It’s not just tourists who can be found staring blankly at maps in London. The sprawling city’s transport systems and hidden alleyways can make even hardened Londoners double-check an A-to-Z.

This might be why, then, the London Transport Museum is opening its new exhibition to the city’s cartography - or maybe it’s just because London’s maps are as attractive as they are useful.

Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography which opened this week, is the largest show of London maps of its kind, and includes unseen exhibits from the depths of the city’s history as well as innovative new work from artists including Simon Patterson, Stephen Walter, Claire Brewster, and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre.

The exhibition looks at the way maps have shaped people’s understanding of London’s geography and the way we understand the city around us - whether that’s working out how to navigate a Boris Bike round Hyde Park, or simply get from Covent Garden to Leicester Square on the Tube.

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  • The Tate Gallery by tube, by David Booth of the agency Fine White Line, 1987

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • H C Beck's spoof map diagram entitled The Underground 'straight eight' all-electric skit-set circuit diagram

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Your guide to theatreland, by Reginald Percy Gossop, 1926

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Artwork; A-Z Tube map poster, by Tim Fishlock, 2010

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket bus map, August 1914, issued by London General Omnibus Company Ltd

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Be map-conscious, by Lewitt-Him, 1945

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket Underground map, (World Cup edition) 1966

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket Central London Railway map, 1907

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket Underground map, 1913

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Design For Playgoers, by O'Keeffe, 1935

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket District Railway map, 1887

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket District Railway map, 1887

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket Coronation Map, issued by London Transport, 1953

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket bus map, August 1914, issued by London General Omnibus Company Ltd

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket bus map, Summer 1919, issued by the London General Omnibus Company Ltd

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket Underground map, 1972

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Pocket Underground map, 1912

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • 7inch single - Finchley Central by the New Vaudeville Band, 1967

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum

  • Tube map cover, by Yinka Shonibare, 2006

    IMAGE: London Transport Museum