Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Visualizing Urban Transportation II: Pays de la Loire (Xiaoji’s Design Weblog)

Friday, June 4th, 2010

[Editor's note: Nifty spatial data visualizations with bi-variate mapping by mode share and frequency. Nice shout out to Illustrator for final design work.]

Republished from Xiaoji’s Design Weblog.

Some more images from my project in the SENSEable City workshop.

Usage of public transportation v.s. population: Green dot sizes show online queries per unit population; Pink dot sizes show the scale of population. All queries sent through SNCF website www.destineo.fr, from Pays de la Loire, March 1 through March 31,2010. We can see different dependency on public transportation in each region.

The connection from Nantes to other cities of France: width of lines shows frequency of travels; transparency shows the proportion of such connection in all transportations carried by that city. All queries are sent from Nantes through the SNCF website www.destineo.fr, March 1 2010. Click to see complete graph.

Tools used: Processing, Illustrator

Going Native: Using the Google Maps API v3 in Smartphone applications (Killingsworth via Google)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

[Editor's note: Cut down on development time using the new Google Maps API v3 but creating a single mobile version of your map that can also be wrapped inside a native application for the iPhone or Android.]

Republished from Google Geo Developers Blog.
B

Over the last couple of years, my office has been working on using the Google Maps API to display the Missouri State University campus map. The map is used by campus faculty, staff, students, and visitors and includes buildings, parking and transit system information. Beginning this summer, we started work on incorporating live GPS tracking of our campus buses into the map. Both the idea and GPS application on the buses came from one of our computer science students who wanted more information on the campus transit system.

Using the Google Maps API v3, I was able to create a mobile version of our map for use on smartphones. After showing it to my users, one of the first responses I got was, “Are you going to make this available as an application?”. After spending many hours developing a feature-rich mobile web version, the thought of investing a large amount of time to code the same experience on multiple platforms was overwhelming. Then I began thinking of the maintenance headaches; even simple changes, such as adding a new sets of icons for custom markers, would be time consuming. All of a sudden the idea sounded much less appealing. I’d spent all this time on the mobile web version of my map, why couldn’t I just use that?

All Wrapped Up

So instead of writing the maps application using the SDK of each phone platform, I wrapped my v3 Maps API site into a WebView inside a stub application. Now all the work spent on the web version automatically applies to the “native” application and my users never even know the difference. The Google Maps API team have even provided some great reference articles for Android and iPhone which help get the process started.

Continue reading at Google Geo Developers Blog. . . .

Sweden’s Acme Advertising creates arresting green motorcoach marketing (Acne Advertising)

Monday, February 1st, 2010

flugbussweden

[Editor’s note: Video (below) showing creation of a 3d art installation showing how 50 cars = 1 bus for CO2 emissions in Sweden. Thanks @jnack!]

Republished from Acne Advertising and AutoBlog.

Sweden’s Flygbussarna Airport Coaches asked Acne Advertising to make the case for travelers to take a coach to the airport instead of a car. Instead of leading with price, comfort, or ease, Acne went for hot air and green – as in CO2 and the environment.

To vividly illustrate that one Flyggbussarna coach can hold about 50 people – as opposed to the typical Swedish passenger car, which averages 1.2 occupants – while emitting the pollution of just four passenger cars, Acne built a coach out of fifty crushed cars – primarily expired Volvos and Saabs.

The installation was placed next to the road to Sweden’s largest airport, and what ensued was lots of public awareness. And traffic jams. Which would have increased CO2, ironically. Follow the jump for a video on the campaign. Even if the resultant congestion made the earth a bit warmer, it’s still very cool.

50 cars or 1 coach? from acneadvertising on Vimeo.

Transit on Google Maps comes to a Town Near You (Kelso)

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

[Editor's note: When I've traveled to Paris or Beijing I like to take public transit both below and above ground. It gives me a good sense of the people and the place. And it reduces my carbon footprint. But sometimes figuring out transit systems can be irksome. I've got a great pocket atlas of Beijing that shows major bus lines and their stops which is helpful. And Paris offers some good printed material. But figuring out which station or stop is closest to the start and end of the trip is just the beginning. Which route is best? And when will I get there are two important questions. If you've missed it, Google Transit solves many of these challenges. New transit systems are being added monthly, check to see if your city participates.]

I live in metro Washington DC and our transit agency finally released their network topology, routing, scheduling in Google Transit format after a long petition drive. Now 3rd party developers, including Google, can use this to build out web apps or even mobile phone apps like iBART. DCist has coverage of both the recalcitrance of this public agency in giving out data we’ve already paid for as tax payers (sound familiar). Cartographers should use the station and bus stop locations included in these transit feeds to locate these features on their city maps.

