‘All change’ on Transport for London public information

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London Underground
This weekend sees the introduction of a 24hr tube service reflecting the 24hr life of the city and catching up with New York, Berlin and Sydney. The roll-out, starting with the Victoria and Central Lines then extending to Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines this autumn, is a strategy calculated to cut night journey times by an average of 20 mins. It is expected to boost the night-time economy by £360m and create almost 2000 permanent jobs.

More than 80 of the 350 Bus Spider maps produced by T-Kartor will require updates to reflect these changes, including a Tube Owl symbol at all stations operating a 24hr service and Night Bus Spiders for services interchanging with these stations.

Nightbus

Being a key supplier of customer information to TfL is not only about understanding a complex transport network and presenting it simply and clearly, but evolving the information design to reflect new strategies. Our mapping information supports transport strategies by drawing attention to improvements and helping locals and visitors to understand changes and how to benefit from them.

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Cycle route information
Quietways are being introduced by TfL as a network of radial and orbital routes linking key destinations in ways which are safer and favourable for cyclists. The new routes follow backstreets, through parks and along waterways and tree-lined streets. To develop these into continuous cycle routes, new wayfinding, surface and junction improvements are being introduced, while barriers, such as chicanes, are being removed.

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Cycle Superhighways map layers 

Cycle Superhighways are longer, faster routes running from outer London into and across Central London. They often follow wide, main roads, with as much segregation as possible from traffic, especially at junctions, to increase safety.

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Quietways on Cycle Hire Docking Station (Design beta only)

T-Kartor has included the quietways, existing and planned, as separate live layers in the Legible London database. These layers can be used in a variety of information products, including interactive layers on digital information.

Follow this blog for how TfL will be creating and managing data for its cycle journey planner.

Royalty free basemap for Dublin Bus

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Existing bus information from Dublin Bus

 

T-Kartor are creating a royalty free basemap for Dublin Bus to use freely for a range of transport information products. In our experience, licensing costs for derived map uses are becoming increasingly unpopular as modern online mapping solutions are getting us used to expecting free maps.

Here it could be relevant to point out some differences between free online maps and a quality basemap made specifically for a purpose which includes print products. While free online mapping is excellent for its intended purpose, that purpose is to underpin the offered functionality of an interactive application. Printing out an internet map at A4 size will reveal that the quality is not suitable for a larger scale printed product. Equally important is the content of the map, which should be tailored to the needs of the user, rather than catering for a generic world-wide user profile.

The art of cartography lies in choosing the optimal density of content and displaying that content in a clear information hierarchy and appealing design. This content, hierarchy and design should be individual to each scale at which the map will be used (and printed). In the case of Dublin Bus we will add layers of bus information as versatile route vectors, to be supplied as an integral part of the basemap. These data layers will be carefully aligned to the base at appropriate scales with a plan for their maintenance. The vectors can then be used in a variety of ways in future, such as automated information products or online interactive bus information.

The unlocked, layered basemap, supplied in Adobe Illustrator format, will be owned by Dublin Bus for any future intended use. This is in accordance with T-Kartor principles which seek not to lock customers into our proprietary solution. We are confident instead that we can offer services on top of the basemap which are so good our customers won’t want to go elsewhere.

T-Kartor named in Transport for London’s 100 top design icons

TfL design icons

T-Kartor have been credited with the design of the Bus Spider Map, cited among TfL’s top 100 design icons. (Click link and see item 58).

While we cannot possibly take all the credit, we have contributed much to the design since the maps were first conceived and have supplied TfL with more than 350 ’Bus Spiders’ in the past 15 years.

The concept of the Bus Spider map is unbeatable in its simplicity. Rather than show all the complex bus routes in a given area, the routes available from a small hub of stops are displayed in a schematic diagram allowing graphic simplicity and balance. The popularity of the Bus Spider map has since spread to many other cities around the world, see some of our example designs below.

At T-Kartor we are always looking for ways to save money for our customers while at the same time improving quality. As part of a suite of software creating automated transport information for South Yorkshire PTE, we developed a semi-automated Bus Spider module. Automated processes reduced production times from 3 days to 3 hours!

Stockholm spider
Stockholm Spider Map

 

Stavanger_Norway Spider
Stavanger, Norway Spider Map

 

Southern Railways Spider
Southern Railway Spider Map

 

South Yorkshire PTE spider
South Yorkshire PTE (semi-automated) Spider Map

Public transport and pedestrian wayfinding information updates in Birmingham

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T-Kartor are delivering public transport and pedestrian wayfinding information in Birmingham. This phased delivery includes the production of new mapping and indexing for an expansion of the Interconnect pedestrian wayfinding project as well as updates to the existing totems.

In parallel to this we are working with Centro to refresh information at interchange bus stops in the city and have also created information for three brand new stops at New Street Station. The new and updated artworks communicate recent alterations to bus services and a number of projects that have changed the face of the urban environment. The new stops have helped fans navigate to the recent Rugby World Cup games held at Villa Park and in the longer term will assist passengers traveling by bus from the busiest station outside of London.

Birmingham has recently undergone many physical changes, from the opening of the extensively re-modeled New Street Station and the new Grand Central shopping centre to the Metro tram extension that is due to open shortly.

T-Kartor attend Intelligent Mobility conference in Birmingham

BRAMA screenshots

T-Kartor were recently invited to give a presentation at an event called ‘Intelligent Mobility in the West Midlands’. The conference, now in it’s second year, was organised by Centro and held in Birmingham on 6th July and saw the coming together of industry experts describing and discussing their visions for making the West Midlands a leader in developing and delivering intelligent and sustainable mobility. Our talk focussed on a Smart City solution for customer facing mapping and information and we introduced our new content management tool for tracking and managing information assets. The solution can be used as a platform for serving a variety of data sources onto a web portal – from public transport maps and wayfinding information to municipal GIS and asset data. These can be integrated into the system as dynamic layers and used to support intelligent mobility by interfacing shared information resources into a mapping background that is used across all customer facing information outputs. Moving forward we will be working closely with Centro and their partners to develop options for using this system across the West Midlands region

T-Kartor’s 700 bike hire maps in London have helped boost cycling to the highest levels ever recorded

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T-Kartor have produced maps for Transport for London (TfL) for 15 years now and we also created and manage the Legible London mapping database. We have worked on their cycle hire project since it began and have outputted maps from our system for each of TfL’s 700 ‘Boris Bike’ stations across the city.

The cycle hire scheme continues to expand year on year and recent figures from TfL show that 2014 recorded a figure of over 10 million cycle hire journeys taken by customers that year. This is an estimated 12% increase and the 5th quarter in a row numbers have continued to rise – it is also the highest number of instances of bikes being hired since their records began.

More information can be seen here.