The first map to show all of the underground railways in London was published in 1908 and showed the railways as a geographical map. The map was published by the Underground Electric Railway Companies of London (UECL), showing all of the major stations in central London however the map was hard to navigate with the station names being written in small text, odd angles to follow representing the railways and a complex mess of awkwardly twisting lines. As the map was expanded to show the stations further from central London, the central section of the map became a jumbled mess and the areas around the edges of the map became wasted space.
A further attempt to improve the map was undergone in 1926, with providing regular spaces between the stations and allowing for some artistic license with the twisting routes of the railways. However, the result could not be superimposed on a street map as previously, focusing on stations rather than primarily routes allowed stations like Edgware and Richmond to seem closer to central London than they physically are.
Later in 1933 a diagrammatic representation of the tube lines was published, based on electrical circuitry diagrams, the map focused on the stations on the railways or lines rather than their geographic location. This map became the basis of the tube map today and was designed by Henry Beck, who is accredited on the bottom of every tube map since 1933.
There have been some changes and tweaks to the original design, however the design and feel of the map is generally the same.