Christmas, The One Day London’s Streets Are (Almost) Empty


Here are a series of photos taken by my wife and I on Christmas Day, 2014. Since it’s the only day of the year public transit is completely shut, it provides a rare opportunity to see the streets (almost) completely empty. Hope you enjoy:

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10 New & Unique Minimalist Artistic Maps Of London


The map above is one of ten new and unique minimalist artistic maps of London created by Project Jefferson; which was founded by two UC Berkeley students, “who wanted — nay, needed — artistic map prints of various cities but could not find any.”

They’ve created unique maps by using OpenStreetMap data and have then combined it with different minimalist artistic techniques.

For example the map above is titled “The Orange Honeysuckle” and is described by the Project Jefferson team as “an exercise in boldness. We dared to paint a red-orange map and contrast it with blues. The Orange Honeysuckle has a very noticeable personality and dares you to make it a centerpiece.

All maps can be downloaded for free as phone wallpapers or you can buy high quality prints from their website here.

Here are the rest of the maps with descriptions provided by the Project Jefferson team.

The Blue Elderberry


“This style evokes that of a nighttime aerial scene over a city. Streets, forests, and parks are the primary items rendered. This style employs a cool-toned color palette, easy to complement with almost any home themes and settings.”

The Showy Phlox


This high contrast style attempts to portray the feel of looking at a negative of a nighttime aerial photo. However, water areas remain dark to further strengthen the contrast. This beautiful piece makes for a perfect centerpiece in a home.

The Mountain Brome


The Mountain Brome style melds the old with the new. This style conveys the feeling of looking at an antique parchment map. However, you’ll notice the streets are bold and dark, supplying contrast and balancing the antique-ness with a modern feel.

The Maiden Blue-Eyed Mary


Looking for a map that carries a wireframe feel? For this style, we took a highly stylized map and stripped it down to its bare bones. Inspired by a 3D wireframe figure, this style utilizes light colors, few solid areas, and many lines. Water areas are filled with a light grid pattern. A fantastic lightweight design piece for a bright home.

The Chocolate Lily


The Chocolate Lily is our journey into the abstract. Using just two colors, it highlights the blocks of land bounded by our streets and that make up our cities. This is one of our most striking and versatile styles.

The Aromatic Aster


An exercise in color, the Aromatic Aster paints a city into what might resemble capillaries. The color scheme is a tribute to Andy Warhol and one of his famous soup cans.

The Golden Currant


For anyone looking for a more traditional map, the Golden Currant is that. One of the few designs we felt necessary to add labels, this map inspires a certain nostalgia for the old city maps hung on walls during the last century. Simple and light, this is a charming map fit for many occasions.

The Varileaf


A conservative style, the Varileaf relies on a healthy does of mellow colors while still being able to accent a city’s grid. The roads are the highlight of this style, dark and bold. This is another beautiful map style that is easy to utilize with most home interiors.

The Pacific Madrone


We went all out trying to achieve this truly antique feel. This has minimal labeling, utilizes a mellow color palette, and embodies strong parchment essences. This style displays its character and history proudly and is sure to turn heads in any rustic setting.

Which is your favourite?

The Amazing Growth of London Shown In One Annimation

The video above animates London’s amazing growth over the last 2,000 years. See what sites from each of the city’s most important periods are now listed or in some other way protected. For example, did you know that there are more listed buildings from the Georgian period than any other before or since?

Officially titled The London Evolution Animation it was:

… developed by The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (UCL), as a partnership project between English Heritage, Dr Kiril Stanilov – The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (University of Cambridge) and Museum of London Archaeology (with the Mapping London and Locating London’s Past projects), and was initiated and directed by Polly Hudson (PHD).

The London Evolution Animation (LEA) shows the historical development of London from Roman times to today, using georeferenced road network data brought together for the first time. The animation also visualizes (as enlarging yellow points) the position and number of statutorily protected buildings and structures built during each period.

Do you have a favourite period in London’s history? If so let me know below:

15 More Stunning Paintings Of Old London Compared To Modern Location

The Thames at Westminster Stairs by Claude de Jongh

The Thames at Westminster Stairs (1630s) by Claude de Jongh

Halley Docherty (Reddit user halz) has created 15 more stunning images of London by mashing up old paintings and placing them in their modern setting. You can view the original set of images here.

Continue reading 15 More Stunning Paintings Of Old London Compared To Modern Location

Where to Stay & Things to Do in London: An Incomplete Guide

London is only this grey 90% of the time
London is only this grey 90% of the time.

London in a sentence: “London is a city by a river, plus lots of villages joined up by an underground railway.”@TubeRambler

Continue reading Where to Stay & Things to Do in London: An Incomplete Guide

Done! I’m Now The First Canadian To Have Walked The Entire London Underground


At 2:19 pm today (August 24th, 2013) I completed my final walk of the London Underground, walking from North Acton to Bank with my wife and my father. As far as I know I am now the first Canadian to have walked the entire Tube above ground and will claim that title unless someone can prove otherwise.

I’ve also manged to raise £1,145.07 for Bowel Cancer UK, which while a great start is still far below my initial goal of £16,013. As I continue to post more detailed updates of my walks I’ll continue to ask for donations to support this very worthy cause.

This completes a journey that started just over a year ago (August 19th, 2012) with a short half hour long walk along the Waterloo & City Line.

Since then I’ve walked beyond the borders of London and the M25 to the mythical Zone 9. I’ve walked east, west, north but only rarely south. I’ve walked through some rain, but have on the whole had incredible luck with the weather. I’ve mostly walked it alone, but finished on a high-note completing the last two legs with my father and the last with my wife as well.

It’s been a journey that’s taken up a huge portion of my life to the extent that it still feels a little surreal that it’s all over. During the same time period I also manged to visit all 270 tube stations separately, just because the Tube is really cool and it would have been a shame not to visit the stations I was walking past.

Over the next 6 months I’ll post detailed accounts of all my walks (and station visits), but in the meantime I thought I’d post just a few quick stats about what I’ve done.

Total distance walked: 394.3 miles (634.56 km) – almost the distance from London to Edinburgh
Time spent walking: 151 hours 16 minutes – almost 1 full week
Number of lines walked: 12 (11 current lines + former East London Line)

Total number of walks: 23
Shortest walk: Waterloo & City line: Waterloo to Bank – 1.6 miles (2.6 km)
Longest walk: Central line walk #3: Epping to Leytonstone to Woodford via Hainault – 27.97 miles (45.01 km)

Average walking speed: 2.61 miles/hr
Average walk length: 17.14 miles (27.58 km)
Average walk time: 6 hours 34 minutes

Unique stations visited: 270
Total stations visited: 381 (multiple vists to stations where more than 1 line goes through them)

Favourite walk (besides last ones): Metropolitan Line day 3 (Watford to Moor Park to Amersham and Chesham) – great weather & scenery.
Least favourite walk: Jubilee line day 2 (Waterloo to Stanmore) – constant rain for several hours while walking through suburban London.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me during this journey. I hope you stick around to read the full account. If you’d like to know any other stats just ask in the comments section below:

Hammersmith & City Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

068 - Platforms at Baker Street Station
The best set of platforms on the entire network? I think so.

While the Hammersmith & City (H&C) line operates along the entire original section of the London Underground, it has only been shown as a separate line on the tube map since 1990. This means that it’s technically London’s newest tube line, although no new track or stations were built when the route was transferred from the Metropolitan line.

With the extension of the Circle line all the way to Hammersmith in 2009, the Hammersmith & City line no longer has any unique stations. Nevertheless, here are some photos, facts and my impressions of each of the 29 stations that currently make up the line:

Continue reading Hammersmith & City Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions

Should This Be London’s Official Tourism Video? – It’s Got To Be London

Last month when I was back in Canada, one of my oldest friends said in all seriousness: “What is there to do in London anyway?” As the video above shows, pretty much nothing.

‘It’s Got To Be London’ was shot by Tim Benzie and Paul Joseph who are trying to convince their niece and her boyfriend to come to London instead of taking a cruise (as if that’s really an option). To be honest the last thing London needs is more tourists in the summer. (With apologies to my family members who will be doing exactly that)

Nevertheless, if you’re trying to convince someone to come here versus anywhere else in the world try sending them this video. You can find out more about the whole project from their website:

Watch London Timelapse By Mattia Bicchi

The second timelapse film from Mattia Bicchi this week, this one is simply titled London Timelapse. It features footage from November 2012 to February 2013 and includes locations such as City Hall, Covent Garden, Liverpool Street Station, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Westminster and Canary Wharf.

The shots of the Millennium Bridge and Battersea Power Station are particularly good with latter likely no longer possible in a few years time. Overall a really enjoyable timelapse, but I don’t think quite as good as his previous films: London Architecture Timelapse and Is Christmas Time. That said this is still miles ahead of most other timelapse film makers.

You can follow Mattia’s work on his website, Facebook, and Twitter.