On the origins of the map
"I had a nagging feeling that the geography of London was not as complicated as it seemed, and while it mentally felt like a grid I wanted to get it down to clarify it for myself. I first drew it using Microsoft Visio, which I use for work, but then wanted to draw it out on paper to chew it over more carefully."
On the grid structure and his engineering background
"It's true that [other] maps of London are mostly chaotic, and the town has grown up that way, but the major points tend to be neatly joined up, and the rest is just noise and shortcuts. I think London felt like a grid because as a student I tended to take the bus rather than the underground, primarily because it's cheaper but you get a much better idea of how places join together, that way. Realising that all of the major northern railway termini sat in a row across the town, parallel with Oxford Street, parallel with the river, it was then just a case of joining the dots vertically. I think again my engineering background always wants to simplify and approach things systematically."
On accuracy of the map
"In making the map I realised that my model wasn't as watertight as I expected, and there are some huge holes in my knowledge as soon as you're outside central London - I've no idea about Chelsea or much of central South London at all, once I'm away from the river. But similarly I was pleased with how complete the map was. And I also discovered that I couldn't find a convincing map that defined all of the folk-named areas, while Bloomsbury, Mayfair, and Soho for example all have their own feeling, there's no strict definition on where one area starts and the next one stops. So it was fun to try to settle on a definition for each of them, though I'm sure others would disagree."
Tips for Travelers
"They could see it that wherever they are, there's something of interest nearby, and that as long as they keep their wits about them they shouldn't be too afraid to get lost and wander, especially between Oxford Street and the river. Don't be afraid to try to walk between places that look like they might be vaguely close, it's time well spent.
You can't go too far wrong with the museums, mostly clustered in the bottom left corner of the map, though the British Museum and British Library are huddled in the centre. Walking along the south bank of the river is also worthwhile, there's plenty to see there."
mapped by Matt Lancashire.