Nowadays our orientation is very often not longer based exclusively on the actual geography and their landmarks. There are loads of alternatives, from street numbers to GPS routing in our smartphones, to guide us to a destination. All of those wayfinding devices have in common that they are abstracted projections of the real world’s spatial arrangement. Which brings us to two interesting implications: First, because abstraction means in this case a decrease of information, something is lost. And second, the longer you are using a device the more you accept it or get used to it. For instance the geographical structure of transportation networks are often reshaped to provide users with more understandable transit maps. These distortions have a major influence on people’s perception of a city’s geography, to the point they get stored mentally and become the collective representation of the real world’s geography.
‘Metrography’ attempts to explore this phenomenon using the most famous of transit maps: the London Tube Map.
Look through the window as you travel between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn on the Central Line and you’ll see a station – where no passengers have alighted since 1932. This used to be British Museum station. Or perhaps you may notice the tunnel wall change from cast iron tubing to bricks as you travel on the Piccadilly Line between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner. This also used to be a station. Down Street, closed in the same year as British Museum. These stations are often referred to as ghost stations.
There are about 40 abandoned or relocated stations on the Underground network along its entire 255 miles (408Km) of trackway – some subsurface and some above ground. Some have vanished without trace whereas others are almost intact, grimey time capsules of the era when they were closed.