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Harry Beck

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Rohan L

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of Harry Beck

Combining Graphic Design and Information What does this have to do with infographics and data visualization? What, in your opinion, is a medium for which humans consume mass amounts of information visually? MAPS!!!! Pre-Beck: On Humans (briefly):
Humans perceive things visually.
We have highly developed brain devoted to vision.
We only have four lobes in our brain on of which deals predominantly with sight.
The optical lobe. Everything It is clearly important that, when considering the scale of the human consumption of knowledge, we enure that data and information is easily readable and understandable visually. When you think "directions" you tend to think:
Straight When you think "map" you tend to think directions:
West Notes: Henry Charles Beck Proposed a radical idea for the design of the London Underground or "Tube" system.
Prior to Beck's work transit maps were largely confusing.
Based more on geographical accuracy rather than readability. Video time...YAY!! Given his background as an engineering draftsman he was able to design a readable map for the tube using a schematic aesthetic. (Harry Beck) Born 1902
Died 1974 (Age 72)
Was an electrical engineering draftsman
London Underground Signals Office And so he did this... Tube map pre-Beck. Beck's radical design of the Tube map. Tube map pre-Beck. Tube map circa 1863. Current version of Tube map. (Note the addition of geographical landmarks for reference). Geographically accurtae portrayal of Tube system. Satellite view of London. Current Honk Kong transit map. Satellite view of Honk Kong. Honk Kong New York Subway map circa 1953 Current version of New York Subway Map. Satellite view of New York City. (Note how the city when facing true North is on a diagonal where as in the map it appears that "up" is North.) New York City London London...again Seoul Current version of Seoul transit map. Satellite view of Seoul. Current version of TTC transit map. TTC system superimposed upon the city's terrain. Toronto Paris Paris transit map circa 1930 Beck's 2nd proposal of the map circa 1930's. Beck's 1st proposal of the Paris Metro circa 1930's. The city's commission of the Paris metro circa 1936. (Note the use of colour and similar design when compared with Beck's versions). Current version of Paris Metro transit map. Satellite view of Paris. Beck Says: "Looking at an old map of the Underground railways, it occurred to me that it might be possible to tidy it up by straightening the lines, experimenting with diagonals and evening out the distance between stations'. Largley unreadable maps.
Based more on geographical accuracy.
Stops are farther apart.
Lines are winding and snake-like.
Little to no outside identifiers at all.
Little to no colour coordination. So what do we have? Post-Beck: Unreadable is transformed into readable.
Maps based on viewer readability and understanding.
A schematic-like approach to the design of transit maps.
One that is sensible and whose principles can be applied to other designs.
Snake-like roads are largely straightened.
45 and 90 degree angles instead of twists and turns.
Stops are placed closer together.
Different/distinguishable vibrant colours are used to differentiate lines.
Geographical identifiers are used for reference. The End References: http://ateliertally.com/harry-beck-the-paris-connection/
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