The was the official London Underground map from about 1930. the London Underground company, however, were having a real problem as people couldn’t find their way around the underground system because the map was too complicated. so they issued a challenge to people to come up with a better map. One of the people who took up this challenge was Harry Beck, an electrical draughtsman at the London Underground company. He famously observed that:
“If you’re going underground, why do you need bother about geography? … Connections are the thing”
The image below is one of Beck’s early sketches for the new map he devised, from which his background as an electrical draughtsman is pretty evident. Beck realised that the task people were trying to achieve when they looked at this map (or data visualisation) was to find the connections from one place to another and so everything that didn’t contribute to this would just distract and so should be removed.