Above Ground – Overground Underground Piccadilly Line Visual Map

Above Ground – A Global Vision Perspective. An Overground Underground Piccadilly Line Map.

You may have seen this map on your travels, I know I have. It’s an overground illustration of the Picadilly Line as it meanders from the Finsbury Park in the north all the way through Central London, via the sights, landmarks and museums, down to Hammersmith in the south.

This map was created in 1994/5 by a company called Global Vision Mapping, who were based in Leicester Square, London. You can see the name of the company at the bottom of the map, sadly the company no longer exists. But why would anyone know where the offices were? Well, I know because I worked there for a bit.

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In Late 1994 I was a student at the London College of Printing (now called The University of the Arts) Studying for my degree in Graphic & Media Design. In the 3rd year, we were given the opportunity to work on placement within industry to gain some relevant experience. For one of my placements, I worked at Global Vision, A small mapping company who specialised in tourist maps and illustrated maps.

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I was tasked with photographing all the relevant sights of importance along the route of the Piccadilly Line. These photos would then be used as a reference for the artist who was back in the office painting an 8-foot high version of what you see today. I had a list of what to include, and to shoot anything else that seemed relevant. All the pictures had to be taken from the front of the building plus additional shots from the angle that they would be seen from, when shown on the map. I took a few rolls of film each day, then I got them processed and gave them to the artist to use.

I know my contribution to this project was small, but it still holds fond memories for me. My time working on this was probably the best two weeks of my working life. Basically, I explored the streets of London, walking, looking, learning, photographing.

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