Cartographers need to get on the mobile app development bandwagon and provide customers with tools that leverage these types of datasets. Imagine an app that has a proximity sensor / alert for nearby bus or transit stops or tells you the bus you want is coming in 5 minutes, time to pack up. And can do all the routing for you. And can be leveraged to provide the customer with, say, trail routing in the backcountry, too.

Why is transit on Google Maps a big deal? From WorldChanging:

[Including transit on maps and routing] make public transit more accessible and easier for everyone to understand; and in doing so, it will certainly increase transit ridership and reduce driving.

One of the big barriers to public transit use is the knowledge required to use the system: where to wait, when to wait, where to transfer, how much to pay, etc. Some readers may remember that two years ago we helped cause Google Transit to happen, but it’s taken off far beyond what we had suggested, and they keep getting better. What’s more, they’re doing it at no charge to the transit agencies (a perpetually under-funded sector of local governments). More cities are coming on board, as well; if you live in one of the eleven cities now participating, enjoy! If you live elsewhere, consider writing to your local transit agency and telling them to join the 21st century. (ahem… San Francisco, right in Google’s back yard, no excuse… ahem.)

What are these tools? In addition to being able to type in your route and get comprehensive directions (including walking to stations, showing the bus or train route, walking directions between stations, how much it costs, etc.), you can plan trips by departure or arrival time and see when the next couple buses come if you miss the one you’re aiming for. Now, if you zoom in enough on any Google map in the right city, all the transit stops appear, with different icons for bus, light rail, etc.; click on a bus stop and up pops a list of the buses or trains that stop there; click on the bus number, and up pops the timetable for the next several buses stopping there.

Want to get your transit data on the map? Aaron Antrim, who heads Trillium Transit Internet Solutions helps smaller agencies get online with Google Transit, in particular, those small-to-midsized transit agencies that don’t have dedicated IT staffs (ref). Aaron went to the same university as me and is quite active in transit circles.

There’s a petition to add “By bike” like there is “Walking” and “Transit” to Google Maps (ref). See this in action at byCycle.org as seen at Treehugger.

Map: Inauguration Special Bus Corridors (Wash Post)

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

[Editor’s note: Continuing coverage of how to best experience or cope with the Inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States on January 20th. Other posts include: Overview map and Ticketed seating.]

Republished from The Washington Post. Jan. 9, 2009.

Metro has designated 23 special bus corridors to run extended rush-hour service from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 20. Corridor service mainly follows existing Metrobus routes and bus stops across the region. The buses on these corridors pick up and terminate at 14 stops just outside the restricted area. They will run about every 10 minutes to accommodate inauguration crowds.

Visualizing Bus Level of Service (Greater Greater DC)

Monday, December 8th, 2008

[Editor’s note: Looking at the previous post on visualizing subway level of service, I was reminded of one of David Alpert’ great posts on the same topic in March 2008 but on the frequency and reliability of bus routes. David based his graphic on observed data but then extrapolated it a bit and graphed the resulting histogram. Also see this crazy art project showing 3D data sculpture of the Sunday Minneapolis / St. Paul public transit system, where the horizontal axes represent directional movement and the vertical represents time.]

Republished from Greater Greater DC.

Waiting for the L2

The L2 bus travels along Connecticut Avenue from Friendship Heights, detours through Adams Morgan, down 18th and New Hampshire through Dupont, and then along K Street to McPherson Square. It also runs right past my window. I started keeping track of its actual times and compared them to the schedule. (Click image for larger version).

This chart shows how much time you are likely to wait at 18th and S based on when you show up. The darkest area is 10% of the buses: for example, at exactly 8:00, 10% of the time a bus will come within 3 minutes, but 90% of the time it will take longer than 3 minutes. The lightest area is 100% of the buses (that I’ve observed); at 8:00, 100% of the time a bus will come within 8 minutes (not bad).

The red dotted line represents the schedule. The WMATA trip planner reports that this bus should arrive at 7:48, 8:04, 8:23, 8:36, 8:48, 9:01, and 9:16. If all buses showed up exactly on time, the entire chart would coincide with the red line.

You can see that many of the triangular areas deviate to the left of the red line. That means that the bus often shows up early. If you get to the stop at 8:46, two minutes before the scheduled 8:48 arrival, 30% of the time the bus will show up within four minutes, but 70% of the time it will take 12 minutes or more because 70% of the time this bus shows up before 8:46. And it’s been as early as 8:41 (that’s where the tall light blue spike appears), which means to be safe and avoid risking a 23-minute wait for a 9:01 bus that may show up at 9:04, you have to arrive to the stop seven minutes ahead of time.

