Here are two iterations of the famous French railway map by Gourdoux. This was a commercial map designed to help salesmen. Just click on the image for more detail.
Quite apart from the intrinsic geographical interest of the map, these particular examples have beautiful typography and combine information and organisation most pleasingly in the form of a ribbon type representation of the railway line.
Here’s a detail of the general idea
You can see how this maximises the amount of information and minimises any possible confusion.
I have already posted about the maps by Minard…
These images are from the French national library collection…but you can see a lovely example of this map in central London. There is one displayed on the first-floor dining area of Mon Plaisir, in Monmouth Street. Mon Plaisir is the longest established French restaurant in London, and does a very nice steak-frites…
Here is a typographic detail from another French map…just to give you an idea of the style
And here is another typographical detail from a map printed and published by Chaix, the printers. I love the decorative letters and the sparkle they give the printing. We’ve lost that.
I know a bit about Chaix because they were very important litho printers involved in printing posters at the end of the 19C. It turns out they were also the railway printers…In deed, the consolidated French railway timetable was known as the Chaix…just like Brdashaws in the UK.