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Yesterday I took the S-Bahn from my local train station in the suburbs of London. At the terminus at Wasserklo I took the Nördlich U-Bahn Linie to Königskreuz St. Pankraz, changing onto the Städtich Linie and finally alighted at Grashügel. No. Wait. That’s not right.

What I actually did was take the South West Trains suburban line into London Waterloo, hopped on the Northern Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then changed onto the Metropolitan Line and got off at Farringdon. What’s going on here?

london-u-bahn

This is the London Underground map, but not as we know it. Horst Prillinger has taken all the station names and translated them, sometimes literally, sometimes using the underlying etymology of the name. As Horst says in his accompanying blog post, back in 2004 when this first surfaced …

The results range from sensibly boring to downright absurd, and the weird thing is that some of the funniest translations are in fact not made up, but the actual etymological meaning of the place name.

Obviously, you need to have a pretty good command of German to find this funny.

I have only a cursory command of the German language but I was still able to find this clever and funny in equal measures.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)
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Gary

A self-professed map addict, Gary has worked in the mapping and location space for over 20 years through a combination of luck and occasional good judgement. Gary is co-founder of Malstow Geospatial, which provides handmade, professional geospatial consulting. A Fellow of the RGS, he tweets about maps, writes about them and even makes them.


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Harry Wood said ...

These days I get distracted by things like this: if you're doing something which flies in the face of TfL's strict copyrights, it's obviously completely invalid to slap a creative commons license label onto it. Being as the whole thing is humour, we could say that this is just cheeky addition to the graphic but then... why pick a non-commercial restriction CC license? Seems like a nice example of open licenses being misused and confused!

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Gary said ...

AFAIK, the UK doesn't have parody or fair use legislative protection. I wonder if Austria does? But it's a good point. Building a derivative work on top of a (rigidly controlled and policed) copyrighted work and then slapping CC on top of it does make the mind boggle.

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