The tighter the triangle, the more accurate the bus’s appearances. As you can see, the 8:04 is pretty good, only deviating to the left (early) occasionally and then not very far early. At the same time, it’s not late much; the big dark triangle means that the bus isn’t usually more than a couple minutes late either. On the other hand, its light colored spike is very high, meaning that occasionally even if you show up a minute early you might be stuck waiting 28 or 32 minutes if the 8:23 is late.

The 8:23 and 8:36 appearances aren’t very consistent, leading to the lack of visible shape in those areas. Those buses are often early and often late, and several times have shown up within one minute of each other.

You can see all my data on this Google Spreadsheet. The first tab is my direct observations; the second tab is the calculated data that generated the chart.

In conclusion, the 8:04 is fairly reliable, while the later buses are not so much. WMATA is working on offering real-time bus info which would help since someone could see how much time actually remained until the next bus, and see this before leaving home. The other big recommendation I see from this data is for the drivers to try harder to avoid being early. They should wait at certain key stops until the correct departure time. That way, commuters could at least know for certain that if they showed up a minute or two before the bus’s scheduled arrival, they wouldn’t be left waiting at the stop for 20 minutes.

Interactive Commuting Time Maps – Find Where to Move (MySociety)

Monday, November 10th, 2008

[Editor’s note: This MySociety.org article from 2007 shows how an interactive web map can help users narrow down the best places to live or work based on a home prices ($) and commute times (t) by car, bike, bus, or train. Interactive Flash versions of the maps are after the jump. Thanks Lynda!]

Reprinted from MySociety.org.

In 2006, our late friend and colleague Chris Lightfoot produced a series of time travel contour maps, after the Department for Transport approached mySociety about experimenting with novel ways of re-using public sector data.

This mapping work was very important because it provides a potentially revolutionary new way of working out the best place for people to live and work.

Commuting Time Maps

Following widespread interest across the net and a major feature in the Evening Standard, the Department for Transport asked us to show them how this work could be taken further, and that is what we are showing here today. Get a quote for your map now

Improving legibility and clarity

Many of the maps we produced last time were very pretty, but could be somewhat difficult to interpret. We therefore teamed up with Stamen to improve the visual clarity and fun. Our first approach was to improve the base mapping to something more delicate and appropriate, using OpenStreetMap. We then worked on the colours and textures of the contours to make them quicker to interpret. Click on the images for larger versions.

Old map of London

Showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am

Old map of London showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am
Click image for bigger version.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Department for Transport 100020237 2007

New map of London

Showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am

New map of London showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am

Click image for bigger version.

(more…)

iPhone Software 2.2 to add public transit & walking directions (AppleInsider)

Friday, November 7th, 2008

[Editor's note: The next version of Apple's iPhone software will not only introduce Street Views to the handset's Maps application, but also provide bus, train and walking directions, a series of new photos reveal.]

Reprinted from AppleInsider.com. By Sam Oliver. Published: 02:00 PM EST October 25th, 2008.

Public Transit Directions

iPhoneYap has posted an extensive screenshot gallery from iPhone Software 2.2 beta 2, released Friday, which offers a walkthrough and detailed descriptions of the new features.

When set in Directions mode, Maps now offers three icons — car, public transit, and walking — centered at the top of screen, in between the “Edit” and “Start” buttons. Selecting the transit icon provides a list of transit choices that can include subways, buses, or a combination of the two.

A list of departure times and estimated commute times accompany each transit option. Once you select a particular method of transit, the Maps application will serve up step-by-step directions from your current location, usually directing you to your chosen departure subway or bus stop on foot. During commutes, Maps will specify when you should board or disembark from a bus or train.

Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing public transit directions | Source: iPhoneYap.com

Street View

Meanwhile, Street views on the iPhone will let you view street-level photographs, just as they would at maps.google.com. To activate the feature, iPhoneYap reports that you simply need to “drop a pin or click a searched location to get the tooltip to popup from the pin.” The tooltip popup then serves as a gateway to the Street View interface.

Once in Street View, you’ll notice two options in a bar at the top of the screen: “Report” and “Done.” A small navigation circle showing your current location (on a map) overlays each Street View photograph.


Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing Street Views | Source: iPhoneYap.com

Location Sharing

One final feature noticed in the new version of Maps is location sharing. Selecting the “Share Location” option of an address will auto-fill an email with a hyperlink to the location, which will automatically launch and load in Maps application of the recipient, assuming they too have an iPhone.


Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing Share Location | Source: iPhoneYap.com