Perhaps influenced by spending a long time looking for Mornington Crescent on the tube map, I long wondered what it would look like if it were arranged alphabetically to make finding stations easier (yes, I know indexes exist!).
Were I pretentious, I could claim that this design is the ultimate endpoint of Beck’s strategy of reducing the quantity of geographical information in the map – as it has almost none. However, by prioritising finding the stations over the the links between them it renders the map basically unreadable.
Getting the data is trivial, however, making a map that is arranged alphabetically yet is somewhat readable is significantly harder. The original design was arranged in a grid but it proved impossible (perhaps mathematically) to arrange the lines in such a way that there were no overlaps.
The final design (top of the page) was built with Ruby on Rails and processing.js