Transport maps distort a city’s true geography to strike a balance between readability and design. Scroll down to see how six metro maps compare to the real picture on the ground

Public transit maps occupy a unique place in the mapping world, and must strike a careful balance between readability, detail and aesthetic design. To that end, they necessarily distort the city’s true geography and with it, our own mental conception of the city too.

But just how distorted are the world’s metro maps? A recent series of animated graphics, created by the DIY cartographers of the online forum Reddit, answers that question. Scroll down to see the metro maps of six global cities transform to match their true geography.

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