content! I spent a lot of time poring over the details in the maps. It’s amazing how some of them are real works of art, and others, well, leave much to be desired. Here are some of my favourites; you can lots more critiqued on Cameron Booth’s excellent site, Transit Maps:


Beautiful map; the font is pleasing, the lines are easy to follow.

Click to visit the official page
Click for official English site.

I have to admit that would love to see one without all the background streets, though, like this one from Wikipedia:

Barcelona Metro Map” by VilarrublaOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.


So many lines! And I love the font, Parisine.

Click for official site.

I really like Max Robert’s Concentric Circle map, though (not featured in the book, but Max is mentioned elsewhere in it for his circle designs):

You can buy a poster of this map on Max's site.
You can buy a poster of this map on Max’s site.

If you’re interested in the history of the Paris metro, check out one of Mark’s other books, “Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations, and Design of the Metro.”


I really like this one just because of how much it’s grown. In the 2007 edition, it looked like this, with 5 lines (from Wikimedia; I couldn’t find the official map used in the book from that time period):

From Wikimedia
From Wikimedia

And now it’s grown to this, with 14(!) lines:

Click for official English site.


What fun to see the changes in the maps, especially for so many Asian cities. I really enjoyed seeing the wide varieties of maps out there. So many more were included in the new edition than in the 2007 one. However, to accommodate the extra maps, a lot of explanatory text for individual maps ended up being left out. For example, Glasgow gets a whole page in the 2007 edition, with a lot on the history of the loop, but gets but a quarter of a page with no text at all in the new edition. I understand, the space was needed to include so many more maps, but it’s still a shame; the missing text is a good reason to get both editions of the book, then! :)

What other books on metros and metro maps are out there that you’ve liked? Let me know in the comments!

What do you think?