No-one here at Crave would deny the genius of the London Underground Tube map, one of the simplest and most elegant design solutions ever. Equally, we're a little bit in love with Google Maps, possibly the most powerful and all-encompassing consumer mapping system ever created. Bring the two together, and it's enough to make grown men weep, or at least spend an entire morning looking at coloured lines overlaid on satellite imagery -- yes, Google has introduced transit-system maps.
59 cities have had their metropolitan train systems added, including London. Some of the inclusions suggest this is the first leg of the journey, with bigger cities presumably set to follow -- the likes of Porto Alegre, Ekaterinburg and Rennes are included, but no Washington DC or Los Angeles just yet.
But who cares about them, let's take a look at London. We've always wanted to see Harry Beck's ingenious Tube map overlaid on a real map, both to see where we're actually going as we hurtle along below ground, and also to see if walking to a different station could save us a Tube ride. To call up the transit layer, click on More in the top right of the map window, and tick the transit box.
There are 270 stations served by London Underground on the 249-mile network, carrying 28 million individual passengers a year. In central London, trains won't go much faster than 40mph because of the short gaps between stations, but on the open expanses of the Metropolitan line, the oldest Tube line in the world, trains can reach over 60mph.
If you're a commuter, stressed out by using the Tube, at least be thankful it's more interesting than many lines. Our colourful swirl of octopus arms reaching out to the suburbs is the classic model of a metropolitan transport system. Unfortunate places such as Genoa, Kazan, Samara and Nizhniy Novgorod only have one line and some have only one colour. Rubbish! Incidentally, all the Russian one-liners are red, of course.
Take a look through our photo gallery for more fascinating facts and a look at some of the more interesting transit systems to show up on Google.