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The Cartographic Journal Special Issue: Beck at 90 Years

Call for papers

Special Issue Editors:

Maxwell Roberts

Alexander Kent

Guest Editorial Board:

David Forrest

Herman Haverkort

Martin Nöllenburg

Clive Richards

Robert Waller


In 1933, Henry Beck’s original design for representing the London Underground was published, schematising the entire network for the first time using only horizontal, vertical and 45-degree diagonal lines and distorting topography to enhance clarity. The London Underground has been depicted using these techniques ever since and cartographers and designers worldwide have been influenced by its success.

To mark this anniversary and Beck’s contribution, The Cartographic Journal will publish a multidisciplinary Special Issue exploring the foundations and future prospects for transport cartography in which schematisation forms an important element of design.

We welcome full contributions of up to 8,000 words (Refereed paper – substantive research – with double-blind peer review) or shorter manuscripts of up to 4,000 words (Observation paper – brief reports of preliminary findings or theoretical remarks – with editorial review) that either focus on Beck’s work and its legacy or take a wider perspective.

Relevant topics include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • History of schematic maps and mapping transport systems

  • Effectiveness/fitness of purpose of historical and/or contemporary designs

  • Approaches to designing schematic maps and/or suggestions for best practice

  • Evaluating schematic map effectiveness, including usability studies

  • Methods and algorithms for automatic layout of schematic maps

  • Implications of schematic mapping research for information design

  • The role of psychology in designing and understanding schematics

  • Cross-cultural factors in the design and use of schematic maps

  • Effectiveness of schematic maps on portable devices

  • New approaches to schematic mapping, such as use of atypical design rules

  • The use of schematic maps beyond transit domains

Provisional abstracts (up to 150 words) should be submitted by email to by 13th January 2023. First submissions of papers should be received by 9th April 2023.

All accepted papers will be published online (with DOI) ahead of the printed Special Issue.


The Cartographic Journal is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic periodical published by Taylor & Francis on behalf of the British Cartographic Society. Its readership extends to over 180 countries and its current one-year impact factor is 1.366.

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