July 07, 2010

London Underground Colourblind Map Mark II

Please note – this map can be used equally by colourblind and non-colourblind people.

Download the latest version here

OK, the London Underground Map for the Colourblind is already at Mark II. This time I’ve added text labels to colours – this will enable colourblind users to describe, or receive descriptions, of lines. For example, if someone said to me ‘take the brown line then change to the red line’, then Mark I wouldn’t have helped much. Not that it was useless, far from it, but if I, or Mr Colourblind, received an audio-only description for directions we wouldn’t have been able to follow it – hopefully now resolved.

Also someone from Transport for London has been in touch (I think they were from TfL anyway, as I emailed them, and had an apparently anonymous reply from ‘GapMinder’) and said ‘we already have a Black and White one’, and sure enough, as you’d expect, they do. Somewhere. But they’re missing the point.

The point is that this map is able to be used equally, by everyone – one print, no extra maps needed, although I’d like to reiterate here that my map is not for the visually impaired other than colourblind – for these users there are several variations available here. My map could be used equally by both colourblind and none-colourblind people – in other words, this is a suggestion to alter the actual everyday map – TfL, please, MAKE these changes, then I wouldn’t need to do this, or ask for directions when I’m standing in a Tube station because I can’t tell the pink from the grey. I could look at the Black and White descriptions everywhere (that was sarcasm, there aren’t any), and even if I could find a Black and White map to use, how does it help if someone has told me to ‘take the light blue line, then change at the red one’?

Transport for London, I urge you to make these changes to ALL of your maps. There are, by my calculations, (calculation - 2.67million daily users, half of which are males, 7% of which are colourblind) around 90 000 people every day, who use the London Underground who cannot, without struggle or assistance, use the map to travel on it.

If this was 90 000 of any, and I mean ANY, designated group of people there would be money spent and a change to the system. Why not for this group? Do we not matter?